New York City Department of Education - Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation
CELF in our Schools

New York City Department of Education

Overview

The New York City Department of Education enlisted CELF to provide Leadership Training in Sustainability Curriculum. As a commitment-to-action project, CELF applied this turn-key model in working with thirty New York City Public Schools over a three-year period. Teacher teams took part in an intensive three-day professional development program for sustainability education integration.

Leadership Training in Sustainability Curriculum: New York City Department of Education

Recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative 

As a Commitment to Action project, CELF applied this turn-key model in working with thirty New York City Public Schools over a three-year period.

To kick off the program, teacher teams from participating schools took part in an intensive three-day professional development program for sustainability education integration. During the workshop, participants received:

  • Training and curriculum development expertise demonstrating how EfS supports educational goals and enhances efforts in STEM subjects.
  • Assistance with curriculum development that supports individual school goals, inspired by the principles of Education for Sustainability and consistent with the new Common Core state standards.
  • Strategies to connect EfS principles to each participant’s subject area and grade level and to map concepts across the curriculum.
  • Best practices in EfS student assessment based on the CELF student performance indicators rubric and the NAAEE Framework for Environmental Literacy.

After completing the workshop, teacher teams worked with CELF project leaders to set goals for how they planned to incorporate sustainability into their curriculum and communities. CELF leaders followed up with site visits providing support and guidance throughout the academic year. During the program’s second year, new schools were paired with mentor schools that had succeeded in year one.

Using an EfS framework, students became active stakeholders in local environmental, social and economic justice service-learning projects.

In addition to the projects that each school implemented, an independent evaluator from the Harvard Graduate School of Education measured significant teacher gains in the following areas:

  • Participating teachers came away with higher understanding of EfS content knowledge and made significant gains in three essential EfS teaching areas: use of community and place in lesson plans, engaging in systems thinking and in teaching about specific sustainability issues.
  • Teachers also had a measurable increase in their use of STEM activities and place-based learning to teach the Big Ideas of Sustainability.

CELF continues to train NYC teachers by offering professional development programs through the DOE.

“As we start to move into these sustainable practices, we see our children becoming more invested as they do hands-on gardening and hands-on experiences like counting oysters, but also they are mentally engaged and looking forward as they are trying to problem-solve for the future.”Amy Goods

Amy Goods
MS 447 Math & Science Preparatory School, Brooklyn, NY
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