Thursday, December 3, 2009

U.S. Partnership and Facing the Future: Great resources

I've just come upon some incredible resources. If you are looking for curricula, I think I have just been shown a garden of delights. By joining up with the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development I have joined a listserve for k-12 sustainability education hosted by the University of Michigan. I was presented some awesome materials.

The coolest so far comes from Facing the Future. Their leading statement at the homepage reads:
Climate change. Population growth. Poverty. Environmental degradation. Conflict. Global health crises. Intractable global problems? We don’t think so. At Facing the Future we believe in the transformative power of widespread, systemic education to improve lives and communities, both locally and globally. Our positive, solutions-based programming is designed by and for teachers, and brings critical thinking about global issues to students in every walk of life. We work within the education system to help teachers help students achieve academic success, while preparing them to create and maintain positive, healthy, and sustainable communities. We provide curriculum resources, teacher workshops, and service learning opportunities used by teachers, schools, and districts in all 50 states and over 100 countries.
They have a section for downloading free curriculum with some fantastic segments and activities. It includes games, reflective exercises, math instruction, and all sorts of things related to sustainability.

Having talked with some of our group's members and lots of future teachers, the "How do you teach sustainability or ecological literacy or (insert green buzzword here) when my students are drilled and killed?" I see a lot of frustration. Will this stuff be practical? What if I don't have a school garden to work in and with? How do I use four square walls to teach about the interconnectedness of organisms?

A lot of people have had the same worries and done something about it. They've made these resources. Use them. Model your lesson plans on these things. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. You need to use good wheels.


  1. Thanks, Peter. This looks like interesting material to work with. An additional resource that I have discovered is more crucial than any material resource in teaching these issues is one's own heart and imagination. In moments of cynicism and doubt, don't lose them.