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St Clair sunrise, Dunedin
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School support for SDGs

Lesley Brook —

Dunedin secondary schools are teaching the Sustainable Development Goals, but not necessarily explicitly or consistently.

Whaiao is a United Nations' Regional Centre of Expertise for Education for Sustainability. The organisation's network of stakeholders includes many educational institutions including Otago Polytechnic in a common cause, to facilitate learning towards sustainable development in Otago. Business student Flora Yi Yu undertook a research project for Whaiao to identify which of the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were being implemented in Dunedin secondary schools and how. 

Flora distributed an online survey to 12 secondary schools in Dunedin and Enviroschools. Thirty survey responses were received from nine organisations. She then interviewed seven of the respondents face to face. She also carried out analysis of the resources available to the secondary schools for sustainability education, and of three schools' policies and student activities from their websites.

The research showed that most secondary schools in Dunedin are already implementing all of the SDGs to some extent in teaching, policies and activities, however without explicitly referencing the SDGs. Flora identified that improving teachers' awareness and understanding of the SDGs, providing ready-made resources for them to integrate into their teaching, and facilitating practical opportunities for students to contribute to achievement of the SDGs would be helpful ways Whaiao could contribute to education for sustainable development in secondary schools.