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Articles by Michael K. Stone

Michael K. Stone is senior editor at the Center for Ecoliteracy and the primary author of the Center's book, Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability and Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World.

Featured Article

Look closely — what can you learn?Photo: Steve WallThe Center for Ecoliteracy has worked for more than 15 years to make schools greener. During the course of our work, collaborating with thousands of educators and change agents, we’ve learned invaluable lessons about how to tackle the challenge of changing often-entrenched systems. We’re pleased to share those lessons here, to help people who want to make change anywhere. 

The first guiding principle of our work at the Center for Ecoliteracy is “nature is our teacher.” Taking nature as our teacher requires thinking in terms of systems, one of nature’s basic patterns. Systems can be incredibly complex, but the concept is quite straightforward. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, for example, defines a “system” as “any collection of things that have some influence on one another.” Individual things — like plants, people, schools, communities, and watersheds — are all systems of interrelated elements. At the same time, they can’t be fully understood apart from the larger systems in which they exist.

Living systems h... Read more