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Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in Education 2030 / SDG 4

Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in Education 2030 / SDG 4

In a globalized world with unresolved social, political, economic and environmental challenges, education that helps building peaceful and sustainable societies is essential. Education systems seldom fully integrate such transformative approaches, however. It is vital therefore to give a central place in Education 2030 to strengthening education’s contribution to the fulfillment of human rights, peace and responsible citizenship from local to global levels, gender equality, sustainable development and health.

The content of such education must be relevant, with a focus on both cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of learning. The knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required by citizens to lead productive lives, make informed decisions and assume active roles locally and globally in facing and resolving global challenges can be acquired through education for sustainable development (ESD) and global citizenship education (GCED), which includes peace and human rights education as well as intercultural education and education for international understanding.

Education 2030. Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation for Sustainable Development Goal 4. May 2015. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002456/245656E.pdf

Sustainable Development Goal Target 4.7

By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire 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.

The Global Indicator for SDG 4.7

The extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development, including gender equality and human rights, are mainstreamed at all levels in (a) national education policies (b) curricula (c) teacher education and (d) student assessment.

Indicative Strategies Recommended in the Education 2030 Framework for Action:

  • Develop policies and programmes to promote ESD and GCED and bring them into the mainstream of formal, non-formal and informal education through system-wide interventions, teacher training, curricular reform and pedagogical support. This includes implementing the Global Action Programme on ESD and addressing themes such as human rights, gender equality, health, comprehensive sexuality education, climate change, sustainable livelihoods and responsible and engaged citizenship, based on national experiences and capabilities.
  • Provide learners of both sexes and of all ages with opportunities to acquire, throughout life, the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that are needed to build peaceful, healthy and sustainable societies.
  • Develop and disseminate good practices on ESD and GCED within and between countries to better implement education programmes and enhance international cooperation and understanding.
  • Promote participatory programmes for learners and educators related to ESD and GCED to engage in their communities and society.
  • Ensure that education acknowledges the key role that culture plays in achieving sustainability, taking into account local conditions and culture as well as building awareness of cultural expressions and heritage, and their diversity, while emphasizing the importance of respect for human rights.
  • Support the development of more robust assessment systems for ESD and GCED to assess cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural learning outcomes, using existing and proven tools when possible, identifying needs for the development of new tools and including a broad range of countries and regions, taking into account the work of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and other partners.
  • Promote an interdisciplinary, and if necessary, multi-stakeholder approach to ensure ESD and GCED at all levels and in all forms of education, including through human rights education and training, promoting a culture of peace and non-violence.


Information Resources:

SDG 4 and SDG 4.7

SDG 4.7 Progress Indicators

Education for Sustainable Development

Global Citizenship Education

Human Rights Education

Sustainable Lifestyles