Victoria W. Thoresen
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #4 focuses on "inclusive, quality education", galvanising efforts for substantial educational reform around the globe. Progress is being made but are the initiatives being upscaled and mainstreamed rapidly enough? Have cooperative learning and creativity been given enough attention? Are teachers receiving sufficient support? These are some of the questions raised by Victoria Thoresen as she considers the goals and challenges iterated in the SDG.
Thoresen argues that unless implementation of the new definitions of inclusive, quality education are prioritized everywhere, sustainable development will be severely hampered and, conceivably, misdirected. She examines the recent evolution of education in light of political and commercial ambitions, technological advancements, and knowledge creation and sharing. Key concerns relating to education for and about sustainable development are identified and major obstacles to achieving inclusive, quality education are discussed. Lastly, she assesses the relevance and urgency of educational issues that relate to the other SDGs, highlighting the ways in which education is a golden thread running through all the goals.
Victoria W. Thoresen is an educator and researcher at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. She was the founder and director of the Centre for Collaborative Learning for Sustainable Development and was appointed the first UNESCO Chair for Education for Sustainable Lifestyles. As leader of the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (a network of 140 universities in 50 countries) she has, throughout the last 25 years, been closely involved in initiatives taken by the United Nations and its agencies to further greater equity and sustainable development.