A Practical Guide to Leading Green Schools
Partnering with Nature to Create Vibrant, Flourishing, Sustainable Schools
This practical guide for educational leaders explores how you can transform your school or district into a vibrant center of learning and socio-ecological responsibility with only three manageable actions: taking students outside, bringing nature inside, and cultivating a mindset of awareness, responsibility, and empathy. This book is rich in practical, attainable approaches and stories of real actions taken by leaders, teachers, parents, and community partners to design, lead, and manage a vibrant, flourishing, sustainable learning community. Authors Uline and Kensler take you on an inspirational journey through nine key leadership strategies for you to begin or expand your work towards whole school sustainability.
Table of Contents
Action 1: BRING NATURE INSIDE 1. LEAD: Cultivate Living Systems-Minded Leadership 2. DESIGN: Choose Sustainable Building Systems and Design Features 3. MAINTAIN AND OPERATE: Operate and Maintain Healthy, Safe, Sustainable Learning Environments ACTION 2: TAKE STUDENTS OUTSIDE 4. TEACH: Prepare Teachers to Teach in Nature 5. LEARN: Invite Students and Teachers to Learn in Nature 6. PLAY: Restore Nature Play into the School Day ACTION 3: CARE 7. MODEL: Cultivate and Model Care, Awareness, Responsibility, and Empathy 8. PARTNERS: Build Caring Partnerships 9. START SMALL: Start Small and Stay Anchored in a Vision of Vibrant, Flourishing, Sustainable Schools
Cynthia L. Uline is former Director of the National Center for the 21st Century Schoolhouse and Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University, USA.
Lisa A. W. Kensler is the Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor of Educational Leadership at Auburn University, USA.
"This book offers all those able to provide leadership in schools with an ambitious vision of how schools might nurture the capacities needed by their student to solve some of the most pressing problems of our time. It is a vision about connections, stewardship, responsibility and getting started. And it offers practical examples of what can be done."
—Ken Leithwood, Emeritus Professor, University of Toronto
"Uline and Kensler’s Practical Guide to Leading Green Schools is, surprisingly, really practical. In their previous book, they provided the research and theoretical frameworks. Here, they get down to brass tacks. Their focused case study on one California school district allows them to provide the nitty-gritty details of leading school change. This one case study is embellished with leadership challenges and stories from around the country. From describing initiatives on how to reduce the district’s carbon footprint through infrastructure upgrades to kindergarteners initiating a campaign to get rid of plastic straws in the school lunch program, the authors provide tangible examples of how to make the world a better place by making schools greener and healthier."
—David Sobel, Professor Emeritus, Antioch University New England
"Refreshingly practical, this guide is rooted in both a deep respect for the challenges that school leaders face and pragmatic optimism about the kind of places our schools can be for students and communities. You can transform your school into an engaging and supportive place for learning while also protecting the health of our planet, and this book will show you how, step by step."
—Anisa Heming, Director, Center for Green Schools, Washington, D.C.