Sustainability in education: fostering world citizenship for a better future
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Sustainability is an increasingly popular watchword in today’s society. From the environment to the economy, lawmakers and laymen alike are searching for ways to create lasting goods, services, programs and provisions for the future. When it comes to sustainability in education, I believe that educators have an unparalleled opportunity to foster and support enduring change for the greater good. Schools and universities have the crucial opportunity to foster responsibility and stewardship in our students. On the occasion of our centennial at Francis Parker School, it seems fitting to remember that, by teaching young people to act as citizens of the world, great educators can achieve the ultimate in sustainability – and ensure a better future by instilling the fundamental building blocks for an engaged and compassionate population.
In the context of environmental science, the term “sustainability” means “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.” More generally, “sustainability” is defined simply as “the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld or confirmed.” As educators, we carry the incredible responsibility of preparing today’s young people to serve as tomorrow’s leaders; and thus it is our duty to instill principles from both contexts – conservation of resources, balance, non-harmful action and ideas that can be upheld for the long haul – in everything we teach.
At Francis Parker School, sustainability lies at the heart of our educational mission. We strive for academic excellence, but also encourage balance to maintain social and emotional well being. We teach our students to be participants in the fundamental human conversation, ensuring that they are at once familiar with world outside our walls and the academic and emotional tools necessary to communicate with that world for the greater good. Our educators maintain an emphasis on ethics as determined by students’ experience and understanding, as opposed to a purely didactic approach. In this manner, we offer an exceptional college-preparatory education imbued with sustainable ideology – and a future for our students that shines bright with potential.
A century of educational leadership
Adequate education for every child is an essential component of sustainable society. This is a notion that has been with us for decades, and here at Francis Parker School it is one that we consider as important today as it was on the occasion of our founding one hundred years ago. While we strive for and greatly exceed mere adequacy when it comes to the education of our students, the ethos of equality remains at the core of our mission and philosophy. To learn more about our renowned private school in San Diego, including admissions and curriculum information, visit us online: www.francisparker.org.
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