A National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability

Recommendations for enhancing  formal education in the U.S. so that all students graduate educated for  a sustainable future by 2040.











This plan represents the perspectives of the leading minds and the strongest champions of Education for Sustainability, together with one voice committing to a series of actions that will ensure that by 2040, every student graduating from a U.S. K-12 school will be equipped to shape a more sustainable future.

Explore the national action plan to gain a deeper understanding of Education for Sustainability and how it enhances learning; to learn from best practices from across the country; and to identify your role in advancing sustainability learning in K12 classrooms nationwide.

Meet the Authors and Explore the Recommendations

THE CASE FOR EDUCATING FOR SUSTAINABILITY

David Sobel 
Senior Faculty, Education Department
Antioch University New England

“In the 21st century, the school should operate as a healthy ecosystem, serving as a model of American culture and global interdependence.”



THE CASE FOR A NATIONAL ACTION PLAN

Susan Jane Gentile
Faculty
Antioch University

“If we perceive the complexity of the challenge before us through the lens of nested systems … we will be able to address in an authentic context all the needs and objectives outlined, making our transformation efforts both most efficient and most effective.”



COLLABORATION

Cynthia Thomashow
Director of Urban Learning
IslandWood

“By 2016, survey, research and convene public and private organizations cultivating new and innovative processes to learn from, enroll and secure commitments from diverse constituencies in designing strategies to support EfS."



ECONOMIC DRIVERS

Todd Cohen
Director
SEED Center, an initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges

“Work-based learning opportunities such as internships, apprenticeships, field trips, and job shadowing should be core instructional strategies within EfS, especially in secondary schools."



INTEGRATED CONTENT AND CURRICULUM

Kimberly E. Corrigan
Executive Director
Facing the Future

“Solicit advice and support from key formal and informal leaders in K-12 curriculum development to provide rigorous EfS materials and professional development to teach sustainability as its own topic and as a context for teaching core subjects.”



LEADERSHIP


Lisa A. W. Kensler, Ed.D., LEED Green Associate
Associate Professor
Auburn University






Cynthia L. Uline, Ph.D.
Professor, San Diego State University
Director, National Center for 21st Century Schoolhouse

“A working group should draft recommended EfS-related content for inclusion
in the next revision of the Educational Leadership Policy Standards or “ISLLC 2008 standards” by 2015.”



POLICY


Allen Cooper
Director of State and Local Education Advocacy
National Wildlife Federation





James Elder
Director
Campaign for Environmental Literacy

“Over the next 5 years, integrate existing environmental education and environmental literacy, healthy schools, and green school facility policy into a comprehensive EfS policy agenda.”



PRE-SERVICE TEACHER PREPARATION

Victor Nolet, Ph.D.
Professor
Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University

“By June 2014, establish a national network to work with policy makers, teacher education member organizations, and individual teacher education programs so that, by 2024, EfS is embedded into the process of learning to be a teacher.”



PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Jennifer Cirillo
Director of Professional Development
Shelburne Farms

“Develop shared terminology that communicates the definition and absolute essence of EfS. Utilize existing convenings of the community, to facilitate consensus on non-proprietary terminology by early 2015.”



PUBLIC AWARENESS

Jenny Wiedower
K-12 Manager
The Center for Green Schools at USGBC

"Develop shared terminology that communicates the definition and absolute essence of EfS. Utilize existing convenings of the community to facilitate consensus on non-proprietary terminology by early 2015."



RESEARCH

Craig N. Shealy, Ph.D.
Professor of Graduate Psychology, James Madison University
Executive Director, International Beliefs and Values Institute

“In order to demonstrate the full potential and differential impact of EfS in a comprehensive manner, a robust research-to-practice agenda must be developed and pursued over the short- and long-term.”



STUDENT ASSESSMENT

Jennifer Seydel, Ph.D.
Chief Operations/Chief Financial Officer
Green Schools National Network

“Between 2014 and 2030, develop a national network of leaders and researchers who define and lead the transformation of the current assessment models to incorporate higher order thinking skills, EfS standards, global and ecological citizenship skills, and critical skills for innovation.”



TEACHER EVALUATION

Paul Bocko, MEd
Adjunct Faculty & Program Director
Antioch University New England

“Beginning immediately, administrators should identify the need to guide students to solve complex problems with no obvious answer as a part of evaluation, and begin assessing teachers on this skill.”