YES! Recommends: Creative Change Educational Solutions

Creative Change's comprehensive approach to curriculum transformation places food systems, renewable energy, urban revitalization, and other sustainability issues at the center of education innovation and reform.
Creative Change logo


Sustainability education—also commonly referred to as Education for Sustainability (EfS) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)—is one of the fastest growing areas of teaching and practice. There’s a range of classroom resources— for the newly curious or “toe dipper” to the long-timer and possibly activist—with the common denominator being the desire to help students create a greener and just world.

YES! Recommends Creative Change Educational Solutions for its systems approach to sustainability education. The national nonprofit, based in southeast Michigan, offers a full range of sustainability programs, an online curriculum and resource center, and professional development for K-12 school districts.

Teachers—check out Creative Change’s FREE offer in the Curriculum & Resource Center section.


What Distinguishes Creative Change?

For Creative Change, sustainability education is not an add-on, but a lens for transforming teaching and learning. Programs are designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement for all learners. And, sustainability education is integrated into existing professional development and instructional change initiatives. Its comprehensive approach to curriculum transformation places food systems, renewable energy, urban revitalization, and other sustainability issues that our communities and country are grappling with at the center of education innovation and reform.

Creative Change is committed to students gaining a deep understanding of sustainability. Rather than skim-the-surface information framed in tidy, separate boxes, Creative Change content is in-depth and presented within and across disciplines. For example, “Our Town,” a program on sustainable communities connects land use and public policy, and links this with the science and economics of sustainable redevelopment.

Reimagine Education


Creative Change programs go beyond environmental science to integrate economics, social equity, and intercultural communication. Each Creative Change program can be viewed by discipline, such as science, language arts, and math, or at-a-glance. Programs are designed for elementary (3-5), middle school (6-8), high school (9-12), higher education, and/or adult education. Topics like greenwashing, local economies, and food and culture, along with academic and career options are identified, as well. A slide show “tour” will familiarize you with each program’s framework, fundamental questions, concepts, and learning activities. Instructional materials and professional development support are offered, too.

Sustainable by DesignSustainable by Design : The Science and Economics of Green Design
How—and why—do we design, create, use and dispose of the things we use each day? "Sustainable by Design" explores ways to make design, building, and manufacturing greener and more equitable. Programs explore how scientific, economic and cultural factors influence decisions, and the implications for workers, consumers and business leaders.

To review results of a professional development initiative using “Sustainable by Design,” click here.

Our TownOur Town: Sustainable Places, Green Spaces
How does zoning shape our experience in our communities? What are the justice hot spots in community revitalization and how can they be overcome? Land use, brownfield redevelopment (abandoned or underused industrial or commercial land) and sustainable communities are explored through integrated place-based programs, a full portfolio of resources, and fully-developed course modules.

Economics for the Common GoodEconomics for the Common Good
A “triple bottom line” consideration of people, the planet and profit is essential for shaping a sustainable economy. “Economics for the Common Good” examines ways to shape an economic system that allows people and communities to thrive while sustaining the ability of the planet to support life.


To visit all seven programs (including Ecological Footprint, Energy, A Taste of Change, and All Together Now), click here.

Curriculum & Resource CenterCreative change sunflower

Creative Change’s Curriculum & Resource Center is a treasure trove of lessons, fully-developed course modules, curriculum frameworks, and a catalogue of external of resources on a range of sustainability topics. Get a free guest pass and download samples. You may also view a video tour.

You will need to log in for the free guest pass. Login is free, and please be assured that your email will not be shared.

Please note that YES! Magazine does its best to provide educators with easily accessible teaching tools. Email login is becoming more common practice. We will recommend you register to log in only when we believe the materials are worth your time and effort.

FREE subscription to three lucky readers!

Are you itching to include sustainability education in your curriculum, but don’t have the time to search for lesson plans or create a terrific teaching unit? Creative Change is offering free one-year subscriptions (worth $125 each) to three educators. You must be a classroom teacher, grades 3 through adult education, to be eligible.

Here’s what you need to do to be considered:

Give us the essentials


Your name

Home address

Best phone number to reach you

Email address


Tell us about what and where you teach


Name of school

Grade(s) taught

Subject(s) taught

Tell us why you should be selected

Why should you be chosen to receive the complimentary subscription to Creative Change’s Curriculum & Resources Center? Don’t hold back now—this is your time to set aside the humility for a moment and share!


Email your submission


Please email your information to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Change Offer” by Friday, December 16, 2011.

Other Creative Change Resources

Professional Development (fee based)
Creative Change professional development opportunities are structured in three phases of change and tailored to your school or organization’s level of readiness and goals.

  • Imagine the Change introduces new ways of reframing content and instruction that can be replicated in your own classes.
  • Begin the Change provides on-site workshops for course redesigns and ongoing planning support for a semester or the school year.
  • Sustain the Change focuses on preparing an internal team to lead, evaluate, and sustain instructional change.

Click here for a professional development sample.

Mailing list signup
Sign up here if you want to be in the know about Creative Change’s new programs and materials.

A number of Creative Change resources are downloadable and free through its website. Others are accessible through a paid subscription. By February 2012, Creative Change will introduce a database that will sort curriculum by learning standards.

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Creative Change Educational Solutions
(CCES) is a national leader in education for sustainability. Based in southeast Michigan, CCES supports school leaders and institutions to make EfS the basis of policy and practice. Its comprehensive approach to curriculum transformation places food systems, renewable energy, urban revitalization, and other sustainability issues at the center of innovation and reform.