Education for Sustainability in the K-12 Educational System of the United States

  • Noah Weeth Feinstein
  • Ginny Carlton
Part of the Schooling for Sustainable Development book series (SSDE, volume 4)


This chapter describes the evolution and current status of education for sustainability (EfS) in the K-12 school system of the United States. We briefly review the major educational and political movements that set the stage for contemporary EfS in the United States. In particular, we describe how the guiding concept of sustainability vanished and reemerged from discussions about education in the early years of the twenty-first century. We outline the national and state policy landscape and discuss the unusual role of educational nonprofits in shaping policy. Then, drawing on the available research literature and on illustrative examples from educational practice, we discuss the nascent strengths and formidable challenges facing EfS in US public schools. Throughout the chapter, we focus particular attention on the contribution of environmental education to EfS.


Environmental Education Curriculum Material Charter School Independent School Sustainability Challenge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.College of Natural ResourcesUniversity of Wisconsin-Stevens PointStevens PointUSA

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