Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Unit: Exploration of Middle School Students’ SDG Knowledge

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Koçulu A., Topçu M. S.

Sustainability (Switzerland), vol.16, no.2, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su16020581
  • Journal Name: Sustainability (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: education for sustainable development goals, middle school students, SDG knowledge, sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Perhaps the largest lesson in our time is to teach students how to sustain our world’s resources while improving well-being for people all over the world. Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the curriculum for K-12 education would help middle students understand why the world’s resources are important, how the world should be treated and protected, and how they play a vital role in its future. However, there is a lack of curriculum material to put into practice regarding SDGs at K-12 levels. This study set out to address this need through design-based research, leading to the development and evaluation of the application of a learn–think–act approach-based Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unit. This unit was implemented over 8 weeks to help enhance middle school students’ SDG knowledge. Participants were a group of 20 7th grade students attending an environmental education and climate change elective course at a public school in Turkey. Data on SDG knowledge were collected from students through semi-structured interviews before and after the application of the unit. Transcriptions of the interviews were analyzed with deductive content analysis based on the rubric. The results revealed that a learn–think–act approach-based Sustainable Development Goals unit enhanced middle school students’ SDG knowledge.