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Sustainability Education for All Ages

Common%20Ground.jpg One thing we've found is that universities aren't the only education systems interested in integrating sustainability into the classroom. Elementary schools are working to bring these messages to the K-12 crowd, too.

One example, recently brought to light in this New York Times article, is Common Ground High School in New Haven, Conn:

In its 11th year, Common Ground, a magnet high school of 150 students, chosen by lottery, was one of the country’s first so-called green charter schools. Today, at least 120 such programs put environmental topics at the center of their curriculum, according to the Green Charter Schools Network, formed just last year. The number has grown along with the expansion of the charter movement, says Senn Brown, executive director of the network. The environmental theme is particularly popular among charters: it lends itself to the kind of interdisciplinary, project-based approaches to learning that they employ, and the subject has also gained traction as a national issue.
Recently opened charters include the Springwater Environmental Sciences School, in a rural area bordering 500 acres of government-protected land in Oregon City, and the Michael Frome Academy, in Woodbury, Minn., which opens this fall with about 70 kindergarteners through third graders. The curriculum will focus on real-world projects related to the natural environment.
Unlike many green schools, Common Ground focuses on the urban environment, and its students reflect the economic and racial diversity of New Haven. Nestled in the woods of West Rock Ridge State Park, Common Ground is half a mile down a winding road from public housing projects and near the rapidly gentrifying Westville neighborhood.

What will also be interesting to watch unfold will be the transition of university students from environmental education programs into schools around the world. These new teachers will hopefully bring with them a more holistic set of knowledge and skills for teaching the next generation about the state of the Earth.

This post is part of a week-long series focusing on how universities around the globe are remodeling not only their campuses but also their curricula. For more ideas about what to study and where, or to join the debate, check out this week's feature, Majors Making a Difference.

Photo Credit: Common Ground High School

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Excellent blog! Interesting article and very informative! I will necessarily subscribe for this blog.

Posted by: BiilYBonnYU on 11 Nov 08

It is not out-of-date information? Because I have other data on this theme.

Posted by: johnybestftom on 12 Nov 08



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