Sustainability Education Resources

Content curated by PCC's SPARC (Sustainable Practices for Academics and Resources Council).


These books are available through the PCC Library. Details are listed following each book title.

Smith, Gregory.  (2010).  Place and Community-based Education in Schools (co-written with David Sobel).  New York and London: Routledge. Available in ebook format through PCC LIbrary; available in print through Summit.

Place- and community-based education - an approach to teaching and learning that starts with the local - addresses two critical gaps in the experience of many children now growing up in the United States: contact with the natural world and contact with community. It offers a way to extend young people's attention beyond the classroom to the world as it actually is, and to engage them in the process of devising solutions to the social and environmental problems they will confront as adults. This approach can increase students' engagement with learning and enhance their academic achievement.

Envisioned as a primer and guide for educators and members of the public interested in incorporating the local into schools in their own communities, this book explains the purpose and nature of place- and community-based education and provides multiple examples of its practice. The detailed descriptions of learning experiences set both within and beyond the classroom will help readers begin the process of advocating for or incorporating local content and experiences into their schools.

Smith, Gregory.  (2008).  Place-based Education in the Global Age: Local Diversity  (co-edited with David Gruenewald).  London and New York: Taylor & Francis. Available at PCC through Summit.

This volume-a landmark contribution to the burgeoning theory and practice of place-based education-enriches the field in three way: First, it frames place-based pedagogy not just as an alternative teaching methodology or novel approach to environmental education but as part of a broader social movement known as the "new localism", which aims toward reclaiming the significance of the local in the global age. Second, it links development of ecological awareness and stewardship to concerns about equity and cultural diversity. Third, it presents examples of place-based education in action. The relationship between the new localism and place-based education is clarified and the process of making connections between learners and their wider communities is demonstrated. The book is organized around three themes: Reclaiming Broader Meanings of Education; Models for Place-Based Learning; and Global Visions of the Local in Higher Education. This is a powerfully relevant volume for researchers, teacher educators, and students across the fields of curriculum theory and foundations, critical pedagogy, multicultural and environmental education.

Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect by David Orr -­‐ Available

at Cascade Main Collection (363.70071 O77 1994)

In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education.

Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical; deadens the sense of wonder for the created world.

The crisis we face, Orr explains, is one of mind, perception, and values. It is, first and foremost, an educational challenge.

147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy,  and Society by William M. Timpson, Brian Dunbar, Gailmarie Kimmel, Brett Bruyere, Peter Newman, and Hillary Mizia with Forewords by Anthony Cortese and David Orr. Available at Cascade Main Collection (338.927071 O54 2006)  

"We are the first generation capable of determining the habitability of the planet for humans and other species," writes Anthony Cortese in the Foreword. "Teachers at every level can play an important role in helping us find a sustainable path."

All who work with sustainability issues realize that it is a community project. We must decide collectively about the earth and its future. As a community — be it a geographic, social, academic, or professional community — we need to know where to begin, how to collaboratively work, and where to find resources.

Most of us belong to communities that are concerned about sustainability issues, but do not have that as their primary mandate, such as a business, a history class, or a civic group. These groups have a tremendous opportunity to incorporate sustainability awareness into their activities. And this volume will help find those opportunities and make the best use of group resources.

The Sustainability Curriculum: The Challenge for Higher Education, Ed: John Blewitt and Cedric Cullingford. Available at Rock Creek Main Collection (333.72 S97 2004)

The links between education and sustainable development are deepening, although subject to much controversy and debate. The success of the sustainability discourse depends both on the pedagogic and research functions of higher education. Similarly, for higher education itself to remain relevant and engaged it faces pressure not only to integrate the insights and lessons drawn from the perspective of sustainable development, but also to be responsive to scrutiny of its own practices in relation to sustainability. Among professionals in higher education, sustainable development has its supporters and detractors. It is embraced by some individuals and departments while being perceived by others as a threat to the coherence of particular disciplines. Although it is not currently an academic discipline in its own right, increasing public and professional familiarity with the term, and the increasing urgency of global calls for the implementation of sustainable development mean that this is rapidly changing. This volume analyses the impact of the concepts and practices of sustainability and sustainable development on various academic disciplines, institutional practices, fields of study and methods of enquiry. The contributors, drawn from a wide-­‐range of disciplines, perspectives, educational levels and institutional contexts, examine the purpose of the modern university and the nature of sustainable education, which includes exploring links to social movements for sustainability projects, curriculum change, culture and biodiversity, values relating to gender equality and global responsibility, and case studies on the transformation, or otherwise, of some specific disciplines.

Implementing Sustainability in Higher Education: Learning in an age of transformation (Routledge Studies in Sustainable Development) by Mathias Barth Available in ebook format through PCC LIbrary.

In a time of unprecedented transformation as society seeks to build a more sustainable future, education plays an increasingly central role in training key agents of change. This book asks how we can equip students and scholars with the capabilities to promote sustainability and how the higher education curriculum can be changed to facilitate the paradigm shift needed.

Across the globe, a rising number of higher education institutions and academics are responding to these questions by transforming their own teaching and learning and their institutions’ curricula. This book contributes to that development by examining in-­‐ depth case studies of innovative approaches and curriculum changes at multiple levels of the education sector. Elaborating key principles of higher education for sustainable development and identifying drivers and barriers to implementing sustainability in the curriculum, the book provides a comprehensive overview of what makes higher education for sustainable development a unique field of research and practice, as well as offering a coherent narrative of how change can be effected in it.

Sustainability Education Perspectives and Practice across Higher Education. Paula. Jones David

Selby 1945-­‐; Stephen R Sterling. Available in ebook format through PCC LIbrary; available in print through Summit.

How do we equip learners with the values, knowledge, skills, and motivation to help achieve economic, social and ecological well-­‐being? How can universities make a major contribution towards a more sustainable future? Amid rising expectations on HE from professional associations, funders, policy makers, and undergraduates, and increasing interest amongst academics and senior management, a growing number of higher education institutions are taking the lead in embracing sustainability. This response does not only include greening the campus but also transforming curricula and teaching and learning. This book explains why this is necessary and – crucially – how to do it.

Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability Problematics, Promise, and Practice

Peter Blaze. Corcoran editor. Arjen E. J Wals editor.; SpringerLink (Online service)

8300 defect for UNSW 2004 Available in ebook format through PCC LIbrary.

Sustainability challenges universities around the world to rethink their missions and to re-­‐structure their courses, research programs, and life on campus. Graduates are increasingly exposed to notions of sustainability, which are emotionally, politically, ethically, and scientifically charged. They must be able to deal with conflicting norms and values, uncertain outcomes and futures, and a changing knowledge base. At the same time they will need to be able to contextualize knowledge in an increasingly globalized society. This book provides a variety of valuable theoretical and practical resources for students, teachers, researchers, and administrators who seek to integrate sustainability in higher education. Sustainability is not only explored as both an outcome and a process of learning, but as a catalyst for educational change and institutional innovation. The book raises the various problematics related to this inchoate field and provides an intellectual history and critical assessment of the prospects for institutionalizing sustainability in higher education.