The Solutionary Teacher Fellowship has Been Serving Teachers for 8 Years! 

The Environmental Solutionary Teacher Fellowship is a knowledge-to-action program that builds teacher capacity for designing and delivering learning experiences that are student-centered, problem-project-based, solutions-oriented, and integrates real-world environmental justice issues.

The 2022-23 progam runs from July 2022 to December 2022. Fellows who complete all requirements are eligible for a stipend ($1,000). Fellows may participate in one of two capacities: 

  • First Time Fellow: First Year of Participation

  • Senior Fellow: Fellows may return for second or third year in a role that blends learning and leadership and calls on fellows to serve as a coach and mentor to first-time fellows

Intended outcomes of this program include the following:

  • Deeper understanding of the intersection between environmental, social, and economic issues.

  • Confidence and ability to successfully use student-centered learning strategies (inquiry, systems thinking, civic engagement, PBL, etc.), which increase student engagement and comprehension.

  • Tools and resources to make an impact in your school community, including connection with and access to funding for resources, field trips, and more.

2022-23 Cohort Website

Program Pathways and Requirements

The Solutionary Teacher Fellowship is built around four key elements of professional learning: Knowledge, Action, Accountability and Reflection, Connection to Partners. These elements are based on research (and feedback from the past seven years of implementation) of what leads to successful outcomes in the classroom. Each of these elements and how they show up in this program are outlined below.

Program Elements

  • Knowledge: Foundational knowledge and skill building for environmental literacy, climate literacy, and solutionary teaching and learning is at the heart of the teacher fellowship program. Throughout the program this happens through hands-on experiential learning workshops that blend content knowledge development and training on solutionary teaching strategies.
  • Action: This part of the program is focused around teachers putting knowledge and skills into action by developing and implementing Solutionary Units of Study. During this phase, teachers are paired with an instruction coach who provides guided implementation support on planning, implementing solutionary teaching strategies, and evaluating student outcomes.
  • Accountability and Reflection: A critical key element of the program is accountability and reflection. This happens both formatively through discussions in the cohort based community of practice, as well as summatively through case study reflections and oral presentations at the December and May check-points.
  • Connection to Partners: A final important component of a high-quality solutionary unit is engaging with local community based partners that can provide hands-on and place-based learning, as well as supplemental curriculum partners who can help to enhance and enrich the overall learning experience.


Program Success and Testimonials

Since the start of this fellowship in 2015-16, more than 300 teachers have learned what environmental literacy is and how to do it — while also meeting the standards and fostering students engagement and academic success. Despite all the challenges teachers have faced with COVID-19, the program continues to be incredibly successful for empowering teachers - more than 90% of teacher fellows reported that the program was critical to their success and/or enhanced their ability to teach virtually and engage students in the 2020-21 school year.

95% of participants report very high to extreme satisfaction with institutes and workshops

95% of teachers report that they will teach their solutionary unit again in future years.

96% would participate in additional fellowship programs, and 96% would recommend it to colleagues.

"Every teacher should have the opportunity to complete a fellowship. This program helps solidify what you might already be teaching, or send you into a new dimension that will make you want to change the what and how of what you are teaching."

— Cohort Participant in 2020-21

"I found this to be the best professional development that I have participated in. The organization and resources in these programs are invaluable. Even though I felt overwhelmed at times, I also felt very supported. I came away with a solutionary unit of study that I will use year after year and share with my colleagues."

— Cohort Participant in 2020-21

"I've always wanted to incorporate more PBL into my teaching, but was always very intimidated and overwhelmed by it. I LOVE the structure that was provided by this program because it very clearly defined the steps and strategies. I will definitely incorporate this style of teaching into my class more often. Empowering my students to think of solutions on both small and large scale issues has been so motivating."

— Cohort Participant in 2020-21

"This program has made it easier for me to see connections between my curriculum and the lens of environmental sustainability. This program has also increased my comfort level in supplementing my school's curriculum with local partnerships and helping kids to see the applications of what we are learning in the classroom in their own community."

— Cohort Participant in 2019-20

Full-length Testimonials from Teachers

Full-length Testimonials from Coaches and Community Partners

Teachers gather around a table to complete an activityA presenter introduces a hands-on activityTeachers gather outside for an activity

Julie Hilborn

Coordinator, Environmental Literacy and Sustainability


Phone: (650) 802-5406