I wrote back in January about the zillions (actually 255) of learning objectives that UNESCO has dreamed up to go with the SDGs, and so it's good to see Ben Ballin commenting on them on an NAEE blog the other day: A catechism for sustainability? The UNESCO Learning Objectives.
"It is no doubt a laudable achievement to create fifteen learning objectives for each of the seventeen goals: that’s a very productive 255 learning objectives in total. ... On top of the learning objectives for each goal, there are extensive lists of suggested topics, learning approaches and methods. At this point, I start to lose count (and quite possibly the will to live). Categorising all those objectives in such a tidy manner must have taken a vast amount of work, involving many embattled hours around the international conference table, a forest of post-its and many carefully-considered words in many languages. The process probably had great value for those involved and such a learning processes is not to be sniffed at. But what about the rest of us? How useful is it to us?"
What indeed. Ben's post ends on a qualified positive note:
"... this is a flawed report that overlays the existing demands on teachers and schools with many further demands. It is perhaps symptomatic of what happens when committees and conferences decide what is best for the rest of us. It is not, however, without its uses: not least of these is to serve as a reminder of where our time and energy might more productively spent if we are to really build on the excellent work that already exists."
It seems clear, however, that whatever innovation actually takes place on the ground with real children will be as a result of teacher enterprise and not this dirigiste stuff that UNESCO so likes which is an admission that it doesn't much trust teachers to think for themselves.