Frameworks & Standards: something to hang your hat (or your curriculum) on

Okay, so we’re on the sustainability bandwagon (or bicycle, as the case may be), but how to move from philosophy to action?

The following two organizations are deeply immersed in bringing educating for sustainability into the classroom.  While neither of these organizations have created materials for world languages (to date, that I know of), they offer themes and standards that we can apply to our own work.

Facing the Future has created curricula to address global sustainability issues such as poverty, population, consumption, peace & conflict and the environment.

The Cloud Institute developed their own nine core content standards for educating for sustainability:  cultural preservation and transformation; local and global citizenship; dynamics of systems and change; sustainable economics; healthy commons; natural laws and ecological principles; inventing and affecting the future; multiple perspectives and a strong sense of place.  Descriptions of these standards are available on their web site.

Finally, speaking of multiple perspectives, Mexico’s Estrategía de Educación Ambiental para la Sustentabilidad  2006-2014  adds several interesting ideas.   According to their mission and values statements, EFS in México—among other things—seeks to strengthen multiple cultural identities within the country, improve the quality of life for all and protect biodiversity and ecosystems.  It values respect for life in all its manifestations, species and natural cycles, equity and solidarity and respect for human diversity manifested through tolerance, collaboration and the observance of human rights.

Any of the above would serve as a good foundation for transforming the Spanish curriculum to educate for sustainability.

I suggest choosing a few concepts that either resonate most with what you already do or that would be most inspiring to you and your students.  The following are some of the themes I’ve found to be compatible with my curriculum.

A sense of place

Multiple perspectives

Diversity & tolerance

Local and global citizenship/Interconnectedness  

Peace and conflict

Quality of life

Rights and solidarity

Environment & Ecology

Sustainable economics/consumption

About sustainabilityandspanish

Spanish teacher and accidental environmentalist.
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