The Center for Ecoliteracy is a leader in the green schooling movement. Smart by Nature™ is the Center’s framework for schooling for sustainability based on two decades of work with schools and organizations in more than 400 communities around the world. Organizing school gardens, school lunches, and integrating ecological principles and sustainability into school curricula.
Books Ecoliteracy offers include:
Ecoliteracy's website offers hundreds of downloadable resource materials, including practical guides, essays by leading writers and experts, and inspiring stories of school communities and organizations that are engaged in this vital work.
Biomimicry 3.8 Institute
offers short-term workshops and two-year certificate courses in biomimicry for professionals, and helps to develop and share biomimicry-related curricula used in a range of educational venues, from K-12 classrooms to universities, as well as in non-formal settings such as zoos and museums. The Biomimicry Institute does not conduct its own research; rather, it serves as a clearinghouse and resource for those who do.
Finnish Education System
According to the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment Scores, Finland ranks the highest. In comparison to other industrialized nations, the Finns have implemented a radically different model of educational reform—based on a balanced curriculum and professionalization, not testing. The curriculum is “thinking-based,” and the guiding principles include equity, creativity, and prosperity. Requiring arts and crafts; provides ample time for play and physical activity; and does not mandate standardized testing. There are fewer school days in Finland than in the U.S., with shorter school days and more outdoor/recess time. Elementary schools get 75 minutes of recess a day, venturing outside even in subzero temperatures. (“If [it's] minus 15 [Celsius] and windy, maybe not,” concedes Principal Timo Heikkinen.) compulsory schooling doesn’t begin until age seven. Finnish kids do little or no homework in the earlier years and only about a half hour a night in high school. All teachers receive a master’s degree that is content-based (rather than theory-based) and the acceptance rate into teacher training programs is less than 10%. Teachers often stay with their class and teach the same students for several years.
Skårungen kindergarten, Norway
Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is based on an anthroposophical view. The education mirrors the basic stages of a child's development from childhood to adulthood. The central focus for the Waldorf teacher is to instil in his/her pupils an understanding of and appreciation for their background and place in the world, not primarily as members of any specific nation, ethnic group or race, but as members of humanity and world citizens.
Thus, the Waldorf kindergarten cultivates and works in support of the pre-school child's deep, inborn natural attitude, belief and trust in and basic reverence for the world as an interesting and good place to live in.
In the lower grades in elementary school, this leads over to using artistic elements in different forms (rhythm, movement, color, form, recitation, song, music), not primarily as a means of personal self expression, but as a means to learn to understand and relate to the world, building an understanding for different subjects out of what is beautiful in the world in the broadest sense of the word.
And in the upper grades and high school, this leads in steps to an ever more conscious cultivation of an observing, reflecting and experimental scientific attitude to the world, focusing on building an understanding of what is true, based on personal experience, thinking and judgment.
The goal of Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is to enable students as fully as possible to choose and, in freedom, to realize their individual path through life as adults.
Hershey Montessori Farm School
The International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) formed as a result of the International Green Schoolyards Conference held in California in September 2011as a network of organizations and individuals working to improve school grounds around the world. This video records some of the perspectives presented at the conference by leaders in the school ground field from seven countries including: Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the United States. For more information, please see: www.greenschoolyards.org and www.internationalschoolgrounds.org
The Edible Schoolyard Project was started in 1995 by Alice Waters at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Berkeley, California with the idea to start a garden and then, build a teaching kitchen that could become tools for enriching the curriculum and life of the school community. Teaching fractions in the kitchen as a way of making math interactive, and growing heirloom grains in the garden as a way of teaching early civilizations. They hired a kitchen director with whom many of the school’s teachers collaborated to generate garden and kitchen lessons linked to classroom studies, scheduling regular class time with their students in the garden and kitchen.
The Middle School was able to incorporate traditional school celebrations into the Edible Schoolyard Project, such as Family Writing Night and the English Language Learners Dinner. They have an annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale that has become a significant community and fundraising event. They've incorporated a summer program for students and host a teaching academy for educators from around the United States and the world, who want to begin or further develop, edible education programs in their communities. Each year, the Edible Schoolyard hosts over 1,000 visitors who experience its impact for themselves. Guests have included HRH Prince of Wales, Governor of California Jerry Brown, multiple state Senators, California’s Secretary of Agriculture and the Surgeon-General. For the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, they brought the Edible Schoolyard to the National Mall in Washington DC. The site was visited by one million people.
The school has two 3,500-gallon cisterns that collect the rainwater that irrigates the lower orchard; a chicken coop for their expanding flock of chickens and ducks, using more than 500 eggs in the kitchen classroom; it is lush with more than one hundred varieties of seasonal vegetables, herbs, vines, berries, flowers and fruit trees. The Edible Schoolyard staff includes five teachers, two AmeriCorps members, and two adminstrative positions – fully supported by the project. A robust corps of thirty volunteers generously supports their work. They have served over 7,000 students, who often return to say that what they remember most about middle school is the time they spent in the Edible Schoolyard.
Schools, colleges, teams, clubs, camps and youth organizations can leave behind the everyday distractions and social expectations that impede the process of discovery and learning by going into wilderness. Whether climbing a mountain, paddling through the wilds, or sailing a boat far down the coast, participants engage in activities with a real purpose and overcome challenges through problem-solving, leadership, effort, persistence and teamwork.
These wilderness adventures help individuals discover what it's like to contribute to a significant group accomplishment, tie the collaboration, values and achievements realized in the wilderness to personal excellence, leadership, care for community, environmental stewardship and direction-setting in their lives at school, work and home.
While anthroposophy forms the philosophical and theoretical basis of the teaching methods used in Waldorf schools and is reflected in the attitudes of many Waldorf teachers and in the general structuring and orientation of Waldorf education during the different stages of development, anthroposophy is not taught as such to the students in the overwhelming majority of Waldorf schools world wide.
If anthroposophy is taught in some form by an individual teacher, it is done against the basic Waldorf tradition and in complete contradiction of the intention of Waldorf education, as expressed by Rudolf Steiner as the founder of Waldorf education.
Most of the appr. 1.000 Waldorf schools world wide in different countries are non-profit, independent schools, starting with no public financial support. But an increasing number of Waldorf schools are supported by government funding in different countries. In the U.S., several schools have been established as Waldorf-methods "charter schools" within the public school system.
"The Huntsburg Campus of The Hershey Montessori School has a working farm, residential house, program barns, bio-shelter and classroom buildings on 97 acres of predominantly wooded land. It is the first farm school model of its kind to fully implement Dr. Montessori’s ideas about education for adolescents. The program focuses on three areas of growth and experiences for students; academics, personal growth and real life on a working farm." - Landartista on Learning Landscapes