Nancy Kuster is a second-grade teacher and recent graduate of the New Jersey Learns Program. After studying macro-invertebrates the second grade class went to Green Brook to determine the water quality - which turned out to be good based on the samples found living in it. They also made "up cycled" planters out of water bottles to grow milkweed from seed to attract Monarch butterflies. This is EfS in action.
Welcome to the Cloud Blog
Repost from: http://www.today.com/video/today/51619345#51619345
Original Post Date: April 22, 2013
Stephen Ritz, a teacher in New York City public schools and the founder of Green Bronx Machine, shows how vertical “living wall” gardens can teach kids about protecting the environment and bring a little green to concrete jungles.
This five-seater car runs on compressed air, has zero pollution, very low running costs and will cost about $15,000. This is a great example of the kind of creative thinking that addresses a challenge to our sustainability.
INTRO BY JAIMIE CLOUD
The back story to the following wonderful article is worth sharing. I received a call one day out of the blue from a Dr. Emma from Kenya. Dr. Emma told me that she was involved in developing an upcoming Forum for Kenyan leaders and that she had asked Peter Senge to be the keynote speaker at the forum. She went on to say that he had agreed to do it on one condition: “That the leaders play the Cloud Institute’s Fish Game first.” He went on to say that she could reach out to me for details, so she did. She downloaded the Fish Game from our bookstore and we set a time for a SKYPE coaching session to prepare her to facilitate it at the Forum. The SKYPE time came and went—no Dr. Emma. The next day, I received an email from her explaining that the Internet had gone down in the village and that she was hoping to re-schedule our conversation. No problem. We re-scheduled for the next day, and two hours before our scheduled conversation, Dr. Emma called me on the phone: “Jaimie?” she said, “I came to Nairobi to a hotel so that I could SKYPE with you today, and the electricity has just gone out. I am sitting in my hotel room with a cell phone, a candle and a print out of the Fish Game Facilitator’s guide. Can we talk now?” Of course we did—then and a few more times after that. As we unpacked the mental models of unsustainability and those that are more likely to help us to shape the future we want, Dr. Emma kept saying over and over, “Jaimie: Have you been to Kenya? Do you know these folks? Are you sure you don’t know them?” I explained that though I have in fact been to Kenya once, I did not know those individuals personally and that the mental models of un-sustainability seem to be universal and even archetypal. Tragic and true. In exchange for my time, I asked Dr. Emma to write about her experience facilitating the Fish Game to tribal leaders in Kenya. This is what she wrote:
Leadership and Kenyan Renaissance, 2012
Within the last decade, an unprecedented wave of development has swept through Africa. New faces appear across the landscape such as the Chinese, now common on some African City streets. Highways are being built to connect African countries together. One country leading in this forward development is Kenya. And, while commending this development, one Kenyan scholar believes that for this to work and still have an impact, Kenyan leadership will have to shift in a new direction. More so, because a wave of resource exploration is revealing that Kenya has lots of natural resources including oil, coal, geothermal, natural gas and wind power. For these resources to benefit the public, a new type of leadership will be critical.
“Kenya is undergoing the most aggressive devolution that the world has ever witnessed” (World Bank Report, Dec. 2011). The goal is to curb negative systemic social, economic, political and development issues. A recently amended Constitution (CK2010) seeks to reshape the way citizens relate with the government, and places a strong emphasis on principles of participation, transparency, and accountability. The new constitution avails ordinary Kenyans an opportunity to take the lead in the development of their counties, innovatively modeling a development that works for them. Leadership styles and models for the 21st Century will be critical and must be learned. This period of change comes at a time when Kenya is witnessing new recourse identification to include: oil, natural gas, wind power, geothermal power, coal, and biofuels on a limited scale. The Cloud Institute’s Fish Game simulation was played to create awareness about resources and leadership, deemed critical in the development of Kenya.
Dr. Theuri adds that Kenyan success will depend on how well leaders harness the county synergy to reap the benefits that are independently un-obtainable, and, which will be greater than the sum of all 47 Kenyan counties. Recognizing the need to identify available resources, and utilizing them without depleting will be key to local and national development. To achieve this, a “Shared servant leadership is critical, and it must be the new song”, says Dr. Theuri.
