• Laura Lyth

Good Practices in Education – Examples from International Ocean Literacy

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

The afternoon session of the IOC-UNESCO International Ocean Literacy conference was split into two-panel sessions focusing upon good practices in Formal and Non-formal education. These were chaired by Fiona Couch, Marine Biological Association, and Peter Tuddenham, College of Exploration. Both panel sessions were incredibly insightful, I found it fascinating what other programmes, organisations and initiatives are being conducted across the globe, each incredibly different but all with the same common goal – Ocean Literacy, Marine Science awareness and a desire to improve the current detrimental state of the Ocean. I am now going to highlight the core elements that stood out to me that I feel resonate or could be applied to Sail Training. For each case study, I have identified what new aspects I ascertained, therefore identifying the list of new discoveries reduces for each one.

Good Practices in Formal Education

Janet Stalker, Program Director, Ocean School (Canada)

  • Inquiry-based learning drives critical thinking

  • To foster an ocean connection a person needs to feel a relevance to them

  • Be creative

  • Be mindful of technological accessibility

  • Budget time and money for marketing

  • Got to work with formal educators, by having champions within a school system, they will promote from within for you.

  • Shift Environmental Education to include the Ocean

  • Use a ‘Bottom-Up’ approach – tailor initiatives to the needs of the local level.

Kertin Forsberg, Director, Plantea Oceano (Peru)

  • Identify the needs of local teachers to assess and devise goals

  • Develop a framework that works overtime.

  • Include teachers in your network

  • Capacity building, training, and leadership are vital.

  • Connect your strategies to the people you are aiming for (remembering that participatory strategies are crucial)

  • Bridge gaps – both socially and within your market

  • To change awareness and encourage enterprise that will have a positive environmental impact, you need long term commitment, time, and effort.

  • Educate for Sustainable development.

Mohammed Muslem Uddin, Founder, Blue Green Foundation (Bangladesh)

  • Think about how you can go further with education.

  • Consider both academic and/ or vocational – which works best for what you are trying to achieve.

  • Together we can go further (Collaborate!!) to make a change and a greater impact.

Mascha Stoobant, Distretto Ligure Technologie Marine (Italy)

  • Promote citizen projects that follow participants from 5-14 years old.

  • For Ocean Citizens to develop, they need to learn from a young age to instinctively manage behaviour in an Ocean Literate way.

  • Include early warning and monitoring tools.

  • You could have a positive impact and influence their decisions in life from as young as 4-5 years old.

Good Practices in Non-Formal Education

Antidia Citores, Surfrider (Belguim)

  • Collaborate with schools when training the trainer.

  • Incorporate pedagogical tools into education programmes.

  • Be inventive with resource materials, use infographics, video, create online documentaries and exhibitions, generate tutorials.

Severine Vasselin, Watertrek (France, UK)

  • People protect what they teach, know, and love.

  • Aim to connect to foster understanding.

Sandro Carniel, CNR ISMAR (Italy)

Encourage long term ecological research for citizens.

Summer schools for both students and teachers is important.

Micheal Palmgren, SEA-U Marint Kunskapscenter (Sweden)

  • Generate a passion for inclusion.

Sadly, I had to miss the presentation by Russell Stevens, Head of Education, Two Oceans Aquarium (South Africa), and Maria de Los Angeles Serrano Jerez, National Aquarium (Cuba).

These sessions lead into a series of breakout groups to discuss priority areas of action for formal and non-formal education, reporting back to the rest of the delegates, in turn, feeding into the IOC-UNESCO three year action plan for Ocean Literacy in preparation for the 2020 Oceans conference.

Once the official proceeding for day one concluded, I attended the Special event arranged for the delegation. This was co-organised by the Italian Navy. We attended the Venice Arsenal, home of the Instituto di Studi Militari Maritimi (Naval Staff College). Here, we were privileged to be presented with two sessions. The first by Roberta Ivaldi and Maurizio Demarte, focusing upon the “Italian Hydrographic Institute and Ocean Literacy: from High North to South Pole we promote the knowledge of the Sea”. The second was presented by Franco Borgogno “A sea of plastics, expedition in the Arctic through the Northwest Passage”. These were followed by an excellent buffet and wine supper, at the Naval Staff College. I must say, the hospitality of the Italian Navy that evening was impeccable, and it was evident the evening was enjoyed by all who attended.

#IOCUNESCO #OceanLiteracy #Venice

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