Our Stakeholders - Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation

Our Stakeholders

Teachers

Why Education for Sustainability?

Our world is rapidly changing. Education for Sustainability (EfS) challenges students to prepare for their future today while stimulating academic engagement.

  • EfS students make real-life decisions that balance their personal well-being as members of local and global communities for the good of all.
  • EfS teachers engage their students in an interactive learning process that applies the habits of systems thinking needed to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
  • EfS Schools promote a collaborative and cooperative learning community in which learning extends beyond the classroom connecting to real world social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Our Approach

CELF’s professional learning model engages educators in interactive learning experiences that help them view their work with students through the lens of sustainability. CELF’s facilitators work side-by-side with teachers as they integrate the big ideas of sustainability and EfS standards into their existing curricula while creating EfS classroom and school-wide learning opportunities. CELF facilitators deepen the learning experience with interactive hands-on activities that can be taken back to the classroom for immediate implementation.

CELF models community-building practices in every aspect of our work. Our facilitators begin each EfS experience by building a collaborative learning community that establishes enduring connections with participants. We believe teachers who participate in an effective culture of collaboration and cooperation are inspired to replicate this culture with their students.

The Benefits

  • Studies show that students are more engaged in learning when EfS principles and practices are applied.
  • Teachers can earn professional learning and/or graduate credits for participation in CELF’s programs per district policies.
  • Participants come away with increased understanding of EfS content knowledge and make significant gains in essential EfS teaching areas: (1) use of ‘community’ and ‘place’ in lesson plans, (2) engaging in systems thinking and (3) teaching about specific sustainability issues.
  • STEM/STEAM activities benefit from place-based instruction using the Big Ideas of Sustainability.

Administrators 

Why Education for Sustainability?

Our world is rapidly changing. Education for Sustainability (EfS) challenges students to prepare for their future today while stimulating academic engagement.

  • EfS students make real-life decisions that balance their personal well being as members of local and global communities for the good of all.
  • EfS teachers engage their students in an interactive learning process that applies the habits of systems thinking needed to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
  • EfS Schools promote a collaborative and cooperative learning community in which learning extends beyond the classroom connecting to real world social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Our Approach

CELF’s professional learning model engages educators in interactive learning experiences that help them view their work with students through the lens of sustainability. CELF’s facilitators work side-by-side with teachers as they design programs that integrate both the big ideas of sustainability and EfS standards into their existing curricula while creating EfS classroom and school-wide learning opportunities.

The concepts of sustainability are universal, but every district and school starts from a different place. Whether you have a handful of knowledgeable teachers, one enthusiastic administrator or a new green building, CELF can help you take the next steps towards infusing your curriculum and school culture with education for a sustainable future.

We can help:

  • Conduct gap analyses of curriculum maps
  • Identify curriculum integration opportunities and priorities
  • Connect administrators, teachers and school community members with EfS resources,  curriculum, instructional strategies, rubrics, environmental action projects, and experts in the field
  • Train teachers in our Summer Institute, provide on-site introductory training or develop a customized educational program for your school or district
  • Tie your curriculum into facilities improvements to take advantage of a green facilities project at your school

See our Case Studies

Students

CELF’s programs are designed based on environmental literacy outcomes and knowledge, skills, values and behaviors that contribute to thriving, healthy, sustainable communities

What attributes and values will students need to create an ecologically sustainable and equitable society? 

  • Interconnected with one’s physical and social environment
  • Sense of safety
  • Access to healthy food, shelter, clothing, fresh water, and clean air
  • Sense of meaning-purpose 
  • Flexible thinker – Adaptable
  • Reflective – Self-Aware. Balance of focus between self and others
  • Considers consequences of actions
  • Values the commons
  • Role as global citizen is integrated in decision- making
  • Respects rights and responsibilities of all
  • Interconnectedness-sees him/herself as part of the biosphere
  • Recognizes that the earth takes care of us – not the other way around

What practices will students need to develop? What dimensions of knowledge will students investigate and apply?

  • Designs and implements solutions
  • Considers environmental impacts and cost/benefits of possible actions
  • Knowledge of ecosystem functions, major biosphere processes and interactions over various scales of space and time
  • Understands interconnections between themselves and their communities
  • Systems thinking and modeling through futures thinking and design
  • Sustainable economics, urban planning, engineering and cultural studies
  • Seeks to protect the future/prevent damage
  • Comfortable with uncertainty
  • Probability and risk assessment
  • Community involvement and active citizenship: recognizes and takes responsibility for broader societal change
  • Key social systems questions: Who am I? What is my community? What are my needs and wants? How are these needs dependent on the conditions for life created by the biosphere? What are the effects of our production and consumption on our local ecosystems and the biosphere generally? 
  • Key ecological questions: What am I? What is life? How has it evolved on Earth? What are the conditions for life on Earth? What is an ecosystem? What is the present state of the biosphere and how is this related to the state of our local environment?
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