But how does this rebirth take place, “Dr. Theuri asks”, when Kenyans and the international community are grappling with uncertainty and a lack of trust with the Kenyan leadership? A time when Kenyans are wondering whether the great hopes they have on the new constitution will come to fruition, given that it will be implemented by the same leadership that brought Kenya down. A leadership that is likely to protect its own interests, and has the power to do just that. What will support the hopes among Kenyans, that the strong roots of corruption, eroded ethos, joblessness, and hopelessness will no longer prevail, in a country where over 65% of the population is youth aged under 35years?
The Fish Game was used against this background, to communicate the role of servant leadership in resource mobilization and sustainability; to demonstrate the power of unselfish leadership in economic development, and the power of collaboration and re-union between the government and the people of Kenya in resource mobilization, utilization and sustainability.
Dr. Theuri conducted the four-day IMPACT2030: Transformational Leadership Forum in Kenya 2012, with participants hailing from government and private corporations.
Participants were from government and corporate managers, CEOs and an ex-ambassador. Their role at the forum was to endure 12 hours a day, exploring the uniqueness of their counties and their country. Also, engaging in thought-provoking hands-on experiences, addressing global roots of poverty and how this is sustained.
Further, looking at servant-like, and the 21st Century leadership; mental models and change. An introduction to systems thinking and its application in a Kenyan context was an eye opener into leadership greed, corruption, root causes and impact on resources. Local invited speakers spiced the Forum. Forum participants became residents of the 48th Kenyan County by default, a simulated County that exposed them to the reality of living on 2$ a day, and as government planners, coming up with a plan how the 48th County in Kenya should develop and grow.
Groups of four teams (1, 2, 3, and 4) played the game. Teams 1, 3, and 4 depleted the fish in their first round. But, when playing Game # 3, they were able to play several rounds without depleting the fish pond. Team #2 did not deplete the fish even in the first round. Apparently, they had an individual who insisted that they could not take as much as they all wanted. She was the only female in the whole training crew. She stood her ground and sort of dictated that the group ration fishing from the word go, because without the rations, some people would get no fish. The group negotiated, disagreed, and finally settled to one fish per person. For this team, they were able to keep going for 5 rounds before the instructor stopped them, they could have gone on and on for a long time.
During the debriefing, the teams used Kenya as the Fish Pond to analyze the case of Kenyan resources and poverty. They were in agreement that in Kenya, people believe that:
Natural resources belong to the government so, no one takes care of them, and as a result, they are easily depleted by the citizens.
That the leaders have misused natural resources because they are the government property, and so, they own the (resources).
After the game, participants had two critical observations:
That if people were educated about the impact of resources on their lives, and the ownership they democratically possess, then, the citizens would protect those resources for their children, and future generations.
That development of Kenya lies on the hands of the Kenyan people.
The Fish Game served as a self-reflective process on the participant’s leadership, their management styles, and use of public resources. After the program, participants had the following to say: verbatim):
- “I learned that to be a leader, one must first become a human being.
- Learned that leadership is about taking a stand no matter how unpopular you become.
- If resources are used wisely, our nation will prosper.
- I learned how to optimize the gift of leadership.
- The vision that is important is that which people share.
- A great leader provides an opportunity for people to shape their future.
- That there is a lot of potential in our counties and Country.
- Strategies to transform a county, and even communities.
- Major learning was that our country is endowed with a lot of wealth and potential.
- The resources and potential in Kenya are enormous.
- If resources are used well, then the country will prosper.
- There is need to have a clear understanding of our National Goals and work together to achieve them.
- General overview of leadership at community level.
- Problems in agriculture sector in Kenya and how it can be advised through empowerment of community.
- Communication between leadership and the grassroots.
- How to contribute to community development”.
