Inter- Ocean-Climate School (IOCS), Ocean Open University
An official event of The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
The Trilogy of Ocean, Coast & Climate: The Urgency & Exigency of Literacy
An in😨complete list of
approaches, methods, techniques, procedures, designs, practices
that have been, are, will and might be used
in or for climate or ocean education (communication).
They are provided here as mind joggers, to help you brainstorm in case you are short of ideas to start.
If you know what you wish to write about, then the items below may not be very useful.
You will find some references on the next page, Refs.
If you know of a practice or an approach that is not listed below, please do tell us 🙂. Please provide a name, a short description, maybe some examples (as below) and even references. Please add your name and affiliation if you wish to be credited. Send here.
The incomplete list below was compiled with the help of ChatGPT. Several chats were combined, and the list then edited (hence several repetitions and anomalies). As with all ChatGPT results, we recommend caution. If you think an item does not make sense, please let us know; great opportunity for critical thinkers ✨ 😵.
Activism, strikes & demonstrations
Methods for raising awareness about climate change and advocating for policy change. Some educational programs may involve students in advocacy activities as part of their learning experience.
Advocacy & civic engagement
Encourages learners to take action and advocate for policies that address climate change.
Agriculture & gardening
Engages learners in agricultural or gardening projects that promote sustainable food systems and climate resilience.
Uses art, such as music, theatre or visual arts, to raise awareness, to encourage students to express their ideas & emotions and to communicate visually about climate change and the ocean in a creative and interactive way.
Examples are music, theatre, visual arts, climate-themed murals, painting, sculptures, posters, film, music video or podcast that are related to causes, consequences of climate change and possible solutions.
For example, the Climate Ribbon Project invites people to write their hopes and fears about climate change on ribbons, which are then displayed in public spaces. Another example is the Climate Art Project, which invites artists to create works that explore the human impacts of climate change.
Engages learners in authentic research projects related to climate change, such as analysing data on carbon emissions or studying the impacts of climate change on local ecosystems.
Carbon footprint calculators
Uses online tools to estimate learners' carbon footprints and explore ways to reduce them. For example, learners can use carbon calculators to estimate their carbon emissions from daily activities, such as transportation, housing, or food and explore ways to reduce them.
Presents learners with real-world examples of climate change impacts and solutions to help them apply their knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Engages learners in journalism and media projects related to climate change, such as producing podcasts or video documentaries.
Citizen science projects
Engages learners in scientific research projects related to climate change, such as monitoring air quality, water quality, biodiversity or local ecosystems or tracking weather patterns. It can be a powerful way to engage learners in climate or ocean science and connect them with local environmental issues.
For example, iNaturalist allows learners to photograph and document local flora and fauna, contributing to a larger database of biodiversity information. Another example is the Climate CoLab, a crowdsourcing platform that engages the public in developing solutions to climate change challenges.
Climate action campaigns
A way for students to learn about advocacy and community organizing while also making a tangible difference on climate issues. For example, students can organize a campaign to reduce single-use plastics at their school or in their community, or to push for a local clean energy transition.
Teaches learners about climate entrepreneurship and engaging them in designing and launching sustainable businesses.
Games and simulation are an interactive, challenging and powerful way to help students learn about complex systems, such as the global economy or local ecosystems, and how they respond to climate change. In role-play, students are assigned roles within a climate change scenario and explore impacts on different groups and sectors.
For example, learners can participate in a crop simulation game to understand how climate change affects crop yields and farmers' livelihoods or students can play a game like "Fate of the World" to explore the challenges of global climate change and the trade-offs of different policy options. Another, well-known example is EN-ROADS.
Simulations, games and role-play must be debriefed thoroughly. “Simulation without including adequate debriefing is ineffective and even unethical.” (Willy Kriz, 2008). “The debriefing is where the ‘magic’ happens” (Dick Duke, 2011).
Climate & environmental justice
Helps students examine the social and environmental impacts of climate change and help understand how climate change disproportionately affects marginalized communities and how they can advocate for social justice and promote equitable solutions to the climate crisis.
For example, learners can participate in a workshop or discussion about the connections between climate change and social justice and how to take action to address these issues.
Climate literacy assessments
A way for students to self-assess their knowledge of climate change and for educators to evaluate their students' learning outcomes.
For example, students can take a climate literacy assessment that covers topics such as climate science, impacts, solutions or communication.
Climate service learning projects
Involves working with community partners to address climate change challenges in a tangible way.
For example, learners can work with a local conservation organization to plant trees, remove invasive species, or restore wetlands.
Involves sharing personal stories and experiences related to climate change to enhance learners' empathy, perspective-taking and sense of agency.
For example, learners can participate in storytelling circles, video documentaries, or social media campaigns to share their climate stories and connect with others.
Learners work together to share ideas and solve problems related to climate change.
The Companion Modelling (ComMod) Approach uses a variety of tools, particularly ABM (Agent-Based Models), simulation and role-play to tackle issues regarding decision processes, common property, co-ordination among actors, conflict over natural resources, etc., to cross disciplines boundaries and to understand the complexity of nature-human-social systems.
Community gardens, forums, organizing
Provides a hands-on learning opportunity for students of all ages to connect with nature and learn about sustainable food systems. They are also engaged in community forums to discuss and address climate change issues at the local level. Thus, it teaches them to organize and mobilize communities around climate change issues, such as through grassroots campaigns or community-based initiatives.
For example, learners can help plan, plant and harvest a community garden to learn about soil health, composting and sustainable agriculture practices.
