"Rooting my classroom in education for sustainability has changed my view of teaching and my students’ views on learning in school. They are more enthusiastic than ever, as we explore nature, outdoor classroom settings, field research, service learning activities, and a myriad of other activities that I learned from my time with CELF."

Anthony Patierno
Science Teacher
Sleepy Hollow Middle School

The Big Ideas of Sustainability 

Big Ideas of Sustainability in English 

Big Ideas of Sustainability in Spanish

Making the Case for Education for Sustainability (EfS)

What is EfS? This dynamic diagram illustrates the interaction of the three E’s of sustainability interact with personal and collective student learning over time.

Why is EfS important to our students? This “Q and A” approach concisely shares the goals of the modern day sustainability movement and how education for sustainability can improve education.

National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability Introduction  The NAP is the most recent result of the collaboration of 15 experts in the field of education for sustainability. “This National Action Plan (NAP) for EfS intends to translate a million wishes into a shared vision.” (D.Sobel)

Rainbow Themes of Sustainability What does one consider by simply picking an apple through these 7 rainbow themes of sustainability?

United Nations' Shared Vision for a Sustainable World  This collection of infographics shows what the shared vision of a sustainable future would include.

Learning Connections

The Big Ideas and Essential Questions of Education for Sustainability Framework of sustainability organized into 12 Big Ideas with corresponding essential questions providing 2 building blocks in EfS curriculum design.

Place as the Context for Student Learning This Diagram of Place-Based learning is accompanied by widely accepted definitions (or understandings) of project-based learning, place-based education, problem-based learning and service learning.

CELF Glossary of Education for Sustainability Terms A concise list of frequently used terms and their meanings to provide a fundamental understanding of education for sustainability.

National Education for Sustainability and Environmental Standards

US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development (USPESD) K-12 Standards The US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development created national K-12 student learning standards for EfS. They articulate what students should know and be able to do to be sustainably literate.

North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) K-12 Standards Summary This is a summary of the Guidelines for Excellence in K-12 learning from the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Next Generation Science Standards The Next Generation Science Standards were created with representatives from 26 states.  They are organized into 3 dimensions: Cross-cutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science and engineering practices.

Principles and Practice

Earth Citizen Characteristics What do we want our students to value, know, and be able to do to create an ecologically sustainable and equitable society?

Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability A hands-on guide to weaving the concepts of healthy communities, democratic societies, and social justice into academic disciplines.

Best EfS Teaching Practices This is a summary of teaching practices that best provides students with opportunities to develop as Earth Citizens.

Professional Development, National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability This is a list of standards and a case study EfS professional development providers should consider to pursue professional learning with a lens of sustainability.

Student Assessment, National Action Plan For Educating for Sustainability This report identifies the most current elements that student assessment models for Education for Sustainability should address.