Investigating real-world social, economic, and environmental issues through the Sustainable Development Goals

Are you looking for ways to implement the new science and technology STEM curriculum and help your students investigate real-world social, economic, and environmental issues that impact our lives in relevant and engaging ways? The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a holistic lens through which to help our students become the informed, effective citizens we need for a sustainable future. Participants will: learn about the SDGs; how they are interconnected; explore resources, tools and strategies for using the SDGs to address curriculum outcomes; and see practical examples of the SDGs in action.

Hosted by Susan Elliott

Susan Elliott is an educator, program lead and professional development (PD) facilitator in K-12 classrooms for public and independent schools. Her doctoral research in authentic assessment and curriculum has guided her in supporting diverse learners as a special education teacher at several school boards, including the Toronto District School Board-operated school at the Hospital for Sick Children. She was Executive Director of the Learning Forum at The Toronto French School (TFS) until 2020, leading a support services team and overseeing Guidance and Wellness, Learning Strategies and Resource, Technology and Libraries.

Susan has lifelong passion for connecting children to nature through inquiry and action. She collaborates with students, faculty and communities on nature-based learning, projects and conferences. She has taught the specialist AQ in Environmental Education at OISE-UT (University of Toronto) and is co-author of a teaching guide, Connecting the Dots: Key Strategies that Transform Learning for Environmental Education, Citizenship and Sustainability.

Her work with Learning for a Sustainable Future includes writing and developing articles. Her recent contributions include an article published by EDCan: A Whole School Approach to Teaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Making Your School Culture the Catalyst for Change and the LSF resource Thinking Forward: Toolkits for Building Classroom Communities in a Pandemic World.   

Webinar Resources

Feel free to reach out to Susan if you have any questions about incorporating this in your classroom or school/board.

Links referenced during the presentation:

Here are some highlights from the session:

  1. Dr. Susan Elliott introduced the organization Learning for a Sustainable Future and its mission to promote sustainability through education.
  2. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a holistic framework to address global issues.
  3. Canadians surveyed want climate change education to be multifaceted, aligning with the SDGs.
  4. The SDGs can be linked to existing school projects to engage students.
  5. Resources for Rethinking (R4R) is a database of sustainability lesson plans and action projects.
  6. Nature and community walks build local awareness and care to motivate projects.
  7. LSF’s 12-step guide supports student-led sustainability action projects.
  8. The LSF website shares inspiring Canadian youth sustainability projects.
  9. Focusing on climate change inherently addresses many SDGs.
  10. The SDGs introduce complexity and systems thinking to identify root causes and unintended consequences.
  11. Teachers should balance climate change facts with solution-focused examples to inspire hope and action.
  12. The video on declining domestic food production sparked discussion on trade-offs related to nutrition, economics, and environmental sustainability.
  13. School boards may have curriculum resources connected to SDGs and sustainability.
  14. LSF provides funding up to $500 for student-led sustainability action projects.