An Integrated Framework for Sustainable Schools

An Integrated Framework for Sustainable Schools

Ting Wang (College of Foreign Languages, Huzhou University, Zhejiang, China)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEM.2016070102


This article proposes a framework which presents a general overview of the key components within school scenario in relation to going green. Three important human factors are covered by the framework. They are school leaders, teachers, and students. Each of the groups contributes to implementing green school practices successfully through analysis. School leaders' attitudes are very decisive at the beginning of a new program. Teachers, who link both school leaders and students, undertake important roles of spreading and performing green school practices. Besides, students are the core of the framework. Going green cannot be finally realized if students are unwilling to participate and have weak awareness of environmental protection. In order to test whether the three groups of people are going to cooperate in implementing green school practices, the framework suggest following the theory of planned behavior (TPB). It is a theory widely used for checking human behavior and intentions. The article ends in presenting recommendations and research possibilities for implementing green school practices based on the proposed framework.
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Review Of Literature

Humans are considered as embedded within the ecosystem. Education is to limit human interference with the ecosystem and assure long-term sustainability (Edwards, 2005). Sustainability is about creating a positive future for humans through learning, leading, and engaging in sustainable practices (Birney & Reed, 2009). It is a practical activity for communities, educators, and young people. In this case, education is a way by which people may find whether their practices are sustainable or not through learning.

By integrating sustainability into education, a green school or a sustainable school is not only a caring place like a traditional school (Porritt, Hopkins, Birney, & Reed, 2009). A green school prepares young people for sustainable living through its teaching and daily practices. In green schools, students are taught to care for themselves, for each other, and for the environment. They learn to care about energy and water consumption, production of waste, and the safe quality of food.

A sustainable school also makes people aware of the challenges and opportunities for those living in its community and others of the world. It cultivates students to become leaders and citizens understanding how the natural world works and to have the knowledge and skills to act efficiently on that understanding (Stone & Ecoliteracy, 2009). Compared to a traditional school, a sustainable school saves on average $100,000 per year, which reduces the overhead costs of a school (Beaver, 2009). In this way, administrators and school districts have more money to purchase useful textbooks or hire more teachers. Therefore, building sustainable schools is quite beneficial and important for leading today’s children toward a sustainable future.

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