In the USA independent schools are leading the way integrating sustainability into the infrastructure of their organizations, as evidenced by this recent job posting by St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH for an Environmental Steward. In addition to fostering environmentally-responsible actions the position includes making “… connections between environmental stewardship efforts and the broader ethical and spiritual motivations driving those efforts… and provide support for teachers seeking to introduce sustainability topics into classrooms.” It is encouraging that the St. Paul School acknowledge the link between environment, economics and equity in the job description and set the vision for integrating sustainability into the curriculum.
Public schools are starting to embrace sustainability, too. City school districts such as Cambridge, MA, and Denver, CO have their own Departments of Sustainability. Typically, these initiatives emphasize green practices such as recycling and energy reduction. But there is evidence that sustainability as an integrating concept is on the curriculum radar, too.
San Francisco Unified School District has created an administrative position for… Ecoliteracy Content Specialist! You can check out their inspiring work at Greening the Next Generation.
Ecoliteracy Content Specialist, Sarah Delaney, works closely with the Sustainability Director for the district and coordinates with many sustainability-related organizations in the Bay area. Sarah coordinates teacher professional development opportunities from Education Outside’s Cooking the Common Core to organizing the 1st Annual San Francisco Ecoliteracy for All Educator’s Conference.
The Ecoliteracy Content Specialist position is currently grant funded but may (hopefully) become part of the annual district budget and could become a model for other public school districts to foster sustainability as an integrating concept across facilities, curricula, and district policies.