cq5dam.web.1600.9600This is how Harriet Marshall begins her recent exploration of Teaching the SDGs – 17 Goals to Transform Our World and Our Classrooms

Since their launch in September 2015, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been increasingly taken up by schools as both an educational theme and learning tool. A growing number of teachers around the world are seeing the SDGs, also known as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, as a powerful and engaging theme inside and outside of the classroom. There have been a number of initiatives, policies and organisations pushing for greater awareness of the 17 SDGs aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. Some drivers originate from the UN itself (e.g. UNESCO policy such as the recent ‘Building sustainable peace and global citizenship through education’), some have been created collaboratively by global education NGOs (e.g. the World’s Largest Lesson), whilst others are emerging organically among teachers through international social media movements such as #TeachSDGs.

In what follows, she puts forward 11 propositions about the goals:

  1. Teaching the SDGs bridges subject divides – it is not simply an interdisciplinary theme, but a topic that requires us all to wear different hats and to appreciate those that wear other hats more comfortably than we do.  …
  2. The SDGs can be a unifying, golden thread for schools – the SDGs contain a set of values, knowledge and skills that can help schools reflect upon what they do and why they do it and …
  3. Teaching about the SDGs can be an excellent way of addressing controversial and complex local, national and international issues. …
  4. Learning about the SDGs is ageless. The Global Goals are as relevant and new to teachers as they are to students. …
  5. There has to be collective ownership of the SDG agenda necessitating intergenerational and local–national–global, and cross-organisation partnerships and understandings. …
  6. The SDGs are a useful tool for supporting Key Stage and Primary-Secondary school transition for both students and teachers. …
  7. Sharing learning about the SDGs can engage parents as well as communities and businesses. …
  8. Teaching about the SDGs is becoming a global trend on social media and is connecting teachers and schools around the world. …
  9. (a) Teaching about the SDGs requires creativity and innovative practice in school curricula and pedagogy. …   9. (b) Space for creativity and innovative practice can be motivational for teachers and provides respite from a perceived performance, exam and target-based culture.  …
  10. Engaging with the why, what and how of SDGs maps onto core 21st century skills of importance to schools. …

There’s much more on this page and on Harriet’s blog about these matters of supreme importance to all of us.