At the United Nations: Creating a Sustainable Future for Generations to Come

By Phil Kitchel posted 02-01-2023 11:19 AM


By Lucijan Jović

Rigorous learning standards in schools hold students to high academic standards, which ensures that they are well-prepared to enter the workforce. As educators, our goal is to provide the highest quality instruction that not only engages our students but places them on the path toward personal and academic success. In order to ensure students are successful, educators must strengthen students’ critical thinking, reading, writing, and communicative proficiency. By doing so, we not only meet the needs of the diverse learning community, we’re also molding students into individuals who will create a more sustainable world for years to come. It all begins in the classroom; therefore, carefully planning instruction rooted in engagement, collaborative exchanges of academic discourse, and reading/writing are critical.

As a KDP representative to the United Nations, I often engage in collaborative exchanges with world leaders, representatives, and heads of state seeking innovative instructional approaches to best meet students’ needs. Recently, I attended the UN’s “Inclusive Quality Education for All” event, where much of the discussion focused on supporting students’ abilities through an asset-oriented approach, where we look at what learners are capable of and build upon the schematic knowledge and skills that they already hold.

Leaders across the world believe that discussion circles, Socratic seminars, and community-building activities serve as opportunities for students to not only strengthen their critical thinking and communicative proficiencies, but to create communities where mutual respect spurs changes in creating a more sustainable future. Students’ intrinsic motivation towards inquiry, learning, and growth will be fueled and will place them on the path towards success. By doing so, we are rejecting the dominant discourses in society; embracing the knowledge, skills, and experiences our students hold; and working to build upon the accomplishments they’ve already made.

This event, along with all United Nations events, provide educators, and researchers like myself an opportunity to dive deeper into educational research and engage in discussions with heads of state from around the world; discussions focused on creating a sustainable future for generations to come. Pedagogical approaches and strategies, along with supporting student growth and development, are the backbone of these events. It's truly a pleasure to engage in such conversations with leaders from around the globe, gain new ideas and perspectives, and continue to be a life-long learner.

Mr. Jović, M.S. ED, is an educator who teaches 8th grade English & Writing as well as students in grades 9-12 with limited English proficiency. He is pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership & Administration at Molloy University with a focus on social justice and high-quality/equitable education for all learners. Mr. Jović also serves as a KDP representative to the United Nations in New York City, meeting with delegates and leaders from across the globe.