Professional Learning for Educators

Shelburne Farms’ professional learning programs prepare PK-12 educators to facilitate learning experiences for students with a lens of sustainability.  All of our programs support you in educating for a more healthy and just future. Grounded in the pedagogies of Education for Sustainability, we endeavor to support educators to see themselves as agents of change in a dynamic system.  Together we’ll cultivate a sense of joy and wonder for the world around us and share strategies to connect you and your students to social-ecological communities. Our team uses a research-based, relationship-driven approach to professional learning that supports you in building content knowledge, deepening your practice, accessing resources and making connections to your schools or organizations.

Our educator workshops are offered throughout the year, with many programs in the summer. To bring you the richest programming, we offer many of these workshops in partnership with other organizations. Many of our programs can be taken for graduate continuing education credits.

For questions, please contact our Director of Professional Development, Jen Cirillo:   [email protected] 


Online Summer Programs in 2020:

Education for Sustainability Immersion:  For those who already have a strong foundation in Education for Sustainability, this month-long program will provide you with the opportunity to reflect, learn, and collaborate with a group of colleagues from across the country. 

Transformative Leadership in Education for Sustainability: A compliment to our EFS Leadership Academy, this month-long experience focuses on leadership practices and tools to transform yourself and your community. 

Local Action, Global Impact: the Sustainable Development Goals in My Neighborhood: A deep dive into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Investigate this framework and apply the Global Goals to local, regional, and global contexts.


Year-Long Programs:

Climate Resiliency Fellowship:  A year-long professional learning opportunity for educators committed to learning and teaching about climate change through interdisciplinary and place-based approaches.

Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy: A year-long, residential, leadership academy that brings together education leaders to form a peer network committed to better aligning education towards the goals of ecological integrity, economic vitality, and social justice. 

Forest for Every Classroom: Explore the wonders of the forest while you learn how to use it as an extension of your classroom. Connect with national and state standards, address education for sustainability goals, and enhance your place-based and service learning practices. Gain the skills, connections, content knowledge and insights to transform your classroom.

Northeast Farm to School Institute: The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for selected school, early childhood, or district teams from New England and New York. Our year-long Institute kicks off with a Summer Retreat held at Shelburne Farms. This is a program of Vermont FEED, our farm to school partnership project with NOFA-VT.

Watershed for Every Classroom: A year-long professional development experience for K-12 educators in the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont, New York and Québec, brought to you by CBEI - the Champlain Basin Education Initiative.   


Watch and listen to educators reflect on our annual Summer Institute on Educating for Sustainability.

Annual Workshops:

ABCs of Farm-Based Education Spend three days in hands-on, discussion and activity-based learning and explore Shelburne Farms’ dairy, farmyard, garden, and forest classrooms. This workshop is designed for farmers, farm-based educators, and non-formal educators.

Digging Deeper with Our Farm ConnectionsNot offered in 2020. Calling all early childhood educators! Join us for a discovery and discussion of integrating cooking and connecting gardens and farms to your classroom.   You’ll have an opportunity to explore one of these three exciting tracks with shared learning in the morning and discussions and applications for your own practice in the afternoon. 

Digital Storytelling for Community Engagement and SustainabilityNot offered in  2020. Join VT Folklife Center and Shelburne Farms for a deep dive into tools and techniques for digital storytelling to engage students and communities in sustainability.  

Education for Sustainability Immersion - Online in 2020 : For those who already have a strong foundation in Education for Sustainability, this month-long program will provide you with the opportunity to reflect, learn, and collaborate with a group of colleagues from across the country. 

Education for Sustainability: Summer Institute: Spend five rich days with colleagues from around the country at an informative and restorative institute created to give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of Education for Sustainability. 

Local Action, Global Impact: the Sustainable Development Goals in my Neighborhood - Online in 2020:  A deep dive into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Iinvestigate this framework and apply the Global Goals to local, regional, and global contexts.

Project Seasons for Young Learners: Cultivating Joy & Wonder: A week long exploration of hands-on activities, shared learning, and facilitated discussions to engage and inspire curriculum for early learners.

Transformative Leadership in Education for Sustainability - Online in 2020: A compliment to our EFS Leadership Academy, this month-long experience focuses on leadership practices and tools to transform yourself and your community. 


School-Based Programming

Sustainable Schools Project: Engage your students and improve your school using sustainability as an integrating context for your school’s curriculum, community partnerships, and campus practices.

Vermont FEED: Raise your school and community’s awareness about healthy food, the role of Vermont farms and farmers, and good nutrition.