Education for Sustainability

The Education for Sustainability Workgroup works to implement a model of place-based education for sustainability throughout the Philadelphia region. The focus of the effort is on supporting teachers to include education for sustainability content (EFS Standards) and authentic, place-based pedagogies that put learning into action in their teaching.

Cultivating responsible citizenship

Our aim is to ensure that students have both the opportunities to address authentic sustainability challenges in their own schools and communities and the connection to community resources to find solutions.


Victor Donnay
Professor of Mathematics

Bryn Mawr College

Paul Morgan
Director of Sustainability Education Programs

West Chester University

Anna Balfanz
Emerson Fellow of the Netter Center

University of Pennsylvania


There is an urgent national and global need for STEM literate citizens who understand the challenges of sustainability and are prepared to engage in solutions. This need will go unmet without a collaboration between highly effective teachers who can engage and inspire students to address the challenges in their own communities through place-based education for sustainability and community stakeholders who will partner with schools to realize lasting solutions.


The Workgroup actively supports implementation of the School District of Philadelphia’s comprehensive sustainability plan, GreenFutures, which calls for inclusion of education for sustainability principles throughout the curriculum.  Through collaborations and grants, the Workgroup supports teacher teams and their students to develop partnerships with community organizations to address local needs. It also works closely with PHENND Sustainability to bring university partners together to address sustainability needs on campys, with community organizitons and with schools.