by Rob Clarke | Sep 16, 2019 | Climate Action
At 16, climate activist Greta Thunberg has been called the greatest threat to the world’s fossil fuel industry. The teenager first made headlines last year with her solitary strike against climate change outside Sweden’s parliament – since then, she’s inspired millions of supporters to rally in more than 150 countries. Here is her first interview on CBS News:
Here is the original post…
by Rob Clarke | Jul 18, 2019 | SDGs, Teaching Resources
by Rob Clarke | Jun 23, 2019 | SDGs, Teaching Resources
We now have a beautiful PDF printout for each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for your use. These PDFs are provided by the UN and can be freely used in whatever way you wish to raise awareness to help people explore the SDGs.
These PDF printouts are two pages long – one with the title and icon of the goal, the second with an image and an example of how you might support it. Please comment on this blog post below to share how you use them! We’d love to showcase your ideas, teaching strategies or ways you use them in your organisation.
by Rob Clarke | May 13, 2019 | SDGs, Showcase
Schools world-wide are utilising inquiry, problem-based, design thinking approaches to learning in order to grow empathetic understanding and international mindedness.
Students are taking action through collaborative initiatives locally or globally focused on issues such as climate change and in the process, are developing a global mindset. That is, developing skill sets in problem-solving, creative thinking, innovation and collaboration to name a few.
The challenge is – are students only developing a shallow topic-based knowledge culminating in collaborative action that has the feel-good factor? Rather, we want students to develop a deep understanding about the global issues threatening humanity and true empathy towards those most affected leading to meaningful action.
The solution is – aligning unit of inquiry or problem based investigation with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The students not only have the opportunity to unpack all 17 goals, thereby having a full picture of all global issues facing humanity but also, they provide students with a chance to impact a global blueprint for dignity, peace and prosperity for the planet, now and in the future.
The Sustainable Development Goals, which are sometimes referred to as the SDGs or the ‘Global Goals’ are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
Including the SDGs in the design of our curriculum will enable students to become positive and action participants in findings solutions to these problems, while lifting the level of challenge and relevance they experience.
So, how do we align our planning with the Sustainable Development Goals?
What follows is one school’s approach to aligning the goals with a year 8 inquiry-based Passion Project and a year 6 IB PYP Exhibition. The tactic chosen to unpack the SDGs was – what makes your heart break and what makes your heart sing?
What makes your heart break is directly connected to one of the SDGs that deeply resonates with the students. They then consider what makes their heart sing which is linked to their passions and interests. Their inquiry/investigation then becomes a merging of the two leading to sustainable, deep action.
Below is an example of some students ideas and how they were linked to the SDGs and their passions:
The culminating actions taken by the students were powerful and deep. For example, a year 8 student wrote haiku poems focused on refugees (SDG #4 Quality Education), screen printed the poems onto tea towels and raised $1500 for UNICEF.
Dance in the full moon.
Haiku by Evie
The impact of her haiku poems will be lasting and a constant reminder to many people of the need to:
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Utilising the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is a powerful way to ensure students are developing a deep sense of global-mindedness. If you would like some more tips for teaching using the SDGs, check out this post.
Dr Lyn Bird
Selwyn House School
by Rob Clarke | Apr 24, 2019 | SDGs, Teaching Resources
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, sometimes referred to as the Global Goals, or the SDGs for short, provide many wonderful teaching opportunities. This post is in response to a colleague on the NZ Primary Teachers’ Facebook group who asked:
The 17 SDGs are quite overwhelming. We cannot cover them all. Can you suggest a ranked list for the SDGs by importance, relevance, or engagement for our NZ students? (Ours specifically are high academic year 8 students). Or if we were going to pick out 4, which 4 would you suggest?
Here are some suggestions for how you might approach this problem and involve your students in meaningful ways as you explore the SDGs with them – if you have other ideas, we’d love to hear in the comments.
Start with student passions
Starting with student passions and local needs is one of the most effective ways to teach with and through the SDGs. This will enable you to easily contextualise the issues and your students will be more likely to see them as relevant and pressing (which they are).
Here are some pointers to help get you started:
- Which of the SDGs are your students most passionate about, and
- Which of the SDGs are most relevant to your students and their community, or…
- What they are most interested in and then link this to an SDG…
…what other ideas do you have?
Get students to justify their reasoning by explaining why/etc. If you involve the students in identifying which SDG(s) they feel are most important – for whatever reason – that will lead you to the ones to focus on.
The SDGs are aimed at addressing really big global issues, which some would term ‘wicked problems‘, so let’s help our learners design local actions and solutions that collectively lead to making the world a better place!
Useful websites to start with
Our very own project designed to engage students across NZ and their teachers and communities – check out over 100 resources developed for Kiwi students at unwebquests.nz
Students can even submit their own learning outcomes to showcase on this site…
The SDG Tracker presents data across all available indicators from the Our World in Data database, using official statistics from the UN and other international organizations. It is the first publication that tracks global progress towards the SDGs and allows people around the world to hold their governments accountable to achieving the agreed goals.
Podcast - The global goals we've made progress on -- and the ones we haven't
“We are living in a world that is tantalizingly close to ensuring that no one need die of hunger or malaria or diarrhea,” says economist Michael Green.
To help spur progress, back in 2015 the United Nations drew up a set of 17 goals around important factors like health, education and equality. In this data-packed talk, Green shares his analysis on the steps each country has (or hasn’t) made toward these Sustainable Development Goals — and offers new ideas on what needs to change so we can achieve them.
These resources are just a sampling of what is available online. Over time we will curate more and keep them in our searchable database in the Resources section on this website.
We would welcome your ideas and suggestions in the comments on this post below…