Ocean Literacy in Sail Training: What is it about?
Ocean Literacy in Sail Training (OLIST) unites Marine Geography and Experiential Education. It adopts a multi-disciplinary approach within the coastal and marine environment. As an advocate of alternative education spaces, it’s focuses upon the world of Sail Training, providing an understanding of human behaviour and its impact on the marine environment. From an increased awareness, interest and understanding, individuals or “ocean citizens” develop a heightened personal responsibility and affinity for the seas, oceans and environment. In turn, there can also be a shift in values and motivation to promote pro-environmental lifestyle choices as a result of the discovery of the relationship and dependence humans have on the coastal and marine environment.
Due to the isolation of the marine environment; it could be suggested that Sail Training is an excellent delivery platform for Ocean Literacy as it encounters both the coastal and marine environment in all geographical contexts. With this multidisciplinary approach, it provides a tangible and real environment. In addition, it provides opportunities to reduce the lack of public awareness, participation and knowledge of the marine environment.
An advocate of alternative education spaces.
An environment with a distinctive style and setting that doesn’t try to look or feel like a school, deliberately teaching to a different curriculum and sets of beliefs about how, what and the best methods young people learn. However, ideally, at some point, the student will either return to a mainstream school, join a tertiary institution or gain employment.
It focuses on the Alternative Education Space that is the world of Sail Training. Sail Training is a non-formal, alternative education space. It provides adventurous experiential learning on board large, ocean-going sailing vessels for young people up to 25 years old. It facilitates the growth of key competencies through the provision of personal development and active citizenship, whilst in an arduous and challenging environment. This is achieved by encompassing youth mobility, heterogeneity, broadening horizons and assisting the learning of new skills. It embraces adaptability and change whilst raising the awareness of new possibilities though working as crew members to complete the voyage, taking the vessel from one location to another. As such, it is an advocate of social cohesion and cultural awareness with an objective to build positive relationships in the local community and beyond.
Tomorrow's Marine Citizen
Overall, an understanding of human behaviour and the impact humans have on the marine environment through any and a combination of the various methods of delivery can be identified. From this increased awareness, interest and understanding, individuals or 'marine citizens' develop a heightened personal responsibility and affinity for/ to the seas, oceans and environment. In turn, there can also be a shift in values and motivation to promote pro-environmental lifestyle choices as a result of the discovery of the relationship and dependence humans have on the coastal and marine environment (regardless of their geographical location).