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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Environmental Education

Teaching for sustainability

Learning for sustainability seeks to enable and empower students to make decisions and take actions that contribute to creating a sustainable society and ecosystem. Sustainability action is both a preferred pedagogical approach for teaching sustainability and an essential set of knowledge and skills for students to learn.

This learning is best delivered through a wide range of teaching and learning activities utilising all of the Key Learning Areas. Students will develop strong environmental knowledge, awareness and capacity for positive environmental change when it contextualised or taught using real examples, problem solving and with active student participation.

Sustainability action process (SAP)

This process supports students to identify, investigate and take sustainability action. When sustainability action is applied as a systematic process to issues and needs, it can be modelled, reapplied to new problems and learned by students with increasing levels of sophistication and complexity. The ultimate learning goal is for students to be able to implement sustainability action with such fluency that they can operate independently of the need for a scaffolded process. The Sustainability action process has five steps:

  1. Making a case for change
  2. Developing the scope
  3. Defining the proposal
  4. Implementing
  5. Evaluating and reflecting
graphical representation of SAP

Sustainability action process learning resources

These resources are being developed though 2013 and 2014 and comply with the Board of Studies NSW revised syllabus.

Primary (Stage 2 & 3)                Secondary (Stage 4 & 5)     
Energy use and efficiencyEnergy use and efficiency
Water use and efficiencyWater use and efficiency
Waste and materialsWaste and materials
Sustainable transportSustainable transport
Kitchen gardensKitchen gardens
Thermal comfortThermal comfort


The ARIES Collection’ The Australian Research Institute for Environment and Sustainability team at Macquarie University have put together a selection of online videos from around the world to educate, engage, inspire, perplex, enlighten, delight and stimulate debate about all things to do with sustainability education and  development.

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