The future is in our teacher's hand!

"Let's visit the United Nations and dive into the Sustainable Development Goals! The future is in our hands - we can create a deeper understanding together with our pupils!"

Prof. Eva Gansrigler participant of the UN Teachers Workshop

In line with the Sustainable Development Goal number 4: "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all", teachers from Vienna had the chance to attend a two-day workshop on "Teaching the  United Nations and global challenges". In two sessions held in April and in May 2016, over 50 teacher took advantage of the offer and were informed about the UN in general, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to bring these topics into the classroom. The workshop was organized by the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna in cooperation with the University of Teachers Education in Vienna (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Austria.

The teachers started their workshop-day with a guided tour of the Vienna International Centre (VIC) to get a detailed insight into the UN, its history and the work that is done in Vienna. Afterwards the workshop programme provided an introduction to the offers of the United Nations Visitors Service for school classes, by the Chief of the Visitors Service, Johanna Kleinert. In this session the teachers found out how to visit the VIC with their students and which different options are available, such as the Sustainable Development Tour or the Human Rights Tour.

Ruth Schöffl from the UNHCR Office in Austria then gave a presentation about the current situation of refugees in Europe, migration and asylum. This gave the teachers a lot of information and material on these highly topical subjects and how to deal with them in school.

On the second day of the workshop Irene Höglinger-Neiva, Anna Puhr and Teresa Gerner from UNIS presented a wide range of teaching resources which can easily be used by teachers for a lesson focusing on the United Nations.  As well as material from the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF),  the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other organizations, UNIS presented a teaching script on the Sustainable Development Goals which, for the first time, brings the goals into the classroom, to reach children in their early years and help them understand the importance of these goals.

Overall the workshop was very well received by the participants who were happy to get a better insight into the work of the United Nations in Vienna and grateful to find out about the hands-on teaching material and resources they can use.