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                                      GEF offers free K-12 sustainability education
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GEF announces teacher K-12 professional development courses and certification program in Sustainability Education

January, 2011 — The Green Education Foundation (GEF) has launched a robust set of Sustainability Education (SE) K12 professional development courses with the goal of inspiring educators to green their school districts across the country.

“Sustainability Education (SE) is an integrative teaching model that connects student knowledge of ecological, economic and social systems with real-world applied learning strategies,” stated Victoria Waters, founder and CEO of the Green Education Foundation (GEF). “SE develops the 21st century skills, vision and intellectual habits necessary to build a sustainable future for a scalable global society.”

Core Competencies of GEF Sustainability Education (SE):
  •  Provide a context for integrating sustainability across core disciplines 
  • Foster a holistic approach to understanding global issues 
  • Develop and assess higher-order thinking skills 
  • Offer opportunities for robust school and community engagement 
  • Promote experiential learning with hands-on activities

“As the President says: ‘This is not just going to boost our economy in the short term; this is going to lay a platform for the future. Education and sustainability are the keys to our economic future — and our ecological future.’” - Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, US Sustainability Summit, September 2010

Education Department's Bipartite SE Initiative Priorities:
  1.  Preparing students for new understandings and solutions of environmental sustainability 
  2. Preparing students for new careers in environmental sustainability
GEF Sustainability Education (SE) professional development courses for K12 educators will be available in January 2012. Teachers may choose to take the full SE certification curriculum or individual courses for PDPs, CEUs, and/or college credit. Courses will be available in both online and workshop formats.

“GEF will offer a teach-the-teacher program whereby individual teachers can enlist to become a GEF instructor and receive GEF training. They will then take back what they have learned in order to educate their entire school staff utilizing GEF’s comprehensive training guide and digital resource kit. The goal is for one to teach many in an effort to green entire school districts,” noted Jessica Drench, GEF Manager of Curriculum.

GEF Sustainability Education (SE) Professional Development Courses:
  •  Sustainability Education (SE) Teaching Methods — This course showcases the core themes of Sustainability Education (SE), with an emphasis on its role as an ecological, economic and social teaching platform, and will provide teachers with the knowledge and resources necessary to integrate sustainability into their core disciplines. 
  • Grade-Specific Courses — These courses develop 21st century critical assessment strategies for measuring standards-based competencies in sustainability, and approach Sustainability Education (SE) as a multi-disciplinary framework for Common Core standards-based instruction. Grade levels targeted: Elementary, Middle and High School 
  • Sustainability Education (SE) Content Electives: 
    • Green Energy and Green Technology
    • Populations and Global Citizenship
    • Green Building
    • Sustainable Agriculture
    • The Economics of Sustainability

 K-12 educators interested in piloting GEF’s Sustainability Education (SE) curriculum this summer should contact us via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Enroll for a free GEF membership and gain access to its comprehensive online library of standards based curriculum at

Sustainability Education (SE) Survey
Please take the GEF Sustainability Education survey to help guide GEF in SE professional development courses for elementary, middle and high school teachers.

What is Sustainability Education (SE)?
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.

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