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Education and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Praxis Within and Beyond the Classroom

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Is the first book to comprehensively address education for the SDGs
  • Focuses on the critical importance of education and training across all SDGs
  • Challenges and examines concrete ways in which all areas of education and training can be proactive with regard to ESD

Part of the book series: Education for Sustainability (EDFSU, volume 7)

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About this book

This book focuses on the complex relationship between education and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlights how important context is for both critiquing and achieving the Goals though education, given the critical role teachers, schools and curriculum play in young people’s lives. Readers will find examples of thinking and practice across the spectrum of education and training sectors, both formal and informal. The book adds to the increasing body of literature that recognises that education is, and must be, in its praxis, at the heart of all the SDGs. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we have a clear understanding of the wicked and complex crises regarding the health of life on our planet, and we cannot ignore the high levels of anxiety our young people are experiencing about their future. Continuing in the direction of unsustainable exploitation of people and nature is no longer an option if life is to have a flourishing future.

The book illustrates how SDGs are supported in and by education and training, showcasing the conditions necessary to ensure SDGs are fore fronted in policy reform. It includes real-world examples of SDGs in education and training contexts, as well as novel critiques of the SDGs in regard to their privileging of anthropocentrism and neoliberalism.

This book is beneficial to academics, researchers, post graduate and tertiary students from all fields relating to education and training. It is also of interest to policy developers from across disciplines and government agencies who are interested in how the SDGs relate to education.


Table of contents (40 chapters)

  1. SDG Implementation and Assessment in University Systems

Editors and Affiliations

  • School of Education, College of Arts, Law, and Education, Launceston, Australia

    Kim Beasy

  • School of Education, College of Arts, Law, and Education, Burnie, Australia

    Caroline Smith

  • School of Education, College of Arts, Law, and Education, Hobart, Australia

    Jane Watson

About the editors

Dr Kim Beasy is Senior Lecturer in education at the University of Tasmania, specialising in equitable education and education for sustainability. Kim began her career teaching environmental sustainability in a vocational education institution before undertaking a PhD exploring interpretations and practices of sustainability across diverse social contexts. She has developed and taught sustainability education in higher education now for over 10 years.

Kim has published extensively on education for sustainable development and has delivered a number of research and publication initiatives. Since 2018, she has published 20 peer-reviewed publications and in 2019 was University of Tasmania Early Career Researcher Award Recipient. Kim was instrumental in Tasmania’s establishment of Education for Sustainability Tasmania, a United Nations University Recognised Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development, is Co-Director of the international program—Global ClimateChange Week and a core team member of Curious Climate Schools.

Dr Caroline Smith is Senior Lecturer in education at the University of Tasmania, specialising in science and sustainability education. Previously, Caroline was instrumental in developing and teaching sustainability-focused courses at Australian Catholic University and at the National Centre for Sustainability at Swinburne University. With others, her work has resulted in a number of sustainability education-related awards, including Green Gowns at the University of Tasmania; Swinburne University of Technology’s Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence, and an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) citation award for leadership in the development and implementation of Education for Sustainability within pre-service and in-service teacher education.

Caroline has written extensively on a variety of aspects sustainability education in peer-reviewed papers and articles for the education profession and was the regular science writer for EarthSong Journal for 10 years. She has been active in the permaculture community for some 30 years as a teacher and designer, and co-edited a book on Permaculture Pioneers.

Currently, she is working with a University of Queensland-based agriculture project developing Plant Health Clinic training for the Pacific Islands, that aims to help farmers reduce their dependence on pesticides.

Dr Jane Watson is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Education at the University of Tasmania and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, with 50 years of teaching and research in mathematics and statistics education. She believes that numeracy and statistical literacy are critical to participation in decision-making in the complex world facing climate change and the issues of the other areas addressed in the SDGs. Jane’s work in this area has included classroom research with Grade 5 students, who devised their own measures, based on an Australian Bureau of Statistics student survey, for determining whether Australian students are “environmentally friendly”. They carried out the investigations with their classes, as well as with random samples from across Australia. A paper based on this activity won the Best Paper of 2016 award in the Journal of Statistics Education, sponsored by the American Statistical Association. Jane’s background in educational research and producing resources for teachers complements the work of the other two editors.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Education and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • Book Subtitle: Praxis Within and Beyond the Classroom

  • Editors: Kim Beasy, Caroline Smith, Jane Watson

  • Series Title: Education for Sustainability

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-99-3801-8Published: 03 November 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-99-3804-9Due: 04 December 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-99-3802-5Published: 02 November 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2367-1769

  • Series E-ISSN: 2367-1777

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIX, 762

  • Number of Illustrations: 43 b/w illustrations, 60 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Environmental and Sustainability Education, Higher Education, Language Education, Teaching and Teacher Education

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