“I think that teachers are hungry for the kinds of support that CELF can deliver. At the beginning, a number of teachers don't have a lot of familiarity with some of these really important concepts. But afterwards, we see consistently that the teachers report high levels of confidence and comfort with their knowledge of the subject and also their comfort in teaching these concepts in the classroom.”

Dr. Amy Kamarainen
Senior Research Manager, Harvard Graduate School of Education


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.

CELF models community-building practices in every aspect of our EfS work. Our facilitators begin each EfS experience by building a collaborative learning community among workshop members that provides enduring connections to 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 in-service credits for CELF’s professional development courses per district policies as well as graduate credits for Summer Institutes.
  • Past participants have come away with higher understanding of EfS content knowledge and made significant gains in three essential EfS teaching areas: use of community and place in lesson plans, engaging in systems thinking and teaching about specific sustainability issues.
  • Teachers measurably increase in their use of STEM activities and place-based learning to teach the Big Ideas of Sustainability.