Faculty and staff recently participated in a provocative and energizing in-service on sustainability initiatives in independent schools, led by Wynn Calder, Associate Director of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future. Calder defined sustainability as “improving the environment, communities and the economy in mutually supportive ways,” and identified schools as one of the major agents of change in the coming years.
During the morning session, Calder provided a look at the global environmental challenges facing all of us, and then shared numerous examples from independent schools across the country that are making great strides in sustainability education. According to Calder, a school that educates for sustainability will be interdisciplinary, holistic, and values driven; it will focus on problem solving and critical thinking; and the curriculum will be locally and globally relevant.
He emphasized that to be successful in educating for sustainability, a school community must identify what degree of involvement and what types of initiatives are right for them, and the program, whatever it is, must engage the students at every level, and in and out of the classroom. Following Calder’s presentation, faculty and staff spent some time in small groups discussing what Prep’s commitment to educating for sustainability should be, and what it would look like in terms of activities, projects and initiatives. Next steps: identify faculty and staff who want to spearhead some initiatives and take the challenge to the students.