MARCH 16, 2011
SEDI is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Teacher Awards for Sustainability Curriculum. This awards program provides $500 cash prizes to the region’s teachers for incorporating sustainability concepts into classroom instruction and projects.
School gardening programs and lessons addressing the importance of locally produced foods are some of the ways in which schools are incorporating an ethic of sustainability into curriculum.
Sustainable thinking will be required for tomorrow’s citizens and leaders. In meeting challenges, today’s students must learn that parts of a system — such as people, economies and societies — belong to a larger whole. SEDI recognizes teachers who are fostering an understanding that the health of people and economies is connected to the health of natural systems.
The purpose of the Sustainability in Education awards is to encourage and recognize development and implementation of innovative educational approaches that instill in students the importance, value and practicality of local environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability.
Last year’s winners included teachers from Puente de Hozho, Knoles Elementary School and the Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy.
Among the 2009 winners is Rosemary Logan. Logan was awarded $500 for her incorporation of sustainability concepts into classroom lessons. Guided by Logan’s lesson plan, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy’s 10th-12th grade classes learned about the Colorado Plateau’s indigenous inhabitants, whose sustainable lifestyle endured for thousands of years.
“I think students learned how important and deeply connected biological and cultural, linguistic diversity are,” Logan said.
Lessons like Logan’s guide students toward a perspective of society that includes systems thinking.
“For years ecologists and environmentalists have been working on their thing, and social justice and indigenous rights groups have been working on theirs,” Logan said. “The students learned that the two areas are connected and that you can’t have a healthy environment without healthy human communities and vice versa.”
Logan’s students studied the Colorado Plateau. By taking a deeper look at the region in which they lived, the value of northern Arizona’s rich environment became apparent.
“When the students study this topic in the context of their own region, the Colorado Plateau- which is among the most diverse areas bioculturally in North America- they discover how incredible this place is and what is at stake when we lose a species or a language,” Logan said.
Applications for the awards are now open. Classroom teachers in Coconino County, Winslow, and Verde Valley schools are eligible. Grade categories are K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.