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secondary education

What factors lead to a healthy, sustainable culture where students, teachers, parents, staff, and administration can flourish and learn?

In this video Antioch University New England alumnus Alex Shevrin talks about how “when we open ourselves up to true, intentional relationships with our students, we make space for them to grow. Through intentional choices, we can empower ourselves and our students to achieve more than any of us thought was possible.”

Shevrin presented “”Unconditional Positive Regard” at MTA ED Talks: Big Ideas About Education on August 4, 2014, in Williamstown, Mass. She is a teacher/leader at a small, independent, therapeutic, alternative high school in Vermont. Shevrin blogs at shevtech.wordpress.com. You can find her on Twitter, @shevtech.

Bob Gliner’s film, Schools That Change Communities, is about schools as they should be. In this pedagogical age of “time on task,” “direct instruction” and a short-sighted emphasis on “Drill, Baby, Drill,” Bob shows that school improvement can be healthy, engaging and lead to significant community involvement and improvement.Most often when I watch educational videos, I get choked up with anger about the wrong-headedness of the No Child Left Behind educational philosophy. Watching this film, I got choked up because Bob shows schools that manage a combination of academic rigor, community purpose and heart that is right on the money.
Check out the Schools That Change Communities trailer below.
David Sobel

Rethinking Schools and the Zinn Education Project are partnering with an exciting project: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. You can get involved by participating in the K-12 teachers  This Changes Everything Writing Retreat. Here’s a sample from their website announcement:

thischangeseverything_collageImagining solutions to the climate crisis involves imagining solutions to a host of other social problems, from economic inequality to public health to job creation to indigenous rights—even to the quality of the food we eat. As the This Changes Everything team writes: “Climate change is more than an issue, it’s a message, one that is telling us that many of our culture’s most cherished ideas about our place in the world—from the quest for endless economic growth to the assumption of Western supremacy to the limitless capacity of humans to dominate nature—are no longer viable.” Rethinking Schools editorializes: “Confronting the climate emergency … demands that young people exercise their utopian imaginations to consider alternatives of all kinds.”

 

From our friends at the U.S Green Building Council!Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 12.38.35 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 4.08.41 PMWe all have a passion for education. Where we learn matters. The Center for Green Schools at the U.S Green Building Council is inviting communities from around the world to take action on school campuses for the Third Annual Green Apple Day of Service in fall 2014. On the Day of Service, students, teachers, and community members are encouraged to plan a school-wide sustainability project utilizing local volunteers to create a positive environmental change.

 

In the first two years, over 3,000 Green Apple Day of Service events took place in more than 41 countries.Projects included planting school gardens, collaborating on clean-ups, or hosting e-waste recycling drives. Schools also create custom projects that cater to their community’s specific needs. Learn about more project ideas that will happen in schools around the world.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 4.09.16 PM Green Apple Day of Service creates awareness around the importance of green schools and propels a movement emphasizing sustainable lifestyles for youth and generations to come. Schools are invited to register green projects, and read more about this transformative campaign at mygreenapple.org

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 12.38.35 PMThe US Green Building Council (USGBC), the folks who inspire beautifully sustainable buildings with their LEED certification program, have done it again!

This time with the help of Antioch’s David Sobel, Sue Gentile, and Paul Bocko they’ve entered into the Educating for Sustainability movement in a big way.

USGBC Center for Green Schools brought together stakeholders from academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors to envision a future where schools support thriving, healthy, and regenerative communities. Then they created a timeline that gets us there by 2040.

It’s all in the National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability. Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 12.22.00 PMGet the Executive Summary and read the full text at centerforgreenschools.org/nationalactionplan.

USGBC already demonstrated its ability to have an impact on the entire building construction industry, and all the related fields connected to and nested within it, such as architecture, energy, waste, and transportation.

The National Action Plan for EfS takes a similarly ecological approach examining the curriculum, assessment, teacher preparation, professional development, and leadership necessary to drive change in the complex system of American education.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 1.07.11 PMWe are not alone. Australia published its first National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability in 2000 and updated it in 2009 setting out a framework for local, regional and national action. Australia’s plan envisions reorienting educational systems, fostering sustainability in business, and harnessing the burgeoning community spirit to collaborate for sustainability.

This is all very encouraging, as the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) draws to close, organizations like the USGBC Center for Green Schools are taking the baton.

 

Just as there is a flow of seasons in the natural worlds there is a flow to our school year. seasons_of_tree_picturesSummer is a time of renewal when there are opportunities that nurture us personally and professionally, connects us to the greater network of educators, and resets our commitment to sustainability. So get out there and connect with other EFS teachers this summer!

Here’s a sampling of opportunities:

~ Antioch University New England summer graduate courses, Keene, NH: Sustainable School Leadership and Real World Sustainability (July 8-19).

~ Community Works Institutes on Service Learning, Los Angeles, CA (July 29-Aug 2) and Shelburne, VT  (July 15-19).

~ Sustainable Schools Collaborative, Sustainable Schools – Sustainable Solutions Conference, West Linn, OR (June 24-25).

~ Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, Summer Institute: Educating for Sustainability K-12 Educators, Purchase, NY (July 15-17).

~ Center for Ecoliteracy, Becoming Ecoliterate: A New Integration of Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intellignece, San Anslemo, CA (June 24).

~ Sustainable Schools Project, Summer Institute on Education for Sustainability, Shelburne Farms, VT (July 31-Aug 2).

And a shout out to Green the Next Gen, the EcoLiteracy Curriculum division of the San Francisco Unified School District. Check out their website and see how a public school district networks with local partners to provide Educating for Sustainability professional development for their teachers!

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Schools must strive to develop systems that serve the needs of all students.

Join us for a conference day highlighting Holistic Special Education.

Wednesday, May 22, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH

Featuring keynote speaker Kim John Payne, Director of the Center for Social Sustainability.

Followed by workshops and a panel discussion with leaders and practitioners in the field.

Topics will include:

  • the changing landscape of special education
  • what we know–mining our cognitive capital
  • benefits and challenges of collaborative models
  • transformative teaching and leading–from ablesim to inclusion
  • creating holistic and healthy classrooms–holding space for diversity

See the complete schedule here.

To Register: visit our website at: www.antiochne.edu/acsr/events or call Peg Smeltz: 603.283.2301

 

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