TEACHING AND LEARNING FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD:
A SYSTEMS THINKING APPROACH

Compass Education Level 1 Online Course

About the Course

Upcoming Dates in SY 2023-2024

  • 4 September – 22 October 2023
  • 15 January – 3 March 2024
  • 15-28 July 2024 (intensive course). Learn more here.

Registration opens on November 15. Sign up for the waitlist to be notified upon its opening!

Course Fee

Product Level 1 Only Level 1 + Level 2
Single Registration USD $419 USD$819
School Cohort of 3-5 people USD $389/person USD $789/person
School Cohort of 6+ people USD $369/person N/A

NOTE:
Learn more about the Level 1 and Level 2 package here.
Scholarships are available for public schools in developed countries and by application.

Graduate credit available for an additional USD $130. Click here for more info. 

Who Can Participate

This course is designed for (formal and non-formal) educators and program leaders who want to integrate sustainability education and systems thinking into their teaching practice. It would also be of value to curriculum leaders and principals interested in understanding what the practical application of sustainability education looks like.

Facilitators

This course is facilitated by certified Compass Facilitators. Check out our team of Compass Facilitators here.

Other Info

  • This course consists of blended synchronous and asynchronous learning that typically requires 2-3 hours per week. The course must be completed within seven weeks of the start date.
  • To gain Compass Practitioner (Level 1) certification it is necessary to complete all activities to a satisfactory level and complete a final project that includes creating a lesson plan using the tools.

This course is also available as an on-site workshop at your school.  Click here to request info.

Learn with your team!

  • Build a shared language in your community for sustainability
  • Create lesson/unit plans with a partner
  • Have a thought partner (in addition to your facilitator!)
  • Use the money you save towards future sustainability projects! 

Please reach out to [email protected] if you need to discuss additional payment options.

Course Overview

This is a 7-week (regular) or 2-week (intensive) cohort-based, asynchronous, facilitator-guided course, using both independent and collaborative learning methods. Learn more about our summer 2-week intensive course here.

Participants will explore the concept of sustainability with a specific emphasis on the role of education and the use of systems thinking to enhance student learning. Systems thinking tools and methods will be demonstrated and participants will have the opportunity to explore their practical application. The aim of the course is for participants to leave with a deeper understanding of sustainability, a greater awareness of their own systems contexts, skill in using systems thinking tools and the ability to successfully incorporate and align sustainability with the existing curriculum. Whether you’re running a school or facilitating a conversation in the classroom, this course is for you!

We recommend that the course be taken concurrently by two or more members of the same school or organization as it allows for deeper, contextual conversations revolving around the concepts and tools covered. Discounts are available for cohorts of three or more.

Interested in SUNY graduate credit?

$ 130 /person
  • Get one credit course through SUNY Buffalo for an additional cost above.
  • Easy quick process. All you need to do is register for this course and complete the provided SUNY registration forms.
New Offer

Summer Intensive Course

Learn how systems thinking tools can help you turn sustainability from something ‘extra’ to something extraordinary in your education work with the 2-week online summer course!

In this 2-week course, participants will explore the concept of sustainability, specifically emphasizing how systems thinking tools can be used to enhance teaching & learning to foster sustainable habits of mind. Through 12-15 hours of asynchronous content, live calls with a global cohort, and feedback from personal facilitators, participants will leave with a deeper understanding of sustainability, a greater awareness of their own systems contexts, skills in using systems thinking tools, and the ability to incorporate and align sustainability with the existing curriculum. Furthermore, they will explore how systems thinking tools can empower learners of all ages to understand and act to address complex global issues like sustainability, the UN SDGs, and other pressing community challenges.

Level 1 + Level 2 Package

Looking for ways to empower your students and yourself to be agents of sustainable change? Do you want to inspire both your students
and your broader school community to think about sustainability? Take this package!
$ 819 /person
  • BONUS 30 minutes of 1-1 meeting with a Compass Facilitator during your Level 1 course in addition to the meeting you get during Level 2
  • Increased connection with more members of the global Compass Educator network with whom you can collaborate and learn
  • Direct pathway to becoming a Compass Facilitator so you can help build the global movement of educators using systems thinking
    to build a more sustainable world
  • Discount available for school cohort registration of 3 people!
New Offer

Learning Outcomes

In this course, you will…

• Discuss the imperative for sustainability education in a global context
• Identify sustainability dispositions and examine their compatibility with your personal educational philosophy and institutional values
• Understand the relationship between sustainability and systems thinking
• Explore the educational uses of systems thinking tools
• Discover how sustainability habits of mind can be integrated into teaching and learning
• Develop unit/lesson plans to include sustainability perspectives and systems thinking tools in your classroom

What will you take away from this course?

• A practical understanding of sustainability and systems thinking
• 1-1 mentorship and feedback from your Compass facilitator
• Powerful conversations and practical analysis of your educational setting
• Useful tools that can be integrated into any curriculum and every class level
• Access to our database of educator sourced lesson plans
• Professional networking with a global cohort of educators

Certifications

Qualify to apply for Compass Education Level 1 “Compass Practitioner” Certification which can lead towards certification as a Compass Trainer (if all requirements are complete).

Who should participate?

Educators and program leaders who want to integrate sustainability education and systems thinking into their teaching practice. Curriculum leaders and administrators interested in understanding what the practical application of sustainability education looks like.

