Why is climate change curriculum needed?
Global climate change is ambivalent and mostly caused by human activities. Climate change is already causing significant harm and holds certain risks for our future as it continues. Addressing these challenges of climate change requires global and local actions to lower emissions and to reduce vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change on people and environment. These impacts pose serious societal challenges such as human health, sustainable agriculture, food security, resource efficiency and others.
Our actions today will influence the path of greenhouse gas emissions and the magnitude of global warming in the future. As education is vital to addressing these climate change challenges, educating future generations about the causes and effects of climate change is essential because effective implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects depends not only on meaningful project design and qualified climate change experts but also on a well-informed public. When communities, governments and practitioners have better knowledge of climate change causes and effects, they are more able to develop smart policies and actions to respond to these climate change impacts.
How was the climate change curriculum developed?
This project presents an exemplary case of the participatory curriculum development process. Partner universities have been engaged in each stage of the process: assessing training needs, outlining the curriculum modules, developing curriculum materials, training the professors, testing and revising curriculum before rolling it out in country members for further implementation. The participating universities are now in the stage of adapting and adopting the curriculum materials to the university and country context.
What are the dimensions of climate change curriculum?
The regional climate change curriculum are designed to be adapted to a wide range of educational contexts and country specifics. Particularly for academic level, professors using the modules can adapt the materials to fit the training type according to learners’ characteristics (for instance: educational background and experience in science, forestry, or environmental science, development work) or to class structure (for instance: duration, class size, active learning approaches, or technology support).
With its flexibility and adaptability, the curriculum can be tailored to meet the needs of the right target groups. The following training scenarios are suggested:
- 3-day training course
- 5-day training course
- 10-day training course, or full semester course
Each module can be tailored to both degree and non-degree programs; as well as to informal trainings for natural resources professionals and policy-makers. Important training topics can be selected as short course trainings for practitioners and leaders working on climate change. In the case of Basic Climate Change module, it can be tailored as 1-2 day training for busy governmental officers at national and sub-national levels.