What is Education for Sustainability?

Education for Sustainability (EfS) is a transformative learning process that equips students, teachers, and school systems with the new knowledge and ways of thinking we need to achieve economic prosperity and responsible citizenship while restoring the health of the living systems upon which our lives depend. EfS has multiple, positive effects on student achievement, school culture, community vitality, and ecological integrity. Read a brief history of Education for Sustainability.


The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education prepares K-12 school systems and their communities to educate for a sustainable future by inspiring educators and engaging students through meaningful content and learner-centered instruction.


NEW! Blog Post - Is this Education for Sustainability? - Jaimie P. Cloud
The questions I ask faculty and administrators to consider when I am invited to a school to audit their sustainability education program are:


1. Have you chosen a set of EfS benchmarks for the faculty to design, teach and assess with?  

2. Do you document and map the curriculum?  If so, is it a living document that is continually improved and innovated over time?

3. Does the faculty use the benchmarks to assess for evidence of EfS?

4. Do they explicitly communicate quality EfS performance criteria to their students?

5. Do you have student work as evidence of the enduring understandings, knowledge, skills and attitudes of EfS?


If the answer is “no” to all the above, then my next question is,

6. Is there a shared understanding within the school community of what Education for sustainability is?

If the answer is “no”, then my next question is,

7. What can I see?  Where can I look for evidence of EfS in the Curriculum?  I learned a long time ago that even if the answers to all my questions are “no”, it doesn’t mean people are not educating for sustainability.  It simply means we have to ask the next question, which is “how can we know?”

The way The Lovett School in Atlanta Georgia addressed my last question was to provide me with an extensive list of Stage 3 (UbD) curricular activities that the K-12 faculty was asked to prepare so that I could help them determine to what extent they were, indeed, educating for sustainability. read more


Related Blog Posts

- Useful Steps to Embedding EfS Standards into your Core Curriculum using Backwards Design (UbD)

- How our Teaching Changes our Thinking, and How our Thinking Changes the World
- Educating for Sustainability with the Brain in Mind


Professional Development Opportunities

Cloud Institute Summer Design Institute | New York, NY - July 26th - July 31st

Summer Design Studio Ideal for curricula and community program designers, SDS offers structured time, space, coaching and peer reviews to develop units and protocols that educate for sustainability. Participants gain access to expertise, resources and tools required to develop curricula, protocols or action plans designed to implement EfS change initiatives in schools and communities. The Intro to EfS Workshop is included in the cost of the Summer Design Studio. cloudinstitute.org/summer-design-studio



Sustainable Jersey for Schools - Earn Points with The Cloud Institute
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time. sustainablejerseyschools.com

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education is a Task Force Member, Advisor and Service Provider to Sustainable Jersey for Schools, and we can assist you. We have selected the actions required that best suit our expertise and we stand ready to serve the NJ schools and districts seeking certification. We can help you earn up to 205 points towards your certification and more importantly, we will help prepare your administrators and teachers to educate for a sustainable future by inspiring educators and engaging students through meaningful content and learner-centered instruction.

The actions that we can assist with include: Student Learning, Learning Environment, Leadership & Planning and Innovation Projects. The full list of actions are available here. If we can be of service in any one of these four areas, please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with Jaimie Cloud to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.

Learn more about the Cloud Institute's program for Sustainable Jersey Registered Schools and Districts: www.cloudinstitute.org/sjforschools.

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