5 Reasons to Integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into Curriculum – Shalini Chauhan

5 Reasons to Integrate  the Sustainable Development
Goals into Curriculum

Ms. Shalini Chauhan, Examination Officer, SDG Coordinator of the Group, Mathematics Educator,  Indirapuram Public School, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad

To  create  a  sustainable  and  amicable  world,  societies, and even for that matter,  every  individual  must  be empowered with knowledge, skills and values and instilled with a profound awareness to drive such change. This is where education has a demanding role to play. Investment in knowledge  pays  the  best  interest.  And  this  investment  begins  at  school  level. Here, academia can play a vital role based on education, research and training.

By integrating United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals within the school curricula, students could be encouraged to think more broadly   about how their future practice meets with human and environmental sustainability. It motivates students to get engaged critically with SDGs.                                                                 

When the SDGs are integrated in school curricula, a positive outcome even in one goal will affect outcomes in others, and that development would help to balance economic, social and environmental sustainability in future.

“All the SDGs come down to education…”  — Malala Yousafzai

SDGs have a vital part to play in today’s classrooms. As a blueprint for making the world a better place, these goals can help engage students and make them contribute in making this world a better place to live in.

5 reasons why teachers should teach the SDGs in their classrooms

1. Learning about the world: The SDGs are global goals for all. Learning about these initiatives help students develop awareness about critical issues around the world, such as lack of quality education for all, access to clean water and gender equality. These issues can’t be separated from daily issues, and to understand them students need to learn about the world around them.

Teachers can bring a new outlook and redesign the curriculum by embedding these goals into the curriculum. As the SDGs are so broad-based, they can be used to provide a new look and real-world context to lesson plans. Through these, students will begin to have a deeper understanding of these goals. Learning more helps to enhance their curiosity and compassion to grow. The SDGs are useful classroom resources that add depth to lesson plans.

2. Active participation in the world they live in: In our interconnected world, we need to guide the next generation to be  global leaders. We must motivate students to be active participants in their local and global communities to solve the smallest to biggest challenges the world faces today. When students become global leaders, they are prepared to take responsibility to act on bringing positive changes around the world.

Ms. Shalini Chauhan is a Mathematics educator, teacher trainer, academic researcher and examination officer at Indirapuram Public School, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad.
She holds a Masters’ degree in Economics and has also qualified CTET. With over two decades of experience in school education, she has always strived to find novel techniques to facilitate robust and pragmatic education for her students. She is enthusiastic about helping the underprivileged in the society, and has undertaken the responsibility of teaching many indigent children. She has conducted live sessions for teachers on national and international platforms on different topics such as activity-based classroom, how to use online tools in remote teaching, etc.
Mrs. Chauhan is the recipient of Global Teacher Award 2020, Forum of Public Schools’ Teacher Award,  The Great Indian Women Award, Sledding 2021 Best Teacher Award, and Best Teacher Using Digital Media Platform Award. She has also been shortlisted among top 10 finalists for Wakelet Community Impact Award.
She has presented on different Global platforms like DIGCITInstitute (DigCitSummit & DigCitImpact), CENTA, Global Educator Group, CBSE Bharat Sahodaya Complex, RiseupforSDGs Cambridge India, TECH(K)NOW DAYS, Serious Play, IIU-ICCC International Conference on Climate Action 2021 and has been a part of Global projects along with her students to promote UseTechforGood, Digital Citizenship and SDGs.
She is an SDG Choupal Ambassador, member of SDG CORE Committee of her School, SDG Coordinator of Indirapuram Group of Institutions, TEACH SDGs Cohort 5 Ambassador, Global Impactors Cohort 1 Ambassador, T4 Ambassador, 3DBear Ambassador, MIE (Microsoft Innovative Educator), Flip grid Certified Educator, Wakelet Ambassador and Leader, Buncee Ambassador, Nearpod Certified Educator, Adobe empowered educator, Quizizz game changer certified educator-to name a few.
She has contributed papers on SDG goals and has written articles for different platforms, such as Cambridge TOT community, The Peeper Times, Highr_TeacherEd and Edukos Unite of Scholars Magazine. Her papers on SDGs and Mathematics are published in different Journals. She has also moderated tweet chats and shared her views on Professional Development at Community radio platform and on mathematical skills in an interview on the radio.
As a Maths teacher, her constant endeavour is to make Maths a favourite subject of her students.

3. SDGs help in learning empathy and compassion: Learning about the SDGs opens students’ minds to different communities and experiences outside of their own. This in turn develops empathy in the classroom. When students are taught about the importance of  SDGs, they understand the global challenges such as poverty, hunger, and education. They begin to understand what are the unique challenges communities all over the world face that they might not have been aware of previously. This understanding stimulates a sense of global connection and empathy for the earth as a whole.

Integration of the SDGs into curriculum helps students to develop empathy and compassion. They develop healthy relationships throughout their lives that leads them to become passionate and engaged adults. By taking empathy and transforming it into action-based compassion, students can start community initiatives they are passionate about.

4. Inspiration for students and teachers to take action: SDGs are more than just awareness. Each goal is broken down into a set of achievable sub-targets. Educators can use these sub-targets to show their students the ways in which they can make an impact on improving the world that they live in. They do not need to be experts in all topics such as peace, justice, strong institutions,  clean energy, etc. to teach the SDGs. They can explore these SDGs with their students and plan ways to take action together. Every step matters! If students have an understanding of the SDGs and their importance, they will be inspired and self motivated to take actions to make positive changes.

Every drop matters!

Educators can inspire students in countless ways like raising awareness about human trafficking, conserving water by turning off faucets more frequently, etc.

Educators and students together can be a powerful force in achieving the UN’s vision of a more peaceful, healthy, and unbiased world.

5. Good for humanity: SDGs are good for the planet. Learning about a topic like climate change is a massive challenge, but the SDGs show smaller ways to contribute towards climate action for the good of the planet. Students can participate in projects and activities to explore it in a better way.

The SDGs have proved that even making a small change can have a big impact on the world. By ensuring that the goals are smart, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, they can be used to give focus to classroom discussion.

Conclusion: The SDGs are important in creating engaging classrooms, raising awareness of global issues, and inspiring students and teachers to take action and be a change. They are a valuable educational resource. Educators should see the SDGs as an opportunity to add extra depth and creativity to their lesson plans.

Get Involved, Come Together for The Goals and be a Voice for Change.