Often when we take action, it can feel isolated and insignificant. With all of the major and complex problems in the world, it’s disheartening to think that our efforts barely scratch the surface. The UN Global Goals remind us that we are contributing to a global effort and that we are, in fact, making a difference in collaboration with others.
What are the Global Goals?
The Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are seventeen bold and interconnected targets agreed upon by the United Nations (UN) to be achieved by 2030. In 2015, the one hundred and ninety-three nations of the UN pledged commitment to these goals. For more information about each one, visit the official website.
“These Goals are a blueprint for a better future. Now we must use the goals to transform the world. We will do that through partnership and through commitment. We must leave no-one behind.”
Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General
The role of education
As stated in the video above, the achievement of these ambitious goals will only be possible through a global effort and by getting everyone involved. Teachers and schools have a role to play. We must raise awareness of the issues, promote the SDGs and keep the discussions going. The younger generation will be vital to the agenda’s long-term, sustainable success.
The World’s Largest Lesson helps teachers to introduce the SDGs in class or in an assembly. The website provides many ideas and resources.
To delve a little deeper through guided inquiry, you are welcome to use this HyperDoc that I created. After you have made a copy, you can adapt and then assign to your students. The slides include relevant links that make good starting points for their online research.
- Curricular links
The Global Goals should not be an addition to our already packed timetable. Instead, we should look for natural connections between the goals and the units that we already teach (if connections are not authentic, don’t force them). In our planning meetings, we consider these connections and purposely plan learning engagements that explore them. The Global Goals can add a meaningful context to units, inspire action and support the development of international mindedness.
- Become a #TeachSDGs Ambassador
To gain official recognition for the work that you do as a teacher, consider becoming an Ambassador. Applications for the 2019 cohort will open in October 2018. Click here for more information.
There are many active accounts and hashtags on Twitter that relate to the Global Goals. These are great for providing updates and inspiration. To name just a few, I encourage you to check out @GlobalGoalsUN, @TheWorldsLesson, @TheGlobalGoals, @TeachSDGs, #GlobalGoals, #worldslargestlesson, #TeachSDGs. To see updates relating to specific goals, search #SDG1, #SDG2, etc. Include these hashtags when you share your own action! Also, connect with my colleague @chrisgadbury (also a #TeachSDGs Ambassador). His artistic work includes fantastic infographics and picture books that relate to the Global Goals.
- Connect with us
Thanks to #TeachSDGs Ambassador Guy Hamlin, we have another one of these large, high-quality posters to share. We are hoping to connect with another class to collaborate on SDGs-related projects. Please let me know if you would like to connect with our class in Hong Kong. We will gladly send one of these posters to you. It is through these connections, collaboration and ongoing discussions that we can raise awareness and build understanding around these issues.
These targets are so bold and ambitious that everyone’s participation is needed. We must do what we can on an individual and local level in order to contribute to the wider effort. In particular, schools hold a key role in educating the next generation of problem-solvers and innovators.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Please leave a comment below to share how you, your students and your school are getting involved. As always, let me know if I can help in any way.
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