About The Collective

What is Education for Sustainability?

Education for Sustainability (EfS) is an approach to teaching and learning that that equips students, teachers, and school systems with the new knowledge and ways of thinking we need to achieve economic prosperity and responsible citizenship while restoring the health of the living systems upon which our lives depend.

EfS is distinguished by processes that includes a whole system of dynamic and interconnected elements. Enduring Understandings, Applied Knowledge and Actions, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Dispositions, and Authentic Place-Based Community Connections are considered essential to educating for a sustainable future.

The EfS Collective began the process of articulating those elements and the policies and practices that support them as documented in the EfS Benchmarks.

What is The EfS Collective?

The EfS Collective is a group of scholars, researchers and practitioners who are interested in advancing Education for Sustainability.  We believe that in order to accelerate and scale EfS in formal education we need to provide educators with exemplary content and tools that reflect and are aligned to the EfS Benchmarks. We want to increase the quantity of high quality EfS curricula and learning experiences, designed, delivered and assessed in schools and universities. 

What is The EfS Reservoir?

The EfS Reservoir will be a multi-media repository of exemplars aligned to the EfS Benchmarks. The exemplars will include quality curriculum units, courses, assessments, performance criteria, student work samples and eventually stories, interviews, discussions, images, narration and film that will illustrate the contexts and the impact of this work in schools and communities.


The EfS Reservoir will serve teachers, professors, researchers, administrators, and curriculum designers by giving them developmentally appropriate “quality anchors” as they design, adapt and deliver educational experiences that prepare young people to participate in, and lead with us, the shift toward a sustainable future.

The goals of The Collective and The EfS Reservoir of Exemplars are to:

  • Increase the number of quality EfS curricula and programming designed, delivered and assessed in schools and universities
  • Make accessible exemplary EfS materials that reflect the EfS Benchmarks to a wide range of researchers and practitioners
  • Produce verifiable data on the results of EfS on students, faculty, school culture and sustainable community development

To meet our goals, we will:

  • Collect exemplary EfS curriculum materials and student work samples across grade levels
  • Develop accurate EfS proficiency scales and learning progressions over time
  • Achieve, evaluate and calibrate quality, depths of knowledge expectations and grade level appropriateness
  • Conduct strength and gap assessments of EfS attributes commonly being targeted and assessed for, and identify those that are not
  • Track geographic/demographic data on the sources of excellence in EfS and expand the range of sources

We invite you to read through the EfS Benchmarks, choose and submit exemplars that you believe align with them, and fill out the accompanying survey describing your submission.