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Sustainable by Design Evaluation Results
"Sustainable by Design" (SBD) is Creative Change's program portfolio on life cycle analysis, materials science and green manufacturing. "Sustainable by Design" incorporates elements from our Ecological Footprint and Energy programs, and the overall portfolio reflects over seven years of program development, piloting and growth in collaboration with partners such as Redefining Progress, Eastern Michigan University, and schools in Michigan, New York and New Jersey.
In 2008, we provided in-depth professional development to 50 teachers in Michigan and New York, utilizing a revamped curriculum portfolio and teacher education module.
This section summarizes the results of this initiative. Click here to download the full report (PDF).
Impacts on teachers
Sustainable by Design aimed to increase teachers' knowledge and comfort teaching about product life cycles as well as the links between the economy and the environment.
- The percentage who could identify the First Law of Thermodynamics and its implications for the economy (i.e., "There is no away) increased from 28% to 67%.
- The percentage of teachers who could describe the difference between the conventional and ecological economic model, and who could identify that the environment is the biophysical basis for the economy, doubled.
- The percentage of science teachers comfortable with teaching economic concepts almost tripled, increasing from 28% to over 80%.
- The number of teachers who reported being familiar with and having taught the Ecological Footprint increased by 60%.
Teacher quotes about the program:
- "The kids were into this unit with every cell of their bodies."
- "This curriculum is a perfect springboard for doing things that the kids could really relate to. This was a pretty serious unit. We had a lot of fun but they did a lot of deep thinking, and they loved it... [My students] have very heightened awareness now, which is nice. I think the ideas and concepts really permeate into just about everything that they do, from how they look at the world and how they look at their learning to how they recycle their scrap paper."
Impacts on students
The program aimed to increase students knowledge about life cycles and their awareness of consumer choices.
- Students' ability to define and correctly identify components of product life cycles, including stages, sequence, and specific terms such as ‘inputs' and ‘outputs' increased by an average of 25%.
- When asked about factors student consider when purchasing clothing, the percentage who cited working conditions as a factor increased from 35% to almost 60%.