In summary, the learning from the Fish Game was powerful. It was amazing that a simple game of Fish could provide such deep penetration, quest, and awakening for knowledge and skills building in areas that matter the most in life. It was clear that simplified communication of knowledge has the ability to provide a deeper meaning of the subject. Participants did grasp the power of servant and team oriented leadership. They gained a better understanding about resource utilization. They realized that Kenya has lots of resources which, if properly utilized are enough for all, and for future generation. There was a deep self-reflection, and change of mind sets, on leadership and resource utilization. Participants left the forum fired up to go make change in their leadership positions.
The Leadership Forum would not have been such a success without the great contribution of renowned trainers and speakers such as Dr. Peter Senge, who joined the Forum participants in Kenya via video conference from USA. Dr. Peter Methabula from South Africa; Dr. Jonathan Ciano, the CEO Uchumi Kenya; Peter Kenneth, the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of National Planning and Development; and Dr. Emma Theuri, the convener.
Special thanks go to Jaimie P. Cloud, President of The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education. Jaimie is commended for her flexibility and zeal in getting the work done. Being in the US at the time, she spent over three hours on a Phone Training about the Fish Game with Dr. Theuri who was in Kenya at the time. (The only communication channel they had, after several power outage experiences in their earlier attempts to accomplish the task via Skype). Without this effort, the Fish Game exercise would not have taken place.
Dr. Emma Theuri is the Founder, Institute for Promotion of Sustainable Community Development (IPSCoD), an organization with a focus on transformational leadership as a tool for change and empowerment.
The Fish Game. Facilitator’s Guide. Developed and published by The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, 2012 Edition.
Laurie P. & Diebel. A. Bridging the Divide between the Public and Government. A Review of Research KF. Connections, Kettering Foundation’s Washington, D.C. Summer, 2006.
Kenya Constitution 2010.
MAY 2013 UPDATE: In March we shared information about one high school student in Hawaii named Trevor Tanaka who had proposed to the Hawaii State Legislature a resolution to require that the Hawaiian Department of Education formally embed Education for Sustainability into the core curriculum. Resolution HCR178 HD1 SD1 was adopted by the legislature on April 24th!!!! We congratulate Trevor, the educators who inspired him, and the legislature who not only listened to him, but who agreed with him.
We are humbled by Trevor’s grace and tenacity, and that of all the young people who are accelerating the shift toward sustainability by showing up, standing up, and taking the lead.
The resolution’s final language can be seen here
HCR178’s measure history and status can be seen here
Repost from: http://www.hawaii247.com/2012/09/12/student-shares-why-sustainability-is-important
Original Post Date: September 12, 2012
By Trevor Tanaka | Special to Hawaii 24/7
It was September 2011. The state was abuzz over the upcoming APEC meeting in Honolulu in November where President Obama and 20 other heads of state would be gathering. All eyes would be on Hawaii.
It was the first time, since 1993, that the U.S. would be hosting APEC’s annual meeting. In an effort “to engage our local youth and provide them with a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of APEC,” the host committee sponsored an essay contest open to high school students.
Five winners would have the amazing opportunity to attend this premier economic forum in the Asia-Pacific Region.
While it sounded like an easy enough topic, I quickly realized that I really did not know enough about sustainability to write my essay. So that’s when my process of learning about sustainability started in earnest.
It also made me really think. Why would someone like me — a junior in high school, and a good student who had taken years of different science classes –- why was I having such a difficult time with this topic? Thus began my journey to learn about sustainability and the importance it plays in our lives today, tomorrow, and in the future of our world.
We all know that sustainability and clean energy are essential to Hawaii due to our location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Our current dependence on imports threatens our resources and our way of life. We also know that Hawaii is rich in renewable energy sources that have the potential to decrease our dependence on imports, especially imported oil.
I really believe that our ability to educate ourselves about finding the right balance of growing our economy, keeping our land healthy, and preserving our natural resources and culture is essential to our survival. In fact, our state is in a unique position to become a leader in our nation and possibly the world.
Through my research, I found out that some private schools in Hawaii offer courses/programs in some form of sustainable education (green technology, renewable energy, etc.). HPA (Hawaii Preparatory Academy) has its world-famous LEED-platinum certified Energy Lab.
