Molloy College Professor and Graduate Student Represent International Educational Honor Society at the United Nations
Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the International Honor Society in Education, fosters excellence in education and promotes fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. Founded over one hundred year ago, KDP supports and advances educators throughout the phases and levels of their teaching careers.
KDP focuses on the UN's Sustainable Development Goal #4, Quality Education. As an NGO affiliated with both the United Nations and the Committee on Teaching about the UN, KDP is positioned to raise awareness, enhance social justice, and collaborate for global learning and access to quality education for all.
Molloy College Associate Professor Mubina Schroder, Ph.D. is a professional representative of KDP to the UN, and Molloy College graduate student Lucijan Jovic is a student representative. Representatives participate in various UN meetings, including the General Assembly, educational conferences, seminars, and workshops. Dr. Schroder is also a Teach Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador.
What is happening at the United Nations that's relevant for college students at this time?
MS: The United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are designed to help guide the global community towards a more equitable and sustainable future. It is critical for college students to be aware of ongoing global challenges and how organizations like the United Nations tackle those challenges because, ultimately, we are all affected by what happens on the global stage--whether that be issues like rising fuel prices, pandemics, environmental pressures, and inequality in distribution of resources.
LJ: The United Nations has developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals, intended to create a more sustainable future for communities. It is critical for college students to learn about and implement these goals because we will have an impact on society for generations to come. The knowledge and skills acquired at colleges and universities combined with the sustainable development goals set forth by the UN will foster civic and engaged individuals who will work to make their communities more sustainable in the years to come.
How is your teaching and learning tied to this program?
MS: My research is anchored in understanding how to use real-world scenarios to engage students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Research has consistently shown that project-based learning approaches, which use the idea of student-directed solutions for problems like the ones the United Nations tackles, are more meaningful and helps prepare students in 21st century skills, which include critical thinking, creativity, and information literacy. I always ask my students to imagine who sewed the clothes they are wearing, what happens to their water bottles after they toss them, and what kinds of environmental vicissitudes their communities in might face in the future. This kind of reflection is critical and the UN's SDGs are a good way to start to understand how we can address these issues.
LJ: My teaching philosophy and research interests are rooted in fostering critically literate individuals who think, read, and write with proficiency. I am always looking for new and innovative pedagogical approaches to meet the needs of my students. Through participating in this program I can foster civic and engaged individuals who will think for themselves, and give back to make the world a more sustainable place for future generations.
Have your experiences in the program changed your views about your own work? Your daily life?
MS: Prior to joining the United Nations representatives program, I was unaware of the far reach of the United Nations in the field of education - particularly in science education. The United Nations has created educational opportunities for underserved communities around the world, and developed an amazing library of resources for educators. Many aspects of the UN's work is relevant for college communities and part of my mission is to get the word out about how to use the UN's array of programs and resources to become educated and invested in the issues our world is facing today. Part of my teaching philosophy is to help create the next generation of problem-solvers and innovators, and to link pedagogy to issues that already exist. Doing so helps create interest and investment on the part of the students. Our team at the Cognition and Learning Lab at Molloy is working on creating an app that challenges misconceptions about global resources and climate change through a gamified quiz format.
In my daily life, I have become more cognizant of the impact of my personal choices. Per capita, a person living in the United States has the one of the highest average carbon footprints in the world! In fact, many of our pets here in the US have a higher carbon footprint than most humans in other countries. The real-time events that we are witnessing, such as New York City being reclassified as a humid subtropical climate zone, are portents of climate change. Every one of us can make a difference with our choices.
How can students get involved in this program?
LJ: There are numerous ways for students to get involved including internships, youth representative positions, and so much more. Students can reach out to me any time to learn more.
Mubina Schroder, Ph.D.
Molloy College Associate Professor
and professional representative
of KDP to the UN
Molloy College graduate student
and student representative