Which goal of the UN Sustainability Goals do you want to support with your teaching?

Have you thought about how you might support the UN Sustainable Development Goals through your teaching?

At last Tuesday’s Open Pedagogy Summer Adventure synchronous session, facilitators introduced the UN Sustainable Development Goals by showing a short video (at the bottom of this post) and then asked:

Which goal, or two, of the UN Sustainable Development Goals most speaks to your discipline or you would be most interested in trying to support through some sort of educational project or renewable assignment? THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development

Keep in mind that while #4, Quality Education, would seem like the obvious answer, we also want to think about how all of these other goals would align potentially.

Below are the comments that were shared in the chat window, what is your answer?

  • Gender Equity has been and continues to be my interest
  • #3, health and well being
  • An example might be to share that climate action is a goal I’d explore in a Humanities class. How could I ask students to explore the impact of climate change as it relates to Humanities?
  • Reduced inequalities could conjure up a lot of brainstorming and prototyping
  • Reducing inequality within and among countries.
  • Sustainable cities and communities - the image alone makes me think of the June 24, Surfside, FL condo collapse. How can students dream up better ways to build and unify people?
  • As a health sciences/public health faculty, I’ve taught to all of these. I was particularly drawn to zero hunger and sustainable cities and communities.
  • One of the things I teach is business writing and I often have my students write a business proposal and I would love to have them write a proposal for a project in these areas.
  • I teach biology. I could see putting students into groups around a few of these. They could research new advances in biology that are helping advance those goals.
  • My challenge is to design an activity related to physical science and the goals
  • inclusive and equable education for all, including developing countries
  • Climate change is rather on the forefront in many places today, also some understanding of long term vs short term. Bryan Alexander has some writings about the impact of climate change in education https://bryanalexander.org/climatechange/a-leaked-climate-report-and-what-it-could-mean-for-higher-education/
  • I could see exploring 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth in an intermediate ESL class as many students or their families moved to the United States for economic opportunities. For my Italian classes, I could imagine exploring Good Health and Wellbeing since I think students could use simple linguistic structures and visuals in order to communicate some of these issues. I think climate action and comparing Italian issues to ones in the US/Mexico could be interesting too.
  • I’m a librarian, so I would focus on all the goals, but most specifically, Goal 3 - Good Health & Well-being. This has application within the Allied Health programs, community health, gerontology, and the social sciences. I envision students creating materials that would benefit the local community, especially in different languages given the populations with the South Bronx in New York City.
  • One of the students in my class began a summer girls’ club to discuss issues of gender equality for young girls in her neighborhood. Wonder if that might apply to a physics course?
  • I teach math, often statistics. I use lots of live data from many of these areas as examples of the statistical techniques we’re learning. E.g., for climate action, there’s a great resource called “going down the up escalator” which is an example of something called Simpson’s Paradox. In gender equality, we can talk about how to collect data on gender-based salary differences – experimental design! In good health, we talk about whether smoking causes cancer or if there is merely correlation … the whole “correlation vs causation” issue.

Comments have been edited for clarity.

Do you know all 17 SDGs?