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Using the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals

Edutopia – Jodie Deinhammer

“Each year I start out with the same question for my students: What is the biggest issue you think our world faces, and what can we do to solve it? This challenge-based learning approach allows my students to design our class and focus on real-world issues. With their ideas, we build our class projects together. Students next identify a problem in our own community. We discuss all of their ideas and then look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Using this resource, we investigate the problems they identify and compare them to world issues. For example, a few years ago, students decided that childhood obesity was a problem in our community.”(more)

Teachers are nation-builders. Developing countries must invest in them properly

The Guardian – Ziauddin Yousafzai

“When I first began my teaching career in Pakistan 20 years ago, a friend of my father said to me: “We were expecting great things from you, Ziauddin. You could have been a political leader or a police chief, but instead you just became a teacher.” I told the man that if I inspired just one of the children in my class that year to be a leader, one again the next year, and one every year for the rest of my career, I would be very proud of my contribution to our community.”(more)

UN warns ‘no progress’ on 260 million missing school places

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“Global pledges to provide education for all young people show little chance of being achieved, according to annual figures from the United Nations. There are 264 million young people without access to school, with few signs of progress, says Unesco. Around the world, almost one in 10 children does not even have access to primary level education. The UN agency says wider access to education would radically reduce poverty and improve security. The annual Global Education Monitoring Report tracks the numbers of young people in school and measures progress in international promises to ensure access to education.”(more)

Language Study as a National Imperative

Inside Higher Ed – Colleen Flaherty

“A major 2013 report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences warned that at “the very moment when China and some European nations are seeking to replicate our model of broad education,” including the humanities, the U.S. was instead “narrowing” its focus and abandoning its “sense of what education has been and should continue to be.” The paper caught the attention of policy makers, including members of Congress. Four Republicans and four Democrats asked the AAAS to dig deeper into the state of language education in the U.S. They wanted to know what the U.S. could do to ensure excellence in language education, especially how it might more efficiently use existing resources. They also asked how language learning influences economic growth, cultural diplomacy, productivity for future generations and a sense of personal fulfillment.”(more)

Multilingual education is ‘absolutely essential,’ UNESCO chief says on Mother Language Day

The United Nations News – Staff Writer

“Learning languages is a promise of peace, innovation and creativity, and will contribute to the achievement of global development goals, the head of the United Nations agency for culture and education has said, marking International Mother Language Day. “There can be no authentic dialogue or effective international cooperation without respect for linguistic diversity, which opens up true understanding of every culture,” said UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova in her message on the Day.”(more)