What are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?
Learn about Sustainable Development Goals and get tips on raising awareness and introducing these important goals to students.
By Meghan Raftery
Adopted in 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future. The 17 “Global Goals” call for United Nations Member States to take action to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth while simultaneously addressing climate change and preservation of the world’s ocean and forests by the year 2030.
Today’s kindergartners will be nearing adulthood in the year 2030. The graduating class of 2019 will be in their late twenties. The global goals provide an urgent and relevant context for the learning that will take place in public schools in the next ten years.
Recognizing the important role children and their teachers will play in raising awareness and taking action on the goals, Project Everyone partnered with UNICEF to create The World’s Largest Lesson. These free, open-source resources are translated into over 10 languages and include animated films, lesson plans, comics and activities that inspire students to take action for the Global Goals. Since its launch in September 2015, 8 million children in more than 130 countries have participated in the lesson.
Teachers interested in introducing the goals to their students can follow a simple 5-step process to get started:
- Take the Free Online Course
- Watch the Part 1 Animationwith your class
- Use the Introductory Lesson Plan
- Ask your class What World Do You Want in 2030?with this lesson plan
- Encourage your class to Take An Action!
The World’s Largest Lesson is only a beginning, however. After launching the global goals, teachers can encourage students to choose a goal to focus on based on their interests and the needs of the local area. Project-Based Learning (PBL) provides the pedagogical structure that can connect the Global Goals to academic standards, college and career readiness skills and student interests and passions. Career-based resources based on real-world problems, such as Defined STEM, take on additional relevance when students understand how the task relates to solving a global problem.
To learn more about the SDGs and the World’s Largest Lesson, visit http://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org.
Editors Note: This article is adapted from https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/