Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Home Page

What is Education for Sustainability?


Education for sustainability is learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet.  It helps teachers bridge grade levels and subject areas, curriculum and school operations, and parent and community partnership.

                                        Sustainable Schools Project

The Big Ideas of Sustainability

Community:  A group of living and non-living things sharing a common
purpose or space.

Systems:  Parts that are connected through larger patterns.

Diversity:  All systems and places function because of variety.

Interdependence:  All living things are connected. Every organism, system, and place depends on others.

Cycles:  Every organism and every system goes through different stages.

Change over time:  All organisms, places, and systems are constantly changing.

Limits:  Every system has a carrying capacity.

Fairness / Equity:  Resources need to be shared to meet the needs of living
things—across places and generations.

Place:  Natural and human communities together make up one’s place.

Ability to make a difference: Everyone has the ability to change or impact a system, community, and themselves.

Long-term effects:  Actions will have eff ects beyond immediate reactions.

Equilibrium:  A state of balance.

Goals of Sustainability

Sustainability is often thought of as having the following intertwined goals:

• economic prosperity

• environmental integrity

• social equity

Learn More

Learn more by looking at the following resources created by Shelburne Farms' Sustainable Schools Project.