Are You Educating for Sustainability?
We strongly value the process of diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment in our work with clients. It is very important to be able to clearly evaluate to what extent individuals or organizations currently educate for sustainability. Our diagnostic tools assist in the analysis process.
Our assessment tools are designed to create a baseline of your current reality and ask you questions that will help us assess the degree to which you are educating for sustainability.
These tools can be revisited over time so that you can see changes in your school or individual work and show evidence of evolution and success.
Baseline EfS Survey (School Level)
This short 10 question baseline survey was designed with the help of Center for Green Schools at the US Green Building Council. It does three things:
- Baseline Self- Assessment (of the “stage of change” they are in, and the broad dimensions of EfS curriculum & instruction, organizational policies, youth leadership attributes, and school/community partnership. *It does NOT focus on the physical plant and operations.
- A Shared Frame of Reference for some essential elements of Education for Sustainability
- Ideas for short and long term planning
EfS “Whole School Sustainability Wellness Check”
This assessment evolved out of work done between The New Jersey School Boards and Sustainable Jersey for Schools. Schools and districts that have registered for Sustainable Jersey for Schools can get points for each of these actions toward certification in that program. The Cloud Institute joined the team and embedded elements from the new EfS Benchmarks soon to be published by the Journal of Sustainability Education. This is a much longer and much more comprehensive assessment tool for Whole School Sustainability. John Henry (NJ School Boards) and Jaimie Cloud (Cloud Institute) have administered this tool several times with District and school leaders, School Board Members and the Facilities Managers. It has been met with great enthusiasm and humility as well as new questions and collaborations.
EfS Reality Check
What: 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. Education for Sustainability inspires young people to think about the world, their relationship to it, and their ability to influence it in an entirely new way.
Why: The goals of this Reality Check are:
- To familiarize you with the comprehensive set of attributes of EfS
- To enable you to get a bird’s eye view of where your school is along the EfS continuum
- To provide insight on strategic next steps
Who: This tool is intended for use by school administrators and lead faculty.
How: EfS requires a holistic approach, so when you’re educating for sustainability, you’ll find evidence of it just about everywhere you look—among the learners, in the classrooms, among the leadership team, throughout the physical facilities and grounds, and into the wider community. This tool asks you to look in each of those places for evidence that you’re educating for sustainability. Wherever you see that evidence, simply check that box. The more accurately you can answer the questions, the more useful our analysis.
Then What: If you are interested in having us analyze your results and make recommendations for next steps, please contact us.
For most schools and organizations that we work with, the timeline for producing evidence of Education for Sustainability (EfS) in thinking and practices throughout the organization will vary from 3-5 years on average. After that, creating a culture of EfS becomes a process of continuous improvement and growth.