The contribution of the educational sector to achieving a more sustainable society involves integrating the 2030 Agenda action framework into the core of our schools. We need to introduce the multiple issues addressed by the SDGs into the curricula, and support their understanding and dissemination.
This journey towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda -same as for the cultural sector- consists of three key steps: the training of the members of the educational community, the appropriation of the discourse of sustainable development, and finally its integration. But how do we carry out this integration? Some points to consider:
The management’s commitment
An educator or a group of teachers may be the ideal people to lead the way, but they must have the support of the management team. Otherwise the endeavor will be much harder.
Design for the long-term
It is useless to put a lot of energy into a short-term project, since the transformations that sustainable development requires do not happen at once. Therefore, medium and long-term goals must be set.
People with different outlooks
The new leadership is shared, creates collective intelligence and is dynamic. This is why, although the change may start from one or two people, it is important to work in groups where everyone has a voice and collaborates.
The 2030 Agenda as our DNA
That the SDGs are part of the identity of the center is not an illusion. The school community has been successfully working on the different dimensions of sustainable development for decades. The 2030 Agenda invites us to look at them from a holistic approach.
The Design of an action plan
Once the whole school community is committed, it is time to design our roadmap. Some key elements tare:
Surely we are already doing many things aligned with the SDGs that we can integrate into our plan. When preparing a diagnosis we can ask ourselves: Where are we?; What are we already doing?; Where do we want to go?
The goals of our plan are the most important part of it. We have to make a distinction between general and specific goals, and we must evaluate them to know the degree of success of the action plan.
The different stages of the action plan will help us progress along the way, knowing at all times what needs to be done while planning the next milestones. It is very useful to place these stages in a timetable that is shared with all the actors involved.
Once the diagnosis is made, the objectives are established and the phases are set, the next step is to design and plan the activities. To do this, we can start by asking ourselves:
Which of the Sustainable Development Goals do we prioritize? Depending on the school level, one or another SDG can be chosen. There are also some cross-cutting SDGs such as SDG4: Quality Education; SDG12:Responsible Consumption and Production, or SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Who are the actors involved? This implies alliances with other schools, associations, institutions or social and cultural agents in the area. All those who are in tune with the SDGs that we have set out to implement.
What specific actions could be carried out? It is important to highlight that this SDG action plan should not run parallel to the center’s study plan, and that it shouldn’t be an extra in the curricula of the different subjects. It has to be integrated in the curriculum’s contents, in a similar way to the equality plans or healthy habits that the centers develop.
Finally, after the intervention, the evaluation is essential to measure the success. There are many ways to evaluate: you can interview students and teachers, analyze habits beyond the school, qualify projects related to the SDGs, or create observation sheets.
All teachers around the world should be trained in the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda in order to advance in the construction of a new citizenship aligned with the values promoted by sustainable development.