Full course description
What you'll learn:
Integrating Sustainability Science into the Classroom aims to cultivate the skills and strategies necessary for incorporating sustainability science topics across common PreK-12th-grade curricula. The goal is to create crosswalk opportunities for making sustainability science relevant in subjects such as English Language Arts, Literacy, History, Social Studies, Science, Art, Drama, and Mathematics. Offered as an introduction into the topic of sustainability, educators will learn about the history of sustainability, what sustainability is, explore sustainability topics, learn how to mobilize the Four Ways of Thinking framework, and how to connect sustainability to their curriculum. Educators are encouraged to work with existing materials, lesson plans, or units to infuse sustainability ideas. For those that are particularly ambitious, they can start from scratch and create new materials for their students. Educators will have the opportunity to connect state standards to big sustainability topics. The ultimate goal of this course is to prepare PreK-12th-grade educators to advance the next generation of scientifically literate and globally-minded citizens ready to tackle any challenge and connect with other educators who are interested in the same goals.
Who is this course designed for:
What you'll do:
- Learn and deploy the Four Ways of Thinking necessary for sustainability: Futures, Values, Systems, and Strategic Thinking
- Complete two activities related to standards and curriculum connections
- Connect with other educators and access sustainability curriculum developed by other educators from across the country
What you'll receive:
Upon fulfilling course requirements, participants will receive a certificate indicating 15 recertification hours from Arizona State University, which are widely accepted. Note, we are also AZ and CA Department of Education Approved.
Meet the instructors
Dr. Annie Hale - Director, Research and Development Pathfinder Center, Biodesign Institute. Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation. Faculty Associate, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures
Dr. Hale is based at the Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA. She is a Director of Research and Development for the Biodesign Pathfinder Center. Dr. Hale's work combines the fields of science and technology studies, sustainability, and design from a human-centered approach. Her research interests focus on the question: How do people construct and understand the world around them, and, in turn, how do those constructs change the way people engage with their world? She directs a variety of educational programs that target sustainability and 21st-century learning that aim to inspire, engage, and empower a variety of publics, from educators to community leaders, through elegantly-designed experiences. Dr. Hale is a learning design expert weaving in best pedological practices for online, hybrid, flipped, and face-to-face learning experiences. With a background in design, Dr. Hale creates experiences that are simple, smart, and well-conceived.
Dr. Leanna Archambault - Associate Professor, Learning Design and Technology, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Program Coordinator, Learning Design and Technology M.Ed.
Dr. Leanna Archambault is an Associate Professor of Learning Design and Technology within the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Her research areas include teacher preparation for K-12 online and blended classrooms, the use of innovative technologies to improve learning outcomes, and sustainability literacy for preservice and inservice teachers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are educators saying about this course?
“This course provided me with resources I plan to utilize in my own classroom. Great PD that shows the importance of engaging our students with real-world issues and promoting them to be informed thinkers and problem solvers.”
- Evan (elementary generalist teacher)
“This course is a great way to learn more about sustainability, or even to learn about it for the first time. It's self-paced, so there's not so much pressure. It works for all levels of teaching subjects and grades, and all levels of teachers can get from it what they need.”
- Lauren (elementary math teacher)
“I enjoyed my experience, and learned something new!”
- Aisha (high school math and science teacher)
I’m not a science teacher; does this course work for me?
Yes! This course is specifically designed to explore how sustainability topics and thinking meaningfully cross all subject areas. We’ve already seen really great ideas from Early Education, Math, Language Arts, and History educators, to name a few. The goal is to foster critical, creative, and accurate thinking skills to empower a growing, diverse population to succeed in the 21st century.
Roughly 35 minutes of award-winning digital stories that highlight sustainability topics and insights from real teachers, their students, and experts from the School of Sustainability and Teachers College at Arizona State University. The videos are short and to the point – full of practical, actionable tips you can apply to your classroom the very next day. Beyond video content, there is an array of curated materials, activities, and insight for the educator who wants to learn about integrating sustainability into their curriculum.
Will I receive feedback on my work and ideas?
Yes! We believe that high-quality professional learning must build in time for teachers to think about, receive input on, and make changes to their ideas by facilitating reflection and soliciting feedback. Feedback and reflection help educators to thoughtfully move toward expert visions of practice.
How much time will I need to spend in the course?
Most of our educators engage with the content for roughly 5-8 hours over a two-week period. Some spend more time, some less. It’s really up to the individual.
Is there an exam or quiz in the course?
No. Teachers will participate in activities, but there are no quizzes or exams.
Who made this course?
This course is one of many designed and curated by the Sustainability Science Education Project (SSE) at Arizona State University. As home to Arizona's oldest teachers college and the #1 university in innovation (U.S. News and World Report), ASU has always recognized the tremendous importance educators have in preparing the next generation of leaders. We view sustainability science as the foundation to achieving this mission. The SSE team, led by Nobel Laureate Dr. Lee Hartwell, consists of 24 talented researchers, designers, student workers, and collaborators from diverse disciplines including education, sustainability, and the sciences. This unique blend of interdisciplinary talent makes our team well positioned to carry out the work of creating and extending efforts in the field of sustainability science. All course content meets the standards of the Arizona Board of Regents, and has been thoroughly vetted by experts in the field. For more information on the Sustainability Science Education Project, please visit http://sse.asu.edu.
Can I use this course toward teacher recertification requirements?
Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate indicating 15 recertification hours. States, districts, and schools often have their own criteria for awarding these units, so you may want to connect with your school's PD coordinator to confirm its application.
What are the Minimum System Requirements?
- Laptop or desktop computer (Mac or PC) with updated operating system
- Internet connection 4Mbps or faster (test)
- Microsoft Word
- Adobe PDF viewer