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4 Powerful Reasons to Teach the Sustainable Development Goals

“There is no more powerful transformative force than education—to promote human rights and dignity, to eradicate poverty and deepen sustainability, to build a better future for all, founded on equal rights and social justice, respect for cultural diversity and international solidarity and shared responsibility, all of which are fundamental aspects of our common humanity.” — Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The United Nations describes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as, “the blueprints to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”

The goals hope to raise awareness about the global challenges that our society faces today, to get people aware, civically engaged and taking action.

Why Should we Teach Students the SDG’s?

Students are the future. As corny as that sounds, they really are. And they are inheriting a world that requires some work and attention. Getting students invested in the world around them is as easy as starting a dialogue with them.

Here are the 4 main reasons students should be learn about Sustainable Development Goals:

1. Make learning relevant:

  • The SDG’s pose real problems that may continue into the future. By connecting your students learning to things relevant to their lives, they will take a deeper interest in the subject and become more engaged in their learning.

2. Drive active learning:

  • The SDG’s are actionable goals that drive active learning. Students will become more invested in their education when they feel that they are able to make a difference in the world. 

3. Informed and engaged citizens:

  • Teaching your students about the SDG’s will get them thinking about and practicing being civically engaged and globally aware.

4. Global Perspective:

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In OECD’s Education at a Glance 2018, PISA found that students from countries where they included teaching the Sustainable Development Goals claimed to be more aware and familiar with several environmental issues. This also seemed to have a positive effect on their science proficiency level.

Why are we talking about the Sustainable Development Goals?

Besides the fact that they’re awesome powerful teaching tools and get students thinking globally, it’s also Global Goals Week 2018!

In celebration of Global Goals Week, we’re releasing a RoundTable for every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Teacher Ada McKim came onboard to create these thought provoking discussion prompts. Each of the discussion prompts covers an aspect of each one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The discussions are exciting, thought-provoking and will stir meaningful class discussions.

Visit the Parlay Universe, our free and open content sharing community to find all of the Sustainable Development Goal discussions!

Browse the Parlay Universe

That’s not all!

We’re very passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals and believe they can make the classroom an exciting place to learn. Which is why we hosted a webinar all about it.

Did you miss our webinar with Ada McKim and edWeb? Engaging Classroom Debates on the Sustainable Development Goals.

No worries! Here it is:

The amazing Ada shared with us her experience, as well as simple strategies that teachers can use to get students having discussions centered around the Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow Ada on on her personal account (linked above) and @TeachSDGs on Twitter. Let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.

To better more meaningful discussions.