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Educating for Sustainability

In Sacramento in 2014, the National Green Schools Conference offered a diversity of sessions to which we sent a representative.  These touched upon the following broad themes:

From the summary of our attendee’s report:

“The overall impression was one of a fairly harmonious movement of educators intent on supporting students to become empowered in a multiplicity of ‘green’ initiatives. Divergence of emphasis and attendant controversies was generally not forefronted, to the ends of, on the one hand, a politically reserved proliferation of options for educators wishing to ‘green’ their curricula, pedagogies and facilities and, on the other, a fairly modest emphasis on a ‘green’ agenda of political change. This latter rarely projected as one that might be thought to abrade other interests (but rather one in which we are already unified, because implicated in the destiny of our environment), and usually, as far as activism or engagement was concerned, the activist emphasis was founded in a vision of environmental science ascendant in school culture. Where green politics were more evident, affirmation rather than confrontation was the tone. ‘Practicalities’ seemed to be the order of the conference, and it offered many for educators seeking more green entry points into their work.”

“Green” Resources from 2014 National Green Schools Conference

Here are some links to resources which might be of interest to educators seeking to further engage with themes listed above:


Twenty/Twenty: Projects and Activities for Wild School Sites

Cloud Institute’s Educating for Sustainability

GreenSchools National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability

















Citizen Science:



Sustainability Magnet School in Burlington Vermont: http://sa.bsdvt.org


“Schools that Change Communities” (avail. In UBC library)


“How My School Taught Me Contempt for the Earth” Bill Bigelow (Rethinking Schools 11(1), 1996, UBC Print Holdings)

Educating for Sustainability Studies and Action Plans

The US National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability

First published in 2000, and updated in 2009, here is Australia’s National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability which sets out a framework for local, regional and national action.

Closer to home, this Educating for Sustainability report for the Canadian Council of Ministers of Education, prepared by the Manitoba Ministry of Education. It examines questions of EfS and includes broad surveys of EfS efforts in policies and priorities in educational administration, curricular integration and development, teacher professional development, and pre- and in-service EfS initiatives from throughout Canada. A more recent offering from the same administration is available HERE. The British Columbia Government outlines its plans HERE.


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