Bachelor of Arts (BA) Educational Studies students on the required practicum capstone course joined forces with the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability to create educational videos covering current global education themes. The students had the opportunity to work with York’s UNESCO Chair Professor Charles Hopkins and Executive Co-ordinator Katrin Kohl during the 2022/2023 York U Capstone Course in Educational Studies held by Director Celia Popovic.
The BA Educational Studies program looks at all aspects of education, including policy, the psychology of education, teaching and adult education. The Capstone Course aims to make students aware of some of their choices beyond becoming teachers by exploring other career options through interviews and conversations with professionals in education-related fields and by applying their learning from the program to authentic community-based contexts.
Seven students from the program met with UNESCO Project Officer Katja Anger and UNESCO Chair Charles Hopkins to understand UNESCO´s role within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and learn about the efforts in achieving quality education, in particular through the UNESCO Associated Schools Network of more than 12,500 schools worldwide.
Students explored how to best explain sustainability, the SDGs, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) or Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in video segments and created three educational videos – from conceptualizing, scripting, performing, shooting, editing, and finalizing the video product.
"Participating students had been passionate about sustainable development, climate action, and social justice before. Yet, with their new knowledge and an opportunity to have an impact beyond the classroom, they saw that their voice was important and felt empowered to make a difference now and in the future," said Celia Popovic, Undergraduate Program Director, Academic Programs in the Faculty of Education.
The student videos will now be shared with UNESCO Associated Schools in Canada and beyond and other young people will have the opportunity to engage with the perspectives and perceptions of their peers.
"The videos present young voices to the discussion of our global challenges today and tomorrow," said UNSECO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, Charles Hopkins. "This project is one example of York University’s Faculty of Education seeking ways to respond to the pressing challenge inherent in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."
Taking part in this initiative has allowed my partner and I to become more knowledgeable as global citizens and as change makers in our community. It is critical that ESD is applied to all aspects of our lives, as this will create significant change and transformation - Bachelor of Arts Educational Studies degree program students Andreana Cassar and Vanessa Ramos
York University is internationally recognized for its commitment and contributions to addressing the SDGs through teaching, research, stewardship and partnerships as outlined in the University Academic Plan. York offers over 1600 courses related to at least one of the SDGs and funds ground-breaking research to advance York’s contribution to the SDGs. For their positive efforts, York University was recognized among the World´s TOP 35 universities in impact for sustainable development by the renown 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Ranking.
Article written by Celia Popovic (Undergraduate Program Director, Academic Programs) and Katrin Kohl (Executive Coordinator to the UNESCO Chair)