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Author's note
What is E S D?
Reorienting Education
Localizing the Global Initiative
Challenges and Barriers to E S D
Community Sustainability Goals
Case Study: Toronto, Canada Board of Education
Managing Change
Public Participation
Concluding remarks
Tools to Introduce the Concept of Sustainable Development
Tools to Create Community Goals
Tools to Reorient Education to Address Sustainability
Tools for Managing Change
Web resources

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Participants use a checklist and outline to select and prioritize actions needed to implement a project.


To design an action plan for a project related to education for sustainability.

Group size: 2 to 10 participants.

Time Needed: 30 minutes to 1 hour.



  1. Write the name of the project in the space provided on the worksheet. Complete a short description of the project. Write the goal of the action plan. To complete the action plan, use the results from the following exercises:
    • Stoplight
    • Inventory of Support and Resistance
    • Commitment Charting
  1. Complete the Action Plan worksheet. Consider the following questions and write your answers in the blanks provided on the worksheet:
    • What are the main tasks necessary to accomplish this project?
    • Are some tasks complex enough to require sub-tasks? If so, what are they?
    • Who is responsible for each task?
    • How will we manage overall coordination among tasks and sub-tasks?
    • What will we use for milestones for each task and for the overall success of the project?
    • How will the project coordinator track progress?
  1. Discuss the following questions to evaluate the action plan. If the answer is "No" for any of the questions, use the exercises Examining Assumptions and Steering Around the Barriers. Then revise the action plan, and repeat completion of the Action Plan worksheet.
    • Does the team understand the steps necessary for this project?
    • Does the team have the skills needed for this project?
    • Does the team have the courage to carry out this project?
    • Does the team have the time needed to carry out the action plan for this project?
    • Does the team have all the other resources needed to carry through this project effectively?
    • Does the team have the political clout to carry out the action plan for this project?
    • Does the team have the interest and enthusiasm necessary to carry out the action plan for this project?
  1. Does this action plan need to go out for wider review? If "No," then begin implementation of the action plan. If "Yes," then discuss and consider the following questions:
    • Who is the audience for appraising your initial plan?
    • What methods will you use to check with the consituency and stakeholders about the progress on this project?
    • What methods will you use to check with the consituency and stakeholders about success on this project?
    • What plans do you have for revising the initial plan if feedback indicates a need for change?


Gateway Center for Resource Efficiency A Division of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The 8-Step Action Plan.

Hungerford, Harold, and Trudi Volk, John Ramsey, Ralph Literland, and R. Ben Peyton. Solid Thinking About Solid Waste: An Environmental Curriculum for Grades Six to Nine. 1992. Kraft General Foods Environmental Institute. Northfield, Illinois.

Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), in cooperation with the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC). February 2000. "Introduction: What is a Local Environmental Action Program?" In: Guide to Implementing Local Environmental Action Programs. LEAP Local Environmental Action Programs in Central and Eastern Europe. Report financed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development.

Sustainability Team of The Nottingham City Council, Roger Hawkins, Brian Parburr, et al. July 2001. "Changing Our City, Changing Ourselves, or What we can do to make a cleaner, greener, safer, healthier Nottingham." In: Changing Our City, Changing Ourselves: Nottingham's Local Agenda 21 Plan. Nottingham, UK.

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