What are the SDGs?
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 'global goals' which set out targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and achieve prosperity for all by 2030. The goals were adopted by all the world’s governments at the UN in 2015 and will guide global development.
Are the SDGs relevant to my subject?
Yes! The SDGs think holistically about sustainability, including topics like gender equality, poverty, health and wellbeing, climate action, clean energy, and peace, justice, and strong institutions. This breadth means that all disciplines can identify meaningful links.
For inspiration, you might want to see our recently published A to Z guide of sustainability good practice in disciplines ranging from Art to Zoo Management.
Do my students want to learn about the SDGs?
Yes! NUS research over the past eight years has demonstrated student demand:
· 85% of students consistently agree or strongly agree that “sustainable development is something which universities and colleges should actively incorporate and promote”
· 70% of students consistently agree or strongly agree that “sustainable development is something which university and college courses should actively incorporate and promote”
· 60% of students consistently agree or strongly agree that “sustainable development is something which I would like to learn more about”
In the same survey, students largely say that they want sustainability embedded into existing modules, not as a stand-alone unit, and that they want the content to be relevant and meaningful for their discipline.
NUS has also conducted research specifically on student understanding of, and interest in, the SDGs.
Can I include content that critques or challenges the goals?
Yes, by all means. We believe the SDGs offer a great framework for engaging with sustainability, but they are not beyond critcism:
Five reasons to think twice about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The Problem with Saving the World
What if I don't know what I'll be teaching in February?
No problem! Please pledge now with the information that you do have and you can revisit this to update it when you have further information.
Does participation in the teach-in imply uncritical support of the SDGs?
No, the initiative is about critically engaging with the SDGs through education.
I’m an educator but not in UK further or higher education, can I still get involved?
Yes! The 2018 campaign focused on UK colleges and universities but due to overwhelming interest, we have made the 2019 campaign is open to ALL educators across all phases of education around the globe.
That said, there are plenty of existing campaigns and resources that might also be of interest. The World’s Largest Lesson is one such example and has lots of valuable resources.
I love this! How can I get more involved?
There’s lots of ways that you can build on this within your classroom, across your institution, and with colleagues:
1. Get others involved! Share your involvement on social media with #SDGTeachIn and encourage colleagues to pledge as well.
2. Work with others at your university or college to achieve Responsible Futures accreditation – a whole-institution framework for embedding sustainability throughout all parts of the student learning experience.
3. Encourage your students to sign-up to Dissertations for Good – a free website run by NUS which matches students to organisations (NGOs, charities, and businesses) to complete shared research on social, environmental, or economic sustainability.
4. Stay in touch with NUS – sign-up to our monthly mailing list.
5. Sign the SDG Accord to demonstrate your individual/institutional commitment to the goals.
Who can I contact regarding the Teach In?
If you have any questions or would like to endorse or take part in the SDG Teach In 2019, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.