Trainee Teachers Learn How to Engage their Pupils in Global Issues

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Trainee teachers at the University of Worcester are learning how to engage their future pupils in global issues, in light of a set of ambitious goals agreed by the United Nations.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 objectives for global development, agreed to by 195 nations in September 2015, and include targets such as eliminating gender inequality in access to education and ensuring that all youth and adults worldwide achieve literacy and numeracy.

Trainee teachers from a range of subject courses at the University of Worcester, one of the country’s top providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce, got together to learn about how they can use the SDGs in their future teaching.

Guest speaker, Ben Ballin, a specialist in geography and global learning, led the session, when secondary PGCE students examined the goals and explored how they can teach appropriately and engagingly about them.

Trainees were also introduced to the proposed PISA assessment on Global Competence that is being introduced in 2018 - a new raft of global testing that will measure student skills of analysis and critical thinking, their knowledge and understanding of global issues, along with student attitudes and openness, their respect for cultural otherness and global mindedness.

Students heard from Senior Lecturer in Education, Elena Lengthorn, who is also an experienced Eco-Schools Ambassador and mentor, about the Eco-Schools programme, an international award scheme currently running in 49,000 schools across 64 countries.

“We shared cross curricular ideas on how the SDGs can contribute to teaching and learning within our formal curriculum spaces,” said Elena. “Additionally there was recognition of the potential of the Global Goals to support education more comprehensively, through personal development and transferable skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.”

The session also provided a chance for trainees to work with resources from an EU funded project that Ben and Elena had been involved with: Global learning – Lenses on the world. The booklets focused on Sustainable Development, Poverty & Wealth, alongside Food and Hunger. The resources were developed in partnership with a number of organisations including TIDE~ global learning and one of the University’s partnership secondary schools, Nunnery Wood High School.