NW 15 - A: Partnerships for the goals: Partnerships in education and the SDGs

NW 15 Research on Partnerships in Education

Partnerships for the goals: Partnerships in education and the SDGs

The UNESCO (https://en.unesco.org/themes/education/sdgs/material/17) writes that “a partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance in their mutual interests” and point out that education is “crucial” in achieving the sustainability goals through partnerships. In this call we invite contributions that critically examine if such ambition is possible and if so, how this can be achieved.

The Call
UNESCO (2021) describes SDG number 17, partnerships for the goals, as the key to achieving the sustainability goals. While efforts in more traditional research in sustainability education in academia are getting traction, more diverse partnerships that include also those outside of university are needed to address questions how sustainability is connected to equity, culture, socioeconomic status or gender (Ho et al., 2023).

Given the severity of the consequences of climate change there is a need for extensive collaborations among diverse partners to effectively pursue the SDGs through education. However, while desirable diverse partnerships are not easy to maneuver. Universities and various (formal and informal) educational, scientific, community organisations may be sharing similar sentiments but may be coming from different disciplines and have day-to-day operations that are quite different which can generate challenges in these partnerships.

We invite contributions that critically examine the role diverse partnerships play in the transitions to sustainable development in education. The nature of partnerships needs to be a central consideration (Otrel-Cass, Laing & Wolf, 2022). Proposals may wish to follow up on questions such as:

  • How can education prepare future citizens, so they feel committed to cultural diversity and a balance of gender in a society that actively participates in partnerships for sustainability?
  • What kind of curricula to we need that are responsive to a rapidly changing world and environment and foster caring partnerships for a sustainable world?
  • Does the diversity of contributors (academic, non-academic, NGOs etc..), their goals and practices help or hinder the transition to become a sustainable society? Are the expectations in the role of education for a sustainable transition different partners hold necessarily the same and what happens if they are not?

Contact Person(s)
Kathrin Otrel-Cass, kathrin.otrel-cass(at)uni-graz.at
Karen Laing, k.j.c.laing(at)newcastle.ac.uk

Ho, S. S., Bowser, G., Templer, P., & Green, S. A. (2023). Learning for sustainability: partnerships for the goals. Sustainable Earth Reviews, 6(1), 8.

Otrel-Cass, K., Laing, K., & Wolf, J. (2022). On Promises and Perils: Thinking About the Risks and Rewards of Partnerships in Education. In Partnerships in Education (pp. 3-12). Springer, Cham.

UNESCO (2021). SDG Resources for Educators – Partnerships for the goals. https://en.unesco.org/themes/education/sdgs/material/17

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Interview with Link Convenor 2019