UNESCO & Sandwatch introduces new Climate Change education course
Helping the next generation of young people understand what climate change is and how they can work to address the impact of climate change at the local and global level is crucial to the future of this earth.
UNESCO and the Sandwatch Foundation partnered with Dr. Lausanne Olvitt of Rhodes University to create a course that would empower secondary school teachers to teach the elements of climate change inside and outside their classrooms.
The course uses the Sandwatch program and its MAST methodology (measure, analyse, share and take action) as a prime example of climate change education for sustainable development.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is about encouraging behaviour that promotes a sustainable future. ESD is based on five types of learning:
- Learning to know
- Learning to do
- Learning to live together
- Learning to be
- Learning to transform oneself and society
The four day course consists of three modules.
Module 1 lays the foundation for the rest of the course by introducing climate change and describing how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) might support communities around the world to mitigate and adapt to various climate change challenges. As this course is aimed at small island developing states and other coastal regions vulnerable to the effects of climate change, the activities and case examples have a marine and coastal focus.
Module 2 introduces the Sandwatch approach through which school students, teachers and local communities work together to monitor their coastal environments; identify and evaluate the threats, problems and conflicts facing them; and develop sustainable approaches to address these issues. Climate change is one of the many threats facing beach and coastal environments. One of the key components of this module is a field trip to the beach during which participants explore how the beach environment has changed in the past and how it might change in the future as a result of climate change.
During Module 3, participants use the elements from ESD, climate change and Sandwatch introduced in Modules 1 and 2 to review their school curriculum and select one topic where elements of ESD/climate change/Sandwatch could enhance understanding of that topic. They then work in small groups to develop a lesson plan or educational project activity.
Two to three months after the course, participants will be asked to report back to UNESCO via the course co-ordinators on their experiences with implementing their educational project.
The course has just been completed and is currently being reviewed by UNESCO.
The first roll out of the course is scheduled for October 2013 in South Africa. Preparation of the course has been supported by UNESCO’s Section for Small Island Developing States and the Section for Education for Sustainable Development.
Gillian Cambers, Sandwatch Foundation, and Lausanne Olvitt, Rhodes University