How can we reach these goals by 2030 with our students? In 2015, the United Nations came together to create 17 goals to tackle some of the wicked problems across the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be used as a lens to look at these challenges affecting the globe. Some of the iAug 13, 2018
How can we reach these goals by 2030 with our students?
In 2015, the United Nations came together to create 17 goals to tackle some of the wicked problems across the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be used as a lens to look at these challenges affecting the globe. Some of the issues the SDGs address include water quality, gender equity, infrastructure, education, innovation, and more. The hope is that all 17 of these goals will be accomplished by 2030, and it is important that our students know why they exist and what they can do to help.
To solve the world’s problems, we need to mobilize and organize our youth. By studying the goals, students will gain a broader, more multicultural education. They need to learn about other cultures and norms. Our students can and must solve these huge problems. How might educators begin to teach these goals? The first thing is to figure out where the SDGs already exist in the content. Identify where the goals overlap in the existing curriculum — this will provide an anchor.
Identify a challenge in the community.
Encourage students to look around them. What issues or problems interest them? Most likely, these will align with at least one (and often several) of the SDGs. If students look at the world around them first, they’ll be able to better understand the larger issues.
Ideally, the whole school (and the community) should be involved. Encourage students to share what they are doing with others. If more people are talking about the SDGs, more people have the opportunity to get involved. Students can leverage their voices on the platform you provide and spread the message.
Explore a larger question.
Work with students to connect the community challenge with one or more SDGs. When they think about a larger overarching question or issue, this forces them to think about the work they’re doing and how it impacts the world.
Conduct an investigation.
Students should do more research and always consider primary resources. They can conduct interviews, do observations, distribute surveys, etc. Then, use secondary resources: Have your students research online to see how others are answering their bigger question, and of course hit the books in the library!
Take a position.
Have students consider what they can do next. Encourage them to think about what other resources they can tap on to address the challenge. Who should they talk to next? What are other organizations in the community doing? How can they use this new knowledge to affect change?
If you’re interested in getting more information on how to teach the SDGs, check out this course (and earn a digital badge for your LinkedIn!).