Other schools incorporate sustainable education into existing courses, such as Environmental Science. Wouldn’t it be great if all students were given the equal opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainability and the role it plays in our lives today and will play in the future?
I decided to put my thoughts into action. I crafted Resolution No. 25 that requires all public schools in Hawaii to incorporate sustainability and clean energy units and related technologies as part of the Science curriculum.
In December 2011, I traveled to Honolulu to attend the 2011 Secondary Student Conference (SSC) held at the Hawaii State Capitol. The purpose of the SSC is to “provide secondary school students the opportunity to identify, discuss and arrive at recommended solutions to major youth problems, with emphasis on school problems that require the attention and joint action by the students, the Department of Education and the Hawaii State Legislature.”
At the Conference I presented the Resolution No. 25 to the 200 student delegates. I was very excited when 85 percent voted to support it!
This spring, I was nominated by Nancy Redfeather from The Kohala Center to serve as a youth delegate from the Big Island to the Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s 8th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development on Martha’s Vineyard.
Five of us from the Big Island traveled together, representing the Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative (SHYLI).
Each SHYLI youth delegate created a power-point presentation on one aspect of sustainability: Agriculture, architecture, cultures, energy and environment. Mine was on Sustainable Education.
I expanded my research to learn about how other states and countries are involved with sustainable education. The New Jersey Sustainable Schools Network is promoting education for a sustainable future in all public schools in Jew Jersey.
The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: 2005-2014 is a global initiative with the goal of reorienting education worldwide.
China has designated 1,000 public schools for Education for Sustainable Development. Japan has included Education for Sustainable Development into its national curriculum guidelines.
Every university in Sweden is required by law to teach sustainable development. I felt empowered knowing this. Just think Hawaii could become one of the leaders of sustainable education!
At the Summit, I met young people from islands around the world who are championing green initiatives in their communities. I also learned how people throughout history have struggled to keep their dreams alive.
I was inspired by youth leader Amira Madisen from the Wampanoag Tribe Gayhead-Aquinnah, who shared how they lost their language and are now working hard to reclaim it.
I also had the opportunity to share my vision for Sustainable Education in all Hawaii public schools on a national radio program – “Keeping it Moving with Marsha Reeves-Jews.” The entire Summit experience gave me hope and inspired me to take the next steps to pass the Resolution No. 25.
We are now gathering letters of support – from our elected officials to business and community leaders as well as young people and educators. I believe we all need to be concerned about sustainability.
My hope is we will build enough support to pass Resolution No. 25. Here are some highlights:
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Science curriculum for all public high schools in Hawaii be supplemented by the integration of sustainability/clean energy units that include the development of Hawaii’s energy, environmental, ocean, recyclable and technological resources; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the integration of sustainability/clean energy units in the Science curriculum will help educate students about the role that sustainability/clean energy plays in balancing the needs of Hawaii’s growing economy with protecting its environment and resources in a socially responsible way.
I want to see that all high school students throughout the State of Hawaii have the opportunity to take classes in or be exposed to some form of sustainable education as part of their science curriculum.
This will allow Hawaii’s youth to have a better understanding about sustainability and the connection it has with our way of life, especially here in Hawaii.
It is essential that everyone understand that keeping our environment healthy, keeping our economy healthy, and keeping our people healthy are all interrelated and will ultimately allow our culture, traditions, way of life, and unique island home to not just survive but thrive for generations to come.
Senior, Konaweana High School
Submitted by: Jean Kosky, Second Grade Teacher at Trevor Day School
Some of the greatest challenges, and greatest joys, of teaching second grade at Trevor Day School can be realized during the special studies my colleagues and I embark on in January. During these 4-6 week units each second grade class plunges into a study that is theirs alone. Teachers and students work together to become experts in one subject that they then translate into a play or presentation that is used as a teaching/learning vehicle for the rest of the Trevor community. These studies are often quite different on the surface. This year’s studies included; the Wolf Study, a discovery of the reality vs. literary images of wolves with a large dose of environmental science thrown in; the Peace Study, an exploration of peace makers and what that profile looks like on a personal and global scale; Social Justice, including a visit to the United Nations and in depth studies of organizations that promote social justice world-wide; and finally the Harriett Tubman Study that evokes an era of deep injustice and unparalleled courage.
