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                                      GEF offers free K-12 sustainability education
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Objective to provide K12 teachers with skills required to integrate sustainability into existing disciplines

February 2011 — Green Education Foundation (GEF) has joined forces with sustainability education faculty and experts from across the K12 educational spectrum to launch its sustainability education (SE) Global Advisory Committee. “As part of its commitment to academic excellence and curricular innovation across the K12 sector, the Global Advisory Committee will work to provide critical recommendations and insight into the scope and content of GEF’s teacher professional development curriculum, as well as its broader contributions to the field and attendant best practices,” stated Victoria Waters, president and founder of GEF. “The goal is to provide teachers with the knowledge, skills and curricular resources essential to integrate sustainability into existing disciplines.”

GEF’s Global Advisory Committee will also work to bolster cross-school collaboration between academic experts across disciplinary and geographic borders, committed to making the study and practice of sustainability a more integral and prominent part of student curriculum and teacher education.

“Teacher education programs need to produce professionals who not only teach sustainability themes but also can ‘pull together’ the various disciplinary strands that will give their students a holistic understanding of a sustainable future and the role of individuals, communities, and nations in a sustainable world. The development of this cadre of expertise will profoundly affect how rapidly nations will begin the move toward sustainability.” —Rosalyn McKeown, Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future

Through its Global Advisory Committee, GEF will continue to work with academic and professional institutions that lead the charge of sustainability in education, including UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development, Washington State Public Schools, University of Florida Graduate School of Education and Manitoba Education, Canada.

Global Advisory Committee members:
  • Rosalyn McKeown is Secretariat of the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, the United Nations Chair on Education for Sustainable Development, and Director of the Center for Geography and Environmental Education at the University of Tennessee. Dr. McKeown also developed the Education for Sustainable Development online toolkit, Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.
  • Gary Yohe is Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics at Wesleyan University, Senior Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
  • Linda Jones is Associate Professor of the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida, Director of the University of Florida Environmental Education and Communication Graduate Certificate program, and recipient of UFL’s International Center Distinguished International Educator Award. 
  • Carolee Buckler serves as Sustainable Development Coordinator of Manitoba Education, Canada, and member EcoCanada’s Steering Committee for Environmental Labour Market Information. In 2009, she helped create the Sustainability Leadership Innovation Center at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. 
  • Gilda Wheeler is Sustainability Coordinator at Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and in 2009 led the charge to develop the state’s first Environmental and Sustainability student learning standards and professional development teaching standards for colleges of education.

Sustainability Education Defined
Sustainability Education (SE) is an integrative teaching model that connects student knowledge of ecological, economic, and social systems with real-world applied learning strategies. SE develops the 21st century skills, vision, and intellectual perspective essential to build a sustainable future rooted in knowledge of the past and attentive to the needs of the present.

About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Green Education Foundation (GEF), a non-profit organization, is committed to creating a sustainable future through education. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions. Visit to register for free and to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities.

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Download, share, and comment on hundreds of sustainability lessons in GEF's K-12 lesson clearinghouse! Find the right lesson, activity or audit for your students by searching by grade level and subject area. Access is unlimited and free to GEF members!

Online Professional Development

Visit GEF Institute's website to find online, sustainability-focused professional development courses. Earn a certificate or simply take a course for academic or professional development credits through the Institute's partnering university.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi