It is a foregone conclusion that the role of teachers is to mold the next generation and what better way than take a course on Sustainable Development Goals first and pass it on
Open the newspaper and all you find are incidents of violence, terrorism and power games. Currently, it is difficult to suggest your students to read the newspaper every day with the fear that they might end up abhorring the world rather than loving it.
So how do we propose to create a world wherein we build feelings of love, harmony and peace among our students?
In 2015, 193 world leaders gathered at the UN to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals to achieve several extraordinary things by 2030: End poverty, promote prosperity and well-being for all, and protect the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals set a course to achieve these objectives – for people everywhere.
As educators, our contribution to create that humanistic world is by creating one in our classroom itself. Well, our immediate step will be to orient our students to the UN Sustainable Goals which aims on inculcating strong principles.
Step 1: Endow yourself with thorough knowledge about SDGs
The teachers need to be well equipped with the detailed information about Sustainable Development Goals. The course https://education.microsoft.com/ courses-and-resources/courses/ is a certificate SDG course which runs for a duration of one hour and it endows the teachers with relevant knowledge, resources and guidelines.
Step 2: Introduce the SDGs to students with Certification
Using the http://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/ website, teachers can download http://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/introduce-the-global-goals/ resources which give step by step guidelines to introduce the Global Goals to the students and motivate students by offering them a certificate at the end of it.
The job does not end here. If we wish to cultivate values in students which manifests as part of their character then the process has to be year-round. As teachers, we all harmonize that the syllabus and portion being vast it is difficult to give separate periods for value building thus values will have to be indoctrinated through our curriculum. So, what should be the next step?
// The opportunities to bring in change are immense and till every educator realizes that the power to shape the world lies with us and us alone, none of this will be possible. //
When the world stands strong, peace and happiness will coexist in every global citizen’s life.
Well, if you visit the goals individually at the World’s largest lesson, you will find ready-made lesson plans which fits within your syllabus.
The Goal 13 ‘Climate Action’ has a lesson plan where students study the Impact of Pollution on Our Planet and Our Lives. The students are to record all the different forms of pollution and environmental impact that they see in the video. The students then consider whether any of these forms of pollution exist where they live. Also, if there are other forms of pollution not in the video that they see locally?
Through these lesson plans students realize and understand that problems they experience locally have a global impact and everyone is connected to each other. Thus, every action has a consequence and the repercussions can be painful if not checked initially.
The following step is to design your co-curricular activities like your debates, elocution, skits and dramas around the goals. If we consider the recent declaration by the World Economic Forum, it stated that it will take another 217 years to close the pay gap in the workplace. Then, how about addressing the concerns early within the classrooms? How about we work consciously on not showing girls in the kitchen and boys at work? How about we do plays on both boys and girls successful in progressive careers? How about if we debate on ‘Women education mandatory around the world’?
The final and most important step is to ensure that the learning does not cease beyond the school. Involving the entire community is the final action as an assurance. So, bring in your parents and societies through an event like ‘Green Mela’, a fun fair which promotes green practices like using cloth bags versus plastic bags, selling of saplings, promotion of herbal products and food stalls which encourage organic food.
The opportunities to bring in change are immense and till every educator realizes that the power to shape the world lies with us and us alone, none of this will be possible.
We rest on the threshold where every day is a struggle and the rising sun promises us more anguish. We should not rest till students realize that they are the future and they ought to be a strong global united entity so that no power is strong enough to divide them and rule. When the world stands strong, peace and happiness will coexist in every global citizen’s life.