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Elizabeth Crawford Co-Authors Book on Sustainability Education

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Today’s global challenges—climate change, food and water insecurity, social and economic inequality, and a global pandemic—demand that educators prepare students to become compassionate, critical thinkers who can explore alternative futures.

Elizabeth Crawford and Carla Marschall are co-authors of the new book Worldwise Learning: A Teacher’s Guide to Shaping a Just, Sustainable Future. The book provides a blueprint for teachers looking to create inclusive, democratic classrooms that prepare knowledgeable, compassionate, and engaged global citizens. Crawford is an associate professor of elementary education in the Watson College. Marschall is director of teaching & learning at UWC South East Asia, Singapore. The book was published by Corwin Press/SAGE in September.

Worldwise Learning presents a “Pedagogy for People, Planet, and Prosperity” that supports K-8 educators in nurturing “Worldwise Learners”: students who both deeply understand and purposefully act when learning about global challenges. Coupling theory with practice, this book builds educators’ understanding of how curriculum and meaningful interdisciplinary learning can be organized around local, global, and intercultural issues, and provides a detailed framework for making those issues come alive in the classroom. Richly illustrated, each innovative chapter asserts a transformational approach to teaching and learning following an original three-part inquiry cycle, and includes:

  • Practical classroom strategies to implement Worldwise Learning at the lesson level, along with tips for scaffolding students’ thinking.
  • Images of student work and vignettes of learning experiences that help educators visualize authentic Worldwise Learning moments.
  • Stories that spotlight Worldwise Learning in action from diverse student, teacher, and organization perspectives.
  • An exemplar unit plan that illustrates how the planning process links to and can support teaching and learning about global challenges.
  • QR codes that link to additional lesson and unit plans, educational resources, videos of strategies, and interviews with educators and thought leaders on a companion website, where teachers can discuss topics and share ideas with each other.

Worldwise Learning turns students into local and global citizens who feel genuine concern for the world around them, living their learning with intention and purpose.

Martina Croom-Schöfberger ’18M, Laura Montague ’11, ’15M and Sally Petermann ’19M, all alumni of WCE’s elementary education program, and Megan Gill, a current MAT student, are featured among the teacher vignettes. Also featured is Shannon Hardy, a Design for Change champion and teacher at The Exploris School in Raleigh who has collaborated with Crawford on several projects.

Dr. Crawford specializes in instructional design and global social studies education at the Watson College. Her research and teaching focus on promising practices that nurture teachers’ and students’ global competence. She is active in various national and international organizations, such as serving as a consultant for the World Bank Group, a HundrED Ambassador, Vice President of the United Nations Association of the Coastal Carolina chapter, Curriculum Advisory Board member of the Institute for Humane Education, and Educator Advisory Committee member of the Global Oneness Project.  She collaborates with faculty and educators in the U.S. and internationally on shared efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.