Big Ideas of Sustainability
The Big Ideas of Sustainability - when we talk about sustainability, especially with young students, it is critical to break out important concepts and ideas to make the word come alive. Below is a list of big ideas we use to help frame curriculum, projects, and build student understanding.
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- Ability to make a difference: everyone has the ability to affect change or impact a system, community, self.
- Change over time: all organisms/places/systems are constantly changing.
- Community: all communities involve nested economic, environmental, and social systems. We need to understand the interconnections to come up with sustainable solutions.
- Cycles: every organism/system goes through different stages.
- Diversity: systems/places function because of variety.
- Equilibrium: a state of balance.
- Equity/Fairness: resources need to be shared to meet the needs of living things across places and generations.
- Interdependence: all living things are connected. Every organism/system/place depends on others.
- Limits: every system has a carrying capacity.
- Long-term effects: we can project that actions will have effects beyond immediate reactions.
- Place: natural and human communities together make up one’s place. Every place has its own needs and limits.
- Systems: elements that affect each other and are connected through larger patterns.
Scope & Sequence of Big Ideas K-12 The Big Ideas lend themselves to curricular inclusion in a variety of ways. This scope and sequence suggests one possibility of how these big ideas can build upon one another across grade levels.