The UN’s SDGs

The UN’s SDGs

What are the Sustainable Development Goals and why use them in education?

Many schools are starting to use the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a powerful tool to embed global learning.

So what are they? They are a series of 17 UN goals and 169 targets that call for action in all countries to end poverty, promote global well-being and protect the environment by 2030. Encompassing clean water, gender equality, environmental sustainability and the end of hunger, the importance of the goals for a sustainable and successful future is paramount. And it is clear that education plays a pivotal role in using the SDGs - or global goals, as they are also referred to - as a key tool to building global citizens, passionate about making the world and their communities a fairer and more sustainable place.

We believe the global goals are a powerful tool to use to embed global learning within your school. In Cumbria, schools are approaching teaching about, as well as with, the global goals in a range of different ways. For example:

  • starting with one or two, linking them into upcoming topics, or to global events (eg. taking a zero poverty focus during Fairtrade Fortnight)
  • incorporating them into curriculum planning, so they focus on a global goal each half term
  • using them as themes for assemblies.

The education opportunities offered by the SDGs are exciting. CDEC is keen to support as many schools as possible to develop their understanding of the SDGs and how they can be used within your curriculum.

One of the big opportunities with the Global Goals is SDG13 Climate Action. Broken down, the Goal aims to build knowledge and capacity, strengthen resilience to climate related events and integrate measures into policies and planning. CDEC are collating and developing a range of resources to support teachers and pupils with SDG13.