Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through Mathematics Education


The right knowledge about sustainability must be passed on to raise students' awareness of today's real-world problems by means of Higher Education. Through mathematics students can be taught how to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Students can see the usefulness of mathematics while instilling values and attitudes towards sustainability. In this paper, several problems related to SDGs have been highlighted to be solved with mathematical techniques. Through different exercises they learn to give answers to real problems using mathematics and generating greater satisfaction by understanding the world around them. These activities were carried out in the second term of the 2019-2020 academic year. 180 students were enrolled in the Mathematics course that revolves around the mathematical optimisation of problems with equality and inequality constraints, which are very valid tools for solving real problems related to SDGs. Subsequently, through a survey, the students' perception of mathematics has been evaluated in order to achieve the goals established in the SDGs. The results show that it improves the student's assessment of the usefulness of this subject to solve real problems. It has been observed that this teaching methodology has helped to motivate students and even those who do not like this subject have improved their appreciation of it. Changes are needed in the curricula of the degrees, in their assessment, competences and teacher training, and transversality and interdisciplinarity between the different subjects of the same degree is also important to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Author Information
Javier Cifuentes-Faura, University of Murcia, Spain
Ursula Faura-Martínez, University of Murcia, Spain
Matilde Lafuente-Lechuga, University of Murcia, Spain

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2021
Stream: Higher education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon