Educating Global Citizens in 2021


By Lottie Dowling | 19 November 2021

“By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”
SDG Goal 4.7


A few years after leaving the classroom, I discovered the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. I was gutted of course – I’d missed out on including this amazing, real-life, important global context in my students’ learning.

Over the next few years, I learnt more about the SDG’s and how they’d replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were forged in the year 2,000.


I found other educators passionate about embedding the SDGs into education, such as the Teach SDGs movement, which has hundreds of educators globally sign up to ‘teach the SDG’s, including through global collaboration opportunities, or just those who shared their work via their online PLNs such as Twitter.

As an educator that is passionate about Global Citizenship and who has committed myself to continue to learn more about it, I see how important the SDGs are for this work.

A globally created agreement (by the United Nations in 2015), the Sustainable Development Goals, lays out a plan, to make the world a better place for everyone by 2030, through 17 goals, which are also broken down into sub-goals.  SDG4 is Quality Education,  with sub-goals 1-6 focussing on the importance of access to quality education from preschool to adulthood and of adult literacy for all.

Of course, these must be achieved if we are really committed to the ideas of ‘quality education for all’. But beyond basic literacy, we must ask ourselves if our education is fit for purpose and preparing our young people for the globalised, interconnected, interdependent place our world is increasingly becoming. 

We must ask ourselves how we can leverage SDG17 ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ to support students as global collaborators to build their Global Citizenship skills and start global collaborations that address GLOCAL issues and challenges.


The SDG Talks podcast highlights changemakers who share their ideas, best practices and stories around the Sustainable Development Goals. In this podcast, I explore how the SDGs can support building Global Citizenship in education.

I hope educators everywhere will be inspired to start, or continue, work in the classrooms and schools into embedding the SDGs into teaching and learning.

Click the image on the right to listen to the podcast for free →

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