Tag Archives: UN

A Curriculum Framework for Purpose-Driven Learning

Why students learn appears in many schools’ visions and mission statements that use words such as ‘inspire,’ ‘empower,’ ‘innovate,’ and ‘make a difference.’ But how many students experience those concepts in their day-to-day experiences at school? Young people naturally want to know, “why are we learning this?” and, “why is this relevant to my life?”

In short, students seek purpose in their learning.

As someone dedicated to using education to leverage meaningful change in the world, I think the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals provide a fantastic opportunity for young people to find that purpose in their learning. They can investigate concepts such as diversity, equality, justice, and sustainability from different perspectives, and students can see how various fields of knowledge both contribute to and mitigate some of the most pressing issues in the world today.

Follow this link for a closer look at this idea in a recent post I wrote for New Nordic School in Finland, where I’m the Director of Education. It should only take a few minutes to read, and it is my hope that you’ll find my ideas about the direction of contemporary education refreshing.



Infographics: Information, Graphically!

Happy Monday morning! This morning I’ll share with you one of my favorite resources on the web: the GRID-Arendal Maps and Infographics Library from the United Nations. It sounds complicated, but it’s really pretty simple. And it’s simply pretty, too! The Infographics Library is essentially a repository of data the UN has collected from its various programs all around the world. Much of the data has been converted into easy-to-interpret infographics by skilled graphic design professionals.

Money Grows on Trees - just one example of the resources available at the GRID-Arendal Maps and Infographics Library.

Money Grows on Trees – just one example of the resources available at the GRID-Arendal Maps and Infographics Library. Image courtesy of Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

The good people at the UN encourage users to share the information they’ve collated, in an effort to educate the planet about the way we impact our world. You can search the data sets and graphics by keyword, tags, location, and/or UN agency.

I have found this site to be incredibly helpful as a teacher, and I believe that it can help students better understand the many issues they will face when they become professional members of our networked world. Bookmark it.

Also, watch this TED Talk by David McCandless about data visualization, in which he examines not only how we see information, but also when we see it and what that means for our perception.