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Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Implications for the work of Adult Educators

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a popular topic in many of today’s public policies and public discussions in the mass media. This idea has been the basis for the development of projects and activities in many organisations, such as non-governmental organisations. The implementation of such educational sustainable development projects and activities is supported by adult educators who adopt multiple roles.

Simultaneously, Sustainable Development Goal 4, in particular, calls for a stronger emphasis on the professional development of adult educators and adult learning professionals in order to promote quality education and lifelong learning for all.

If you work on this topic, you will be able to:

  • interpret the aims of projects and activities of adult education for sustainability of a specific non-governmental organisation,
  • understand the roles played by adult educators in these projects and activities of education on sustainable development,
  • recognise the necessity of incorporating an SDG focus into the professionalisation of adult educators,
  • expand the knowledge of adult educators on active citizenship as called for in the SDGs,
  • understand the roles of higher education institutions in the development of SDGs and SDG4 in particular, focusing on quality education and lifelong learning for all.


Instructions for the Comparison @Home

Start your work on this comparative topic by studying the instructions for the Comparison@home. Please look at the documents below as a first step.

You can choose from two different instructions for the comparison at home. Each has a slightly different approach to the topic of adult education and the sustainable development goals. Both give you a step-by-step introduction into how to find a good comparative research question, give you context for the comparison, and suggest some possible categories for you to elaborate on.


Materials on the Topic: Lifelong Learning and Agenda 2030 for SDGs

We selected the following materials to give you a good starting point for a comparative analysis on the topic of Lifelong Learning and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. These primary resources provide a first overview with the official knowledge platform by the United Nations and two critical papers by relevant international institutions on the role of adult education in the Agenda 2030.

To work on the instruction for the comparison at home, you can start with the following materials.

­­­­This Knowledge Platform is important as it provides a relevant general description and insight to Sustainabe Development Goals as main focus of UN Agenda 2030. Also, this platform explains the background and eolution of this particular initiative in its complexity and refers to those 17 SDG goals with necessary details and indication to key partners of those goals. 

The UN SDG-Knowledge Platform’s SDG4 link enables readers to get an overview of SDG4 focus with indications of recent milestones of development in SDG4 key actions and reference major decisions, documents, publications, etc.

This background paper by the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) explains the policy background behind the Sustainable Development Goals, the link to adult education and presents some examples from practice.

This special document is a valuable analytical paper upon the potential connections in between adult education and Sustainable Developments by addressing some relevant choices and limitations for adult education.

You can search for further material in the INTALL information tool.

Quiz and Online Interaction

To test your learning progress on the comparative topic of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implications for the work of adult educators, we have prepared a quiz for you! Also, we have created a discussion board where you can get in contact with other learners who work on the topic. Please first sign up for OpenWueCampus under the following link:

For the self enrolment, use the enrolment key "Winterschool"

After creating your account and logging in, use the following link to access 3 quizzes on the sustainable development goals and test your knowledge:


Team up online: In the Intall@home discussion board, you can discuss your work with other students or researchers or search for partners for a collaborative work.


Next to OpenWueCampus, you can also join our LinkedIn professional network where you can also get in touch with other learners, professors and professionals in the field of adult education!