Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning, Teaching, and Training



As global issues such as climate change, economic growth, social equality, and the wealth gap are widely discussed, sustainable development goals have recently been discussed in various disciplines (Chan et al., 2023; Ho et al., 2023; Zuo et al., 2023; Chung et al., 2020). The United Nations has announced the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 SDGs covering issues such as climate change, economic growth, social equality, wealth gap, and peace and justice to guide global efforts toward sustainability (Magnus 2016) systematically. The SDGs must be fully integrated into people’s daily lives for the earth to become sustainable. However, with different development conditions and resources in each country, the SDGs cannot be achieved immediately but must be promoted and implemented step by step. As a result, more and more educators are incorporating SDGs into their curricula, student projects, learning portfolios, events, and other activities. SDGs significantly influence our future and have led to educational initiatives in governments, businesses, NGOs, and schools.

Although SDGs education has received attention worldwide in recent years, its popularity is limited. Some educators with limited SDG knowledge may think that SDGs are just a class merely teaching students SDG knowledge and concepts (Kazuaki et al., 2021; Anggal, 2022). However, experts who have long promoted the integration of SDGs in the United Nations believe that SDGs are a superior framework that should span across subject areas and knowledge disciplines as guiding principles (Maharjan et al., 2019; Tom, 2021; Damigos et al., 2021). SDGs should start with a phenomenon, explore the issues, connect with the real world, create empathy, and then develop actions. In other words, regarding the education of SDGs, educators should lead students in issue discussions to help them learn to consider all aspects of SDG concepts and let them come up with their own solutions that they think are feasible with their rationale.

Moreover, the shift from the traditional single correct-answer approach to systematic and critical thinking and inquiry-based learning has changed many educators’ teaching models and strategies, especially in assessing student learning effectiveness and acceptance. As governments focus on and promote SDG education, corresponding technologies and teaching methods are necessary to support new learning behaviors to help teachers achieve the goals and spirit of SDG education. Governments, schools, universities, teachers, parents, mentors, and multiple stakeholders are increasingly adopting such technologies and pedagogies to develop different functionalities and content to meet the diverse learning needs of students.

This special issue aims to explore how novel technologies and pedagogies can enable students to think systematically and critically about cross-disciplinary issues in various educational and vocational training settings. For example, students under 15 may need more teacher guidance in their SDGs education programs (Samuelsson et al., 2019; Taiwo et al., 2022). More mature students may apply various technologies to search for issue materials and communicate on social media to complete their perspectives (Lucía et al., 2022; Jang et al., 2022) and carry out related experiments and activities.

List of topic areas

Possible related topics include student learning needs, instructional case studies, learning performance, and assistive teaching techniques. Some related topics are provided as examples, such as but not limited to the following:

  • Practical concepts and policies for embedding SDGs across curricula and literacy.
  • SDG education frameworks, models, theories, methodologies, pedagogy design, learning tools, assessment, and feedback.
  • SDG mentoring and training systems.
  • SDG education case studies and action research. Learn-Think-Act approach to SDGs education.
  • Virtual reality, augmented reality, metaverse, and other contemporary technologies for SDG Social media and network, MOOC, and mobile platforms for SDG Learning, social media, and Big Data analytics for SDG Emerging technologies and devices for SDG-related vocational learning, teaching, training, extracurricular activities, experiential learning, and related promotions.
  • SDG-related development and implementation under educational contexts.

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Author guidelines must be strictly followed.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 07/07/2023

Closing date for manuscripts submission: 31/12/2023


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