After my class had presented their play WOLF and we had watched the other three plays and presentations I decided to hold a So What? discussion where I asked the students to reflect on why we had spent this substantial amount of time and energy on these subjects. These discussions begin as a gentle “in your face” challenge by the teacher to justify a learning experience.
WHY WOULD WE TAKE THE TIME TO CONSIDER ALL THESE SUBJECTS?
Since we frequently reflect on systems in second grade, not surprisingly, the student’s discussion quickly turned to what these disparate subjects might hold in common. Here are some of the comments from their discussion.
In defense of second grade studies………
What are some of the big ideas that our plays had in common?
· Everyone has the right to certain things
· Keeping the Earth healthy helps everything
· Humans should not threaten each other or other species
· People need to work hard for what they believe
· Find peaceful ways to solve problems
· Discuss things
Big ideas – Peace, Human Rights, Species Diversity, Environmental Protection, Civil Rights, Advocacy
As I reflected on this animated and often passionate discussion I realized…………
How wonderful that our second grade students at the tender age of 7/8 are invited to consider these intricately interlinked ideas that will most certainly be in the global forefront of their lives. Our Second Graders have been invited into these conversations – to problem solve, to attempt solution and to dare advocacy. They are now, without reservation, wholly a part of these global considerations.
Sustainability goes on. There will be mid-course corrections in the process of getting communities, governments and individuals to understand that all our systems are connected. Sustainability is not just about the environment. As I’ve learned in the NJ Learns program, most people do not enter the sustainability topic from the environment. The topic is complex and can be messy; change happens slowly – almost excruciatingly slowly. Many baby steps lead to real change and understanding that steps taken now will preserve and conserve our society, resources, economy and all of the systems within for generations to come.
After about six months of off and on work to complete my practicum, I have ‘graduated’ from the NJ Learns program. Today our cohort heard the final projects from the educators and community participants in our cohort. The enthusiasm, creativity and persistence among all of the participants is admirable. There is a second grade teacher who has the freedom in her classroom and school to teach sustainability across the curriculum. Students are planting gardens; inner city children are learning that their world has much more than the black top that surrounds their school; Boy Scouts are learning how they can cut energy by simply changing out light bulbs; a science teacher who embraced Green Apple Day and got his school on board is also now reclaiming wood and making frames, trays and other objects as a side business. Sustainability never ends. My project is continuing – working with Sustainable Cherry Hill, the Cherry Hill Schools and PTAs and people in the region who are learning that everything we do now affects our children’s future and their children’s future and so on. One big take-away for me is that “There is no such thing as away.” Think of that when you toss something ‘away’ in the trash. Over time, thinking changes – we all change – and for the better.
NJ Learns Certificate and reclaimed wood frame by fellow New Jersey Learner,
Matt Ryan - One Man Gathers Studio.
Beyond Recycling is an artist-in-residence program funded by MetLife and Young Audiences Arts for Learning. Teaching Artists, Eloise Bruce and Zach Green, worked with students in grades 6-8 over a 10-day period to develop an original musical theater piece for younger students about creating a sustainable earth. This project is an outgrowth of YANJ's work with New Jersey Learns (NJ Learns), a program that unites schools and communities to learn and change together to instigate, sustain, and scale up the innovations and best practices that contribute to sustainability and that characterize Education for Sustainability.
Repost from: http://blog.grdodge.org/2010/02/15/new-jersey-learns-mondays-2
Original Post Date: February 15th, 2010
By Winnie Fatton of Sustainable Jersey
When I first heard about NJ Learns, it was an exciting, untried idea that the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation was supporting. Teams of educators, admins, parents, municipal representatives, and the general public – anyone who was committed to Educating for Sustainability (EfS) – were invited to apply for the program. I was working on “Green Jobs for NJ,” which was a pilot project to infuse EfS into the curricula of Career and Technical Schools. I brought 2 teachers to the first training session – one from the Mercer County Vocational Technical School District and one from Essex County Vocational Technical School District. I felt that it would be a great opportunity to learn from a “master” and to introduce classroom teachers to what I believe should be one of the most important educational themes in our schools.
