Arizona’s state funded universities are howling over Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget proposal which calls for $75 million, or about a 10 percent, cut of state support. Still, “Because it views sustainability as increasingly important in light of the complex social, economic and environmental issues the world faces,” Arizona State University’s new National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy is aiming to bring teams of elementary, middle and high school teachers from across the nation together to establish an educational task force for sustainability.
According to a press release, “the teachers’ academy will focus on solutions-based curriculum with an emphasis on urban systems. ASU sustainability scientists and scholars will help coach and lead hands-on sessions on solutions surrounding food, water, energy and climate.”
“Teachers are ideally positioned as role models for future generations and have the capacity to reach a younger population that can be inspired to think creatively about solutions,” said Monica Elser, senior sustainability scientist and education manager in ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. “By combining online learning with in-person participation, we’re preparing our educators with the knowledge and practical skills to foster change agents.”
After the workshops, teachers will return to their school districts to lead workshops of their own, sharing what they’ve learned with their peers, according to the press release, and customized online curriculum and tools will continue to be available to teachers year-round.
“Sustainability touches so many core aspects of our everyday lives,” said Patricia Reiter, executive director of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. “By creating experiential learning opportunities that integrate science, technology, engineering and math with concepts of sustainability, our educators can not only teach better, but inspire future generations.”
The academy is currently accepting applications for the first workshop taking place June 22-26.