Description

Circles of Sustainability is a self-evaluation tool designed to build educator capacity in K-12 schools seeking sustainability solutions. Based on the Sustainable Schools Challenge Handbook from Memphis, Tennessee, Circles of

Circles of Sustainability is a self-evaluation tool designed to build educator capacity in K-12 schools seeking sustainability solutions. Based on the Sustainable Schools Challenge Handbook from Memphis, Tennessee, Circles of Sustainability considers environmental impact and efficiency, a healthy and safe school environment, sustainability and environmental education, and engagement and empowerment as four key pillars of whole-school sustainability. Each pillar is composed of elements and rubric items, which are reviewed, totaled, and colored in on the front page of the tool to help educators visualize and evaluate the current state of sustainability at their school. Since its first iteration completed in May 2017, the tool has been used by 300 educators throughout the United States during ASU's Sustainability Teachers' Academy (STA) workshops. Circles of Sustainability is completed as part of an activity called "Evaluating Your Community," where educators complete the tool and then brainstorm sustainability projects and solutions for their school and community. This paper is a review and discussion of the research, informal feedback and formal feedback used to create the second iteration of the tool. A second iteration of the tool was created to make the tool more user-friendly and ensure each pillar, element, and rubric item are based in research. The informal feedback was conducted during STA workshops in Tempe, Arizona; Abingdon, Virginia; Princeton, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Tucson, Arizona; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The formal feedback was conducted using a survey distributed to teachers who participated in the Tucson and Charlotte workshops. Overall, educators have responded positively to the tool, and the second iteration will continue to be used in future STA workshops throughout the United States.

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