CELF Summer Institute: Education for Sustainability

2016 Summer Institute: July 18-21
Time: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm daily
@Manhattanville College (Purchase, NY)

3-day Summer Institute, with optional 4th day for further curriculum development and break-out sessions. Learn more.

Introduce Education for Sustainability (EfS) to your classroom - any classroom, any subject!


  • EfS prepares students for the challenges of the 21st Century by employing inquiry-based, student-centered teaching methods that help students grow as critical thinkers and engaged citizens.
  • Students who experience education for sustainability by means of place- and problem-based learning show improved achievement in all academic areas.
  • Teachers who learn techniques and standards of sustainability education are immediately more relevant and compelling educators, no matter what subject area or age group they teach.


CELF’s Summer Institute will enable teachers to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their existing curricula. This program equips K-12 teachers with practices and teaching methods to address the core concepts of EfS – the intersection of social, economic, and ecological systems.

Teachers participate in the CELF Summer Institute in order to:

  • Become familiar with teaching strategies that challenge students to embrace complex problem solving, encourage students to transfer and relate information between disciplines through hands-on and collaborative activities, compel students to connect to their community – at home, in school, and in the world beyond, and inspire them to make a difference.
  • Explore effective and engaging methods of communicating the interconnections between a healthy environment, a vibrant economy and fair and equitable social sector – and how the balance of those three systems is vital to a sustainable future, and relevant to every academic subject area.

2015 Guest Presentations:

  • Ground-breaking EcoMUVE curriculum that links STEM with outdoor learning. Presented by Dr. Amy Kamarainen, Senior Research Manager, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • How Education for Sustainability develops critical thinking skills for College and Career readiness. Presented by Dr. Riva Krut, Global Sustainability, Praxair, an international industrial gases leader.
  • Developing Citizen Scientists using preserved land as outdoor classrooms; learn systems thinking through mapping environmental, economic and social impacts of land use. Presented by Westchester Land Trust.
  • PBL and Place-based Learning through Environmental Forensics. Presented by Mt. Sinai Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.
  • Learn how teachers and schools have successfully implemented EfS standards into existing curriculum. (See examples here.)

Attending the CELF Summer Institute had a profound impact on my teaching. I walked away with many practical tools to use in my classroom instruction. By really deepening my understanding of the importance of Sustainability Education, I was able to unfold this philosophy in little ways throughout the school year. Teaching students that what they do now will affect them later was a big concept for young learners.... I cannot see myself teaching without the tools and philosophy that I secured through a CELF Summer Institute. Hands-down it was the best continuing education credit that I have earned in my years as a classroom teacher.
~Trish Zarro, Springhurst Elementary School, Dobbs Ferry, NY





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Some CELF SI Outcomes:

See exciting integrated curriculum concepts developed by participants in the Summer Institute»

CELF Summer Institute inspires one of first programs to build environmental literacy teaching skills in an undergraduate teacher certification program»

The Institute was a 'born again' experience for me. I have never been so compelled to re-think my purpose as an educator.
CELF 2010 Boston Summer Institute Participant

The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation is an amazing catalyst. They bring high quality people together in high quality programming to transform visions and compel action for a sustainable future. From my beginnings as a participant in CELF’s 2009 Sustainability Education Summer Institute to my current role as member of the Summer Institute faculty I have been inspired by CELF’s dedication to helping educators from all walks of life understand sustainability as an urgent and compelling context for learning. Unlike others who market pre-packaged programs and curricula, CELF works tirelessly to understand the shifting tides of state and national education policy, to understand the context in which teachers are being asked to perform and to develop programming that will meet the needs of the people who most need and want to be involved in education for a sustainable future.
Sherie McClam, PhD, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Assistant Professor, School of Education, Manhattanville College

CELF NYC DoE Summer Institute


Copyright 2014. Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation. All Rights Reserved. CELF-taught is a Service Mark of CELF.