Jaimie Cloud – profile of a pioneer in education for sustainability
The Hudson Valley north of New York is considered by many to be the cradle of the modern American environmental movement. It was the inspiration for the landscape paintings of Thomas Cole and the locus of the struggle between environmental groups and developers in the 1960s and ‘70s following decades of industrial contamination, a conflict that has made the Hudson River today a symbol of effective environmental action and community stewardship.
A critical question for our time
It is here, near the village of Rhinebeck, that Jaimie Cloud has spent the last twenty five years grappling with one of most important questions of our time – how do we educate for a sustainable future?
For all its importance at this moment in our history, it is a question that still gets very little mainstream attention. Only a minority of students graduate from school with a common core of knowledge of sustainability, and teacher training in education for sustainability – something that ought to be a requirement – is not widely available.
And if our worsening environmental crises are any indication, it is also a question we have yet to answer satisfactorily.
Jaimie Cloud’s journey and the work of the Cloud Institute
Jaimie began her career with the ambition of educating for a better future at a time before the terms sustainable development and education for sustainability had first appeared. As the discipline of education for sustainability took shape, there were many different viewpoints on how to approach it.
Years of tracking the data on how unstainable the world was becoming, and teaching global studies in New York City public schools, led her to the realization we more often teach “about” un-sustainability, then than educating “for” sustainability. Her quest to identify best practice in the latter continues to this day.
She founded The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education in 1995 to closely monitor the evolving thinking and skills of the most important champions of sustainability and transform these ideas and skills into pedagogical systems and educational materials that inspire young people to think about the world, their relationship to it, and their ability to influence it in new ways.
The EfS benchmarks – a consensus view
For more than a quarter of a century, Jaimie has advocated for why EfS needs to be an essential part of every child’s education, and has assisted schools and school systems on how to educate for sustainability.
Her work led to the publication in 2016 of a seminal paper: ‘Educating for a Sustainable Future: Benchmarks for Individual and Social Learning’ in The Journal of Sustainability Education.
Co-authored by Jaime Cloud and 42 of the world’s leading scholars and practitioners in the field, “Benchmarks” represents the closest thing there is today to a consensus view of the essential elements that define the field of Education for Sustainability (EfS).
Jaimie Cloud’s other work in the field of Education for Sustainability
In addition to her work with The Institute, Jaimie
- writes and publishes extensively on EfS,
- sits on the board of several impactful organizations, including “The Future We Want” with David Orr and Bill Becker,
- mentors doctoral students studying Sustainability Education at Prescott College, and
- is a faculty member of the MFA Design for Social Innovation program at the School of Visual Arts
In 2015, Jaimie was nominated for the Brock International Prize in Education.
A free webinar with Jaimie Cloud – Introduction to Education for Sustainability
Metanoia is pleased to be partnering with the Cloud Institute to introduce her work to schools and teachers in Asia and the Middle East.
Please join us on January 25th or 26th for two free webinars with Jaimie Cloud entitled: Introduction to Education for Sustainability.
Register for Webinar 1 HERE:
Tue, January 25, 2022
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM HKT
Register for Webinar 2 HERE:
Wed, January 26, 2022
7:00 PM – 8:15 PM HKT