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Make learning authentic using the Sustainable Development Goals

Rob Clarke

Rob is the co-founder and CEO of Learning Architects. He supports leaders and organisations to thrive in the future through coaching, development, technology and learning design. He is a Ministry of Education accredited PLD facilitator. He is also a Dad and volunteers as Special Officer - Education for the United Nations Association of NZ.

For more information please visit: or get in touch via +64 21 590 572

Sustainable Development Goals

I’ve just spent the most fabulous day at St Mary’s Catholic School in Rotorua supporting their STEAM Extravaganza. My role as a guest speaker was to introduce them to the Sustainable Development Goals and help them learn how to use these goals. This post is aimed at helping you make learning authentic using the Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGs are 17 global goals that the United Nations has set for the world which they want to meet  by the year 2030. They are ambitious and complex goals that address issues that are sometimes referred to as ‘wicked problems’. For example: No Poverty, or Gender Equality, Life on Land, Life under Water, Climate Action, and so on. Using the SDGs in your teaching provides a great way to improve learner agency and give students authentic contexts that are challenging and rich.

If you click the circular SDG logo on this post, it will take you to a voluntary project I lead in my capacity as Special Officer for Education for the United Nations Association, called the UN Education Portal

This presentation below gives an overview of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also links to some of the resources on a website I’ve been involved in leading called This project has over 100 webquests which are linked to various SDGs which primary students and teachers can use in their learning. Slide 26 has teacher notes which provide a bit of guidance for educators.

If you combine the SDGs into the design of your curriculum, you will naturally tap into these rich opportunities to deepen the challenge that students face and make their learning more complex and authentic. If you want some advice on how to incorporate the SDGs into your curriculum design please check out these free tips for teaching using the SDGs, or resources on  or get in contact with us.

Here is a video created by the student reporters about the day…

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