Time Expectations

We suggest that educators set aside 2-3 hours per week to do the readings, participate in the discussions and complete the suggested exercises. The course is designed to be immediately applicable in your context and the exercises often relate to your school environment, which is a win-win in the implementation and use of the tools in your classroom.

In addition to the asynchronous participation in the course, you will be invited and strongly encouraged to participate in four optional synchronous sessions with your facilitators. We will do our best to accommodate timing for different time zones.

1-1 Facilitator Support

This course is unique from many online courses because of the focus that we place on supporting our participants in their learning journey. Every participant will be assigned a mentor/facilitator whose educator experience most aligns with theirs. Your facilitator will accompany you throughout, providing personalized feedback and the opportunity to dive deeper based on your context.

Lesson Outlines

Lesson 1: An Intro to Sustainability
By the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

• Create your own definition of holistic sustainability.
• Explain your role as an educator in building a sustainable world.
• Feel a sense of agency in educating for a sustainable world.
Lesson 2: Sustainability in My Context
By the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

• Reflect on your educational philosophy and its connections to sustainability.
• Find leverage in already existing school/organization documentation to address sustainability.
Lesson 3: The Sustainability Compass
By the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

• Understand the Sustainability Compass as a systems thinking tool.
• Apply the Compass to a commonly encountered situation.
• Use the Compass within your own context.
• Reflect on the value of using The Compass as a tool for analysis and collaboration.
Lesson 4: The Systems Iceberg

By the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

Explain the Iceberg Model, including the different levels and how they’re connected.
Apply the Iceberg Model to an example either in your own life or in the classroom.

Lesson 5: Systems Thinking Tools

By the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

• Give a definition of systems thinking.
• Describe the educational uses of systems thinking tools such as behavior over time graphs and closed loop diagrams.

Lesson 6: Action Planning

By the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

• Identify habits of mind that promote system thinking and sustainability.
• Create an action plan for how to use the Compass Tools in your classroom.

Lesson 7: Join the Movement

By the end of the lesson, you will be able to:

• Register for and access the Compass Tools (Accelerator Lite).
• Identify different ways to connect with Compass trained educators.
• Recognize the impact of global collaboration and opportunities for sharing.

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Facilitators

Laurence Myers

Compass Facilitator

Kath Lane

Compass Facilitator

Elaine Reimann

Compass Facilitator

Gitanjali Paul

Education Program Manager, Compass Facilitator

Kate O'Connell

Board Member, Compass Facilitator

Michelena McPherson

Compass Facilitator, Compass Engagement Group (Middle East & Africa) Leader

Kate Doré

Compass Facilitator, Compass Engagement Group (Asia-Pacific) Leader

Lynda Rolph

Compass Facilitator

Karen Virta

Compass Facilitator

Mark Mains

Compass Facilitator

Questions? We’d love to hear from you.

F.A.Q.

Yes!  Compass Education offers several opportunities for larger numbers of participants in both virtual and in person formats.  Please get in touch. 

The course is designed to run asynchronously but participants are encouraged to keep up a pace of one module per week.  Two to three additional live meetings are scheduled (optional) for interested participants who would like to dive deeper or speak directly with their facilitator. 

Regular course is a 7-week course program in the spring and fall with a global cohort of educators and a facilitator who provides feedback on weekly assignments. The course consists of 12-15 hours of content with up to 4 hours of facilitator and cohort meeting time (depending on participant availability).

Intensive course is a 2-week course program in the summer with a global cohort of educators and a facilitator who provides feedback on assignments. The course consists of 12-15 hours of content with up to 4 hours of facilitator and cohort meeting time (depending on participant availability).

You can expect to feel comfortable using several new systems tools and integrating them in your classroom lessons.   There are quite a few other outcomes depending on how you show up for the course and what most captures your interest. 

Yes, we offer the same course as a two day onsite workshop.  See the professional development pages of our website. 

You can actively participate in the Level 2 course as long as you are able to identify a central challenge that you want to address using the new systems thinking tools (and familiar) that you will learn. As long as you choose a central challenge that you can still work on in your current context, you should also still be able to begin implementing your action plan which is the prerequisite for applying for Level 2 (Compass Educator) certification.

To become certified by Compass Education as a Compass Practitioner, you must:

  • Complete Compass Practitioner (Level 1) course
  • Complete all modules in the course and submit your lesson plan that uses at least one of the systems thinking tools you learned in the Level 1 course.  Your submission will be evaluated by our facilitators who will authorise your certification. 

Yes, in most schools this course would qualify.  Every school is different so please check with your school and reach out to our admin team if you have any questions. 

During the course you are encouraged to reach out to your facilitators with questions or with requests for individual support at any time.  We have several options to continue to learn and get support after the course is completed. 

We understand that unexpected situations can arise that detract from your energy to focus on learning with us.

  • If you defer your course before it begins, we can re-enrol you in another course scheduled within 1 year from your initial registration date.
  • If you re-enrol after the course has begun, we will charge a $100 re-enrollment fee to help cover the cost of our facilitators' energy, effort, and administrative costs.
  • If you are almost done with the course (more than half through/Lesson 5) when the course dates conclude, we may be able to arrange special accommodations to help you finish the course without re-enrollment.

We encourage you to communicate your needs with our team, if a situation arises that might lead you to defer.

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