I believe that sustainability is a theme which offers teachers from almost any discipline a way to get students involved with issues that are significant and relevant to their daily lives and to their future career choices. At career and technical schools, for example, EfS could be incorporated into the construction and HVAC trades (think green, high performance buildings), landscaping (management of stormwater run-off, recapture/reuse of wastewater, xeriscaping and other low maintenance plantings), culinary arts (school gardens, safe food/local food, composting), automotive (hydrogen fuel cells, hybrid cars), or a multitude of other career clusters. These are the jobs of the future.
But green jobs aren’t the only reason to think about sustainability; there are so many other linkages to science, math, English, history, even graphic arts. It takes some creativity, but teachers can develop lessons that relate real time/real world issues to what students are studying. Equally important, teachers can help foster the creative thinking we will need to come up with the solutions to these major challenges.
Now, in my work with the Sustainable Jersey program – a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, control costs and save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term – I have the ability to work with a lot of different audiences. Sustainable Jersey offers over 64 different “actions” which municipalities can take to become more sustainable, from creating a Green Team, to doing energy audits for municipal buildings and establishing the carbon footprint of the municipality, to doing communication outreach and education. All of the actions in the program are supported by a series of tools which are available on the Sustainable Jersey website, as well as through training programs and workshops. Each action or “tool” is fully resourced and includes a description of the action: who should be involved, how much it will cost, how long it will take, as well as resources for helping municipalities to complete it.
My initial focus was on helping to develop “tools” which relate to the “education” sector – and in the second round of the program, Sustainable Jersey will be offering information about “Education for Sustainability” as well as “School Based Energy Conservation Programs.” The School Based Energy Conservation Programs focus on helping students, teachers and all school staff members to make behavioral changes, which can reduce energy consumption. Some participating schools have even reduced their energy bills by almost 20% through behavior modification alone. And the Education for Sustainability tool offers ideas and resources for teaching about sustainability, including, of course, the NJ Learns program.
Over 250 communities in NJ have signed up to become certified through the Sustainable Jersey program since its inception in February, 2009. Sustainable Jersey and NJ Learns offer opportunities for communities to share inspire and learn from one another as we all work together toward a sustainable future. By giving people an understanding of why it is important to be sustainable, as well as the tools we need to be a more sustainable society, we have begun to create a process that will foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve success. The knowledge that there are so many great people out there working toward a sustainable future is very gratifying, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.
* * *
New Jersey Learns introduces teachers and community leaders to Education for Sustainability. Education for Sustainability (EfS) is a whole system approach to schools and communities learning together for a sustainable future and includes the Cloud Institute’s EfS Core Content Standards. The program brings community-based teams to participate in one year of introductory training, implementation, coaching and assessment activities. Want to participate? 2013-14 NJ Learns applications are due March 15th. Apply now.
Waste Not Card & Online Game - A card game in which players learn about keeping resources out of the landfill and using less energy in the cycling process.
New Jersey Learner and Game Designer, Kirsten Bonanza, created Waste Not because it drives her crazy to have to throw things away. The game itself as a way to explain the possible options available when an object is no longer good for its inital use. The core question of the game - What are you going to do with it? - challenges players to rethink trash as potential and resources. Waste Not is being made available as a card game for in person play and as an online game.
Kirsten's background is in teaching, facilitating, and consulting. Her interest in design lies in educating for sustainability and systems thinking. She also believes that we will achieve a sustainable future more easily by giving people the experience of how a large system (Earth) works in a playful environment. After Kirsten realized that she'd begun work on her 10th idea for a game, that while her heart calls out to teach and work with Entrepreneurs on building their organizations, it is obvious that Game Design is no longer just a hobby or tool for her own personal use. With her company Create Better Impact Games, Kirsten seeks to do just that - create better impact on the world.