Students team with UNESCO for educational videos on sustainability

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York University Bachelor of Arts (BA) Educational Studies students teamed up with the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability to create educational videos covering current global education themes.

Students in their final year of the BA Educational Studies degree program are required to take a capstone course (EDST4999). In keeping with the program’s goal to look at all aspects of education, including policy, the psychology of education, teaching and adult education, seven students from the program met with the UNESCO team to understand the organization’s role within the United Nations 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.

Charles Hopkins
Charles Hopkins

The students worked in collaboration with York UNESCO Chair, Professor Charles Hopkins, and Executive Co-ordinator Katrin Kohl, as well as UNESCO Project Officer Katja Anger during the 2022/2023 York U Capstone Course in Educational Studies led by Celia Popovic, course director and Faculty of Education professor. They 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 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.

One of several videos created by the students and featured on UNESCO Chair at York University Toronto YouTube channel

“The videos present young voices to the discussion of our global challenges today and tomorrow,” said 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.”