9 a.m.–⁠4 p.m. daily
$600, includes light breakfast and lunch. Optional 3 graduate credits for additional fee.
Shelburne, VT
Registration Details

Before registering or coming to the Farm for this program, please read our COVID Policies & Information.


Registration is Required

  • Scholarships may be available on a need-based scale. Please fill out the scholarship application prior to registering for the program.
  • Optional graduate credits. Participants interested in receiving three graduate credits for participation in Foundations will register for credits and pay an additional fee ($705 for Vermont residents, $900 out-of-state residents). A completed project plan or curricular unit is the typical final product required for the course. Additional course hours will be online. Online sessions are Wednesdays and Fridays 9am-12pm; July 6 and 8 & 13 and 15.  All course work due August 5th.

Meet the Instructors

  • Jen Cirillo, Director of Professional Learning, Shelburne Farms
  • Simon Jorgenson, Associate Professor - Elementary Education, The University of Vermont
  • Courtney Mulcahy, School Programs Coordinator, Shelburne Farms


Registration and Scholarships

Foundations in Education for Sustainability 2022 (formerly known as Education for Sustainability: Summer Institute)

Educator Programs
Foundations in Education for Sustainability (Courtney Ley Photography)

Spend five rich days with colleagues from around the country at an informative and restorative experience created to give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of Education for Sustainability (EFS). This week is part conference, part workshop, part retreat.

Designed to be dynamic and democratic, Foundations in EFS offers teachers the time and space to develop projects of personal interest while providing opportunities to learn from colleagues and other leaders in the field of Education for Sustainability. Interactive sessions will feature a blend of individual work time, peer-to-peer feedback, resource sharing, hands-on learning experiences, and large and small group discussions. Our overall goal is to ensure participants have the opportunity to develop connections between curriculum and community, work and dialogue together, and reflect in an inspiring setting that models sustainability and systems-thinking.

The agenda for Foundations in EFS varies from year to year in order to provide a unique experience for participants. We design the agenda to align with your specific learning goals and teaching contexts.

To get a feel for the Institute, view a sample agenda from a previous year.

Course Goals/Objectives

You will:

  • Gain familiarity with and practice the skills to apply Education for Sustainability as a unifying framework for education that helps students contribute to creating a healthy future for their communities, economically, socially, and environmentally.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the concept of sustainability: promising practices and big ideas (concepts), and its application in formal and non-formal education settings to address social, environmental, and economic issues.
  • Deepen your understanding of complex systems and systems dynamics in social and ecological contexts.
  • Understand and practice the strategies and pedagogies employed for integrating sustainability into schools (curriculum development, campus ecology, collaboration, and community partnerships).
  • Build knowledge about community sustainability efforts, resources, and opportunities to integrate them into curriculum.

Watch more about our climate change education in the elementary classroom: