power point


Nov 9, 2013 (2 years and 11 months ago)


Sustainability Education

Judi Toms (
New England Region

Teacher Quality Consultant)


This presentation covers Environmental and Sustainability Education in schools.

It provides participants with opportunities to:

look more closely at Environmental and Sustainability Education within their own
school context

view Departmental resources to support them

view a range of other resources that may be useful

opportunities available for students


Joni Mitchell ‘Big Yellow Taxi’

‘I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when
I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green
mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as
the eye could see, and it broke my heart... this blight on paradise. That's when I sat
down and wrote the song’ (1970)

Click the frog to watch the YouTube video:

‘What is sustainability?’

The following four images are like many
we see when the media presents modern
day challenges to the environment and to
sustainability. In the current media,
these sorts of images are often matched
with phrases like ‘It is estimated that
around 1000 species are becoming
extinct around the world every day’,
‘scientists agree that greenhouse gasses
are causing global warming’,
‘environmental quality and food security
are in decline’ and so on.

‘What is sustainability?’



Paper, passing, purpose tool

Write a definition of what you think Environmental & Sustainability Education in Schools
is, no names, write clearly, your own thoughts.

Pass the statement to the person on your right. Underline significant passages or
words. Pass to the right again. Underline significant passages or words.

If in groups, pass until you receive your own back.

Come up with a combined definition.

Keep your own.

Whilst sustainability is a relatively new term, it is frequently used in relation to the
environment but more recently in relation to the longevity of industries, communities,
companies or programs and project.

A better way to view sustainability is with a futures perspective. It is the current and
future challenges of maintaining
and improving
the quality of the natural environment
and understanding our responsibilities toward it, maintaining and improving the
quality of our communities and our way of life now, and into the future.

But as these sorts of images are often in the media, as educators we need to think
about how these images and statements impact on our students.

It can be challenging to engage students in a positive way when this is what they
commonly see and hear.

Research in NSW schools has identified the importance of engaging young people in
actions in school, home and community to improve environmental quality and
sustainability is one of the most powerful ways to empower and enable the next

We need to keep in mind

How can we do things in schools to keep a positive and
participatory approach to these issues?

‘Sustainability is a goal in which society meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs’


United Nations
World Commission on Environment and

What should
Sustainability Education
look like in our schools?



NSW Public Works

The research identified that context was critical so we now need to ask ‘What should
sustainability education look like in our schools?’ Participating in environmental and
sustainability education activities and demonstrating good environmental citizenship is
part of the fabric of many schools in NSW and a commitment of the Department of
Education and Communities. Evidence in schools includes the grounds improvement and
local biodiversity and environmental improvement and projects, student leadership and
interest projects related to the environment, environmental events schools participate in
and the many ways sustainability and environmental contexts are included in curriculum.
The research indicated the importance of purpose and structure to the activity that is
explicit for teachers and for students. This builds good foundation knowledge, develop a
broad set of competencies and create connections and commitment.

Using your P3T sheet also

what is the answer to this question? Discuss & share

Does your school:

Engage young people in the activities that help them explore and understand their

Provide learning activities for them investigate sustainability issues in their home,
school and community,

Support students to develop and implement sustainability solutions

Or create opportunities to develop and demonstrate environmental citizenship and

To date sustainability and environmental education programs in our schools have
achieved improvements in student environmental understanding and awareness,
resource use and management and improved environments in and around the schools.
Will these programs continue to equip students with environmental and sustainability
knowledge to be creative problem solvers for problems that will only become more
complex in the future?

Note: Images 1, 2 & 3

Parental permission provided for photos provided by Field of
Mars EEC for professional Learning material. Image 4


NSW Public Works

Compare current syllabus aims &
objectives with those of the new

Compare current syllabus Outcome
requirements with those of the new

Highlight areas in the Science and
Technology K

6 document (new)
for Environmental and Sustainable

Is ESE defined by 1 KLA?

Current syllabus published in 1991
with supporting documentation of
Outcomes & Indicators published in




School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP)

DEC Environmental
Education Policy

Policy support

2010 Year of Learning for Sustainability

Sustainable Schools NSW

Schools Climate Change Initiative

Climate Clever Energy Savers

National Solar Schools

Kitchen gardens




iPad apps



Creative Arts


Dust storm, gritty

Irritating, teeth

Dust storm, dust storm,

Dust storm, dust storm,

Dirty blanket up in space,

Door is shut in heaven’s face.


Let us breathe! Let us see!

Rain, rain, when will it rain?

Rain, rain, when will it rain,

Rain, rain, WHEN WILL IT RAIN?


Dust storm, dust storm,

Dust storm, dust storm,

Red haze, red gloom,

Clot of blood across the sun,

Red haze, red gloom,

Red haze, red gloom,

Rest hot dry wind!


Kangaroos are dry from drought,

Sheep are dying o’er the plain,

Cockatoos and parakeets

Cannot sing for want of

We gasp and pray and sit in wait for

Rain, rain, RAIN, RAIN




Julian Lennon

Saltwater 1993