“Empowering our students to become agents of positive change in their communities” – Teachers workshops at the United Nations in Vienna

Teachers and educators play a crucial role to foster students’ understanding of human rights and sustainable development. More than 60 teachers from Vienna, Burgenland and Lower Austria recently came to the Vienna International Centre (VIC) to take part in a series of teachers workshops to learn more about teaching resources and offers for school classes to engage their students with these topics.

Vienna, 21 March 2024 – Each of the three workshops kicked off with a guided tour of the Vienna International Centre to hear more about the work of the United Nations in Vienna and their contributions to sustainable development, human rights and refugee protection.

After the introduction, staff from the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Austria presented some of the teaching tools available and offers for school classes and educators.

The workshops, held on 14, 19 and 21 March and organized in cooperation with the University Colleges of Teacher Education in Vienna (PH Wien) and Burgenland (PH Burgenland) / Austrian Center for Peace (ACP) Schlaining, gave the teachers an opportunity to gather insights on topics vital to the work of the United Nations and to exchange ideas on how to feature them in the classroom.


The workshops included concrete teaching lessons, apps and games to engage students with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a thematic introduction and UNHCR didactical material on refugee protection and a presentation on guided tour offers for school classes.

PH Wien programme coordinator Stefanie Vollnhofer, who coordinated one of the workshops aimed at English teachers, noted that the workshop “not only gave us a great overview on the UN's fields of actions, its programmes, aims and core values it  also provided us with valuable teaching ideas and tools allowing us to work on the SDGs, displacement and flight in our (English) classrooms. This will  thus empower our students to become agents of positive change in their communities and beyond.”

Many participants expressed their gratitude for the variety of teaching resources presented and for the organization of the workshops. At the end of a session, one of the participants had already concrete plans on how to engage her peers to bring the SDGs closer to their students: “I have already texted colleagues about organizing an interactive SDG tour for students.”