Compass Educator Training

Compass Education’s training is designed to build capacity within educational institutions to integrate sustainability education into existing practice. Systems thinking is the core skill necessary for students to successfully function within our increasingly complex world, and systems thinking is at the core of Compass Education’s tools. Our Educator training is intended for teachers, sustainability or environmental coordinators, service learning coordinators, curriculum coordinators and those in similar roles. Compass Education provides sustainability and systems thinking training for educators using a 3 level model of Practitioner, Educator and Trainer.

Looking for PD opportunity with us? click here

Better Teaching and Learning for a Better World

IMG_0882This 1-day workshop is specially designed for Primary School teachers who want to gain understanding on sustainability and systems thinking. It will also be a great opportunity for teachers in that level to learn on how to best integrate sustainability learning for young learners in the classroom using Compass and Systems Thinking tools and methods that is specially modified to meet that purposes.

Expected outcomes from the workshop are that the participants will gain:

  • Understanding the opportunity to build good habits in terms of sustainability now (in and through the Early Years and Primary grades)
  • Understanding that Compass is a thinking tool that can be used and adapted in many ways to achieve curricular outcomes
  • Understanding that Compass helps students understand Nature’s connection to the other aspects of life
  • Understand practical applications for inside and outside the classroom (see how the Compass can strengthen what the teachers already do in the classroom)
Compass Education Level 1: Compass Practitioner

Thinking, Learning and Acting for a Flourishing and Sustainable World

This two-day training is designed for teachers 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.

Course Overview

Oftentimes when it comes to approaching global issues, service and sustainability, students and teachers are left with a nagging sense of gloom-and-doom, the feeling that somehow we are all responsible for destroying the planet but with no real way of understanding the complexity of the situation or, more importantly, what to do about it.

In this course, educators will be empowered with a suite of tools developed by sustainability consultant, Alan AtKisson, to help both educators and students think critically and creatively about the bigger picture, gain a deeper understanding of sustainability, and understand our own contributions to the world. These tools and systems thinking methods will enable educators to help students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to participate in a complex and interdependent world. The course will be a mix of theory and practice; educators will see examples of these tools in practice and be invited to innovate and strengthen their lessons, units, and programs them.

IMG_0264_pyramidEnduring understanding as a result of attending this workshop:

Systems thinking enables educators to help their students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to participate in a complex and interdependent world.

As a result of this training educators will….


  • What sustainability is, including the four systems conditions
  • The nexus of sustainability and education
  • The importance of complexity and systems in interpreting the world
  • The concept of systems

Be able to:

  • Use Systems Thinking tools with students
  • Use Systems Thinking tools in their personal lives
  • Integrate Systems Thinking into unit and lesson planning

This course is the first of a two levels of certification and certifies the participant as a Compass Education Level 1 “Compass Practitioner”.

Compass Education Level 2: Compass Educator

Applying Systems Thinking for Sustainability School Transformation

This two-day training is designed for educators who have completed the Compass Education Level 1 course (or equivalent), and have a firm understanding and practical experience with using the Compass Education tools and systems thinking in their classroom, and have documented evidence of the application of the Compass in an educational context.

Course Overview

In this workshop participants will explore the challenges and means of integrating sustainability values, principles and practice into education – specifically existing curriculum and school culture. Special emphasis is placed on the use of systems thinking to enhance teaching and student learning. Systems thinking tools and methods will be demonstrated and participants will have the opportunity to explore their practical application within their own subject disciplines and as agent of change for school transformation.

The aim of the course is for participants to leave with a deeper understanding of sustainability and its alignment with the goals of education and existing curriculum requirements, in addition to gaining experience in using systems thinking tools, methods and skills in their teaching practice and own spheres of influence and roles within their school. Moreover, participants will gain a greater awareness of their own systems context and construct a personal systems action plan to leverage their sphere of influence for positive change in their school.

2014-09-06 14.18.28

Enduring understanding:

Deepening understanding of systems and sustainability theory enables educators to innovate their teaching practice and understand themselves in their own system context(s).

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will….


  • Theory of change
  • The current systems structures of the world
  • The influence and power of mental models, and how they can be transformed
  • The synergy of mental models and systems structures to produce behavior
  • Systems thinking as key to the paradigm shift in education

Be able to:

  • Identify sphere of influence and sphere of concern
  • Identify and utilize leverage points for sustainable change
  • Use Systems Thinking tools to develop an action plan for change
  • Lead change for education for a sustainable future in their school

This course is the second of a two levels of certification and certifies the participant as a Compass Education Level 2 “Compass Educator”.

Compass Trainer

Participants who have completed both Level 1 and Level 2 certification workshops and are certified, are qualified to co-facilitate a workshop as facilitator-in-training to becoming a Compass Education Trainer.