Education for Sustainability (EfS) Resources

Education for sustainability (EfS) is much more than teaching content-related knowledge and skills. EfS is also about teaching new ways of thinking about and perceiving the realities of our world and the possibilities for change. EfS is based on the premise that the world is made up of various systems—natural systems, such as streams and forests, and man-made systems, such as economies, societies, and built infrastructure—that are all inextricably linked. EfS prepares students for their roles in creating a sustainable future by engaging them in solutions-based design and action that integrates knowledge across different disciplines and that considers diverse social, economic, and cultural perspectives. These skills and approaches also position students to perform more successfully across the school curriculum and prepare them for higher education and careers in a twenty-first century world. The enduring understandings that students gain from EfS are core sustainability principles that have application beyond the classroom. 

Lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Math and English Language Arts and the Next Generation Science Standards can readily impart the enduring understandings of sustainability. Furthermore, there are great opportunities to link lessons to sustainability initiatives taking place in the school, such as school gardens, green cleaning, energy conservation programs, and recycling initiatives. Sustainable Jersey for Schools offers more than 80 actions where schools can earn points, and most of these provide opportunities to integrate student learning. Other sustainability certification programs such as Green Ribbon Schools and Eco-Schools USA, are also vehicles for integrating student learning into school sustainability initiatives.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools EfS Actions

EfS Resources

Master EfS Spreadsheet: Spreadsheet of all EfS resources found on Sustainable Jersey for Schools website organized by resource type and subject area (MULTIPLE TABS)

Organizations Supporting EfS

Educating for Sustainable Development Toolkit: Guide to modifying existing curriculum to reinforce sustainability goals developed within the community

Is this Education for Sustainability?: How to evaluate quality of sustainability education programs

List of Lesson Plan Search Engines

Tools for Effective Assessment


Resources by Subject Area