Kinvara Jardine Paterson Shares The Power Of Introducing The Sustainable Development Goals To Students | HundrED Innovation Summit

18.9.2019 | BY KATIJA ALADIN

Kinvara Jardine Paterson is the Content and Creative Manager at World’s Largest Lesson selected for the 2019 HundrED Global collection. Project Everyone: World's Largest Lesson is an educational program, based in London that runs in partnership with UNICEF. Their focus is getting young people and kids everywhere to know about, be inspired by and take action for the UN Sustainable Development Goals by helping to empower kids to go out into their communities and see the issues they may want to change. 


Why is it important for children to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals? 


I think it’s really important for young people and children to know about the goals because you can’t fight for something or take action for something if you don't know what it is. Also, we have a deadline of the year 2030 for the goals to be achieved and it’s an incredibly ambitious plan.  For them to be achieved we have to get everyone involved. Currently 40 % of the world is under the age of 24 so there’s a huge demographic. If we can tap into that and get them to know about the goals then we can make them a success.  


What impact is World’s Largest Lesson having around the world?

One thing that’s really amazing for me as someone who used to be a teacher in the classroom is when we started the program we were always thinking of the impact it would have on kids and young people but it’s also the impact we’ve seen it having on teachers.  Teachers often tell us that they feel like they're not teaching in isolation because they've got this global framework behind them. So far in 2017 we’ve reached 280 000 educators and with schools we impacted 4.18 million kids using our content. Seeing the impact is really in the change projects that kids start doing in their communities which is amazing for us to see back in London.


What excites you most in education right now? 

Just last week we had a message from a teacher on twitter who we spoke to. She is a teacher in Jordan and she had been teaching all her students about the goals. They’ve been focussing on goal 16 which is peace and justice and her and her students had read in the newspaper of the school that there was a widower living down the road in their community who wasn’t able to feed her children because she didn’t have any money. Her husband had died and she wasn’t able to get a job. So the kids fundraised to buy some goats because they thought this is something that the woman could make money from. What’s amazing about that is not only were they giving money to charity to help her, but also thinking about ways they can do it sustainably because they thought: if we buy her goats then she was going to be able to sell the milk and make money for her family as well as having some for herself. So to hear that was amazing.


Why should schools get involved with the World's Largest lesson and what advice would you give to a teacher considering it?    

One of the best things about the SDG’s and the global goals is that there’s so many of them which can be quite overwhelming sometimes, but it’s also the best way because you as a teacher can go to World’s Largest Lesson and use any of our resources to introduce the goals to your students. Then what we found is by being introduced to the goals, kids suddenly pick one that they really really love and can get behind.  The kids then begin to lead the teachers to the project that they want to do because there’s so many different goals and they can choose which ones they prefer to do.  


Learn more about Project Everyone: World's Largest Lesson, on their innovation page.