Examines the social, political and economic structures that contribute to climate change and exploring ways to challenge these structures through education and activism.
Teaches students about climate change issues from diverse cultural perspectives and values and promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding.
Involves using concepts from different disciplines, such as science, history and economics, to help learners understand climate change.
An episode during a simulation or other experience (such as some of those mentioned here), in which participants reflect on and share their experience with fellow participants, with the purpose of transforming it into learning. Many educators consider that debriefing is a vital part of a simulation/game or role-play. “Simulation without including adequate debriefing is ineffective and even unethical.” (Willy Kriz, 2008). “The debriefing is where the ‘magic’ happens” (Dick Duke, 2011).
Teaches learners about the economic impacts of climate change and exploring alternative economic models that promote sustainability.
Engages learners in ecotourism activities that promote sustainable tourism and environmental education.
Energy & water audits
A way for students to learn about how buildings consume energy and water and how to identify opportunities to conserve. For example, learners can conduct an energy audit of their school to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption through behaviour change or efficiency upgrades.
Engages learners in monitoring environmental conditions, such as air quality or temperature, to understand the impacts of climate change on local environments.
Engages learners in experiential learning projects, such as conducting experiments, participatory simulation or going on field trips, that involve active participation, reflection and analysis to deepen their understanding of climate change issues.
Uses game mechanics and design (e.g., points, badges, or leaderboards) to enhance learners' engagement and motivation in climate change education. For example, the app JouleBug gamifies sustainable behaviour change by rewarding users for taking actions such as walking instead of driving or reducing energy use. Another example is the game EarthGames, a collection of climate-themed games developed by the University of Washington.
Green career fairs
Connects learners with green careers and sustainable business opportunities related to climate change, such as green energy, sustainable transportation, or climate policy. For example, learners can attend green career fairs to explore different career paths, meet with professionals and learn about green job skills.
Green energy workshops
Hands-on activities and experiments to explore renewable energy technologies, such as solar, wind and hydropower. For example, learners can build their own wind turbines or solar panels to understand how these technologies work and their potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Incorporates sustainable practices and technologies into school operations and curriculum to teach learners about the importance of sustainability.
Projects related to green technology, such as building solar panels or wind turbines.
Learners in group discuss to exchange ideas, perspectives and experiences related to climate change.
Incorporates indigenous perspectives and knowledge systems into climate education and literacy programs.
Learners pose questions and investigate climate concepts to find answers.
Engages learners in activities, such as brainstorming sessions, debates, or simulations, to enhance their participation and understanding of climate change issues.
Interactive websites & apps
Uses interactive websites and apps to engage learners in climate change education and advocacy, such as carbon footprint calculators or virtual reality experiences.
Integrates different disciplines, such as science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), to help learners understand the complex challenges of climate change.
Encourages learners of different ages to work together to understand and address climate change.
Provides learners with leadership training and mentoring to help them become effective climate advocates and agents of change.
Mindfulness & well-being
Incorporates mindfulness practices and promoting well-being as part of climate education and advocacy, to help learners cope with eco-anxiety and burnout.
Creates online communities that connect learners with experts, mentors and peers to promote climate education and advocacy.
Uses digital platforms, such as online courses or webinars, to deliver climate education.
Outdoor activities; nature-based educational activities, field trips & expeditions, outdoor adventure
Takes students outside of the classroom and engages them in physical and hands-on activities. This allows them to be more engaged and learn more efficiently about natural environment and natural science. Therefore, they learn about the effects of climate change on the ground.
For example, students can go hiking, visit local parks, forests, or wetlands to learn about climate change impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Do nature-based activities to help learners understand climate concepts and climate resilience. Another example is that students can keep a nature journal and use it to record their observations of climate-related changes in their local environment.
This includes a wide range of activity types:
Collaborative research projects, such as surveys, interviews, or experiments with community partners, to address climate change issues and enhance their understanding and skills in scientific inquiry;
Exercises that are related to climate change, such as (a) budgeting to allocate resources and prioritize investments, (b) mapping to identify vulnerable areas, resources and stakeholders or (c) scenario planning to explore different future scenarios and their implications for different sectors and groups;
Design projects related to climate change, such as designing sustainable products or services, to enhance their creativity and innovation skills;
Evaluation projects to assess the effectiveness and impact of climate change education and advocacy interventions;
Video production projects to document their perspectives, experiences and solutions related to climate change;
Participatory simulation, a particularly powerful way to immerse learners in the thick of complexity to make collective decisions.
Uses local environments and communities to teach about climate change and encourage learners to take action within their own communities.
Teaches learners how to analyse and evaluate climate policies, including their impacts and effectiveness.
Learners are presented with a real-world problem related to climate change and work with structured problem-solving activities that focus on specific issues, such as developing solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to solve the problem through research and critical thinking.
Learners work on a project that focuses on climate change, such as designing a sustainable community or creating an eco-friendly product.
Informal events where students can learn from scientists and experts about climate change and related issues. For example, learners can attend a science cafe event to learn about climate impacts on local water resources and how communities are responding.
Teaches learners about the science of climate change and how to effectively communicate this information to different audiences.
This term is a misnomer. These so-called ‘serious games’ should be called educational games or learning games or games for good or some other more appropriate label. A generic term might be simulation/game or game simulation.
Learners volunteer in their communities to address climate-related issues, e.g., community service projects related to climate change, such as tree planting or recycling programs.
Social media & digital communication
A powerful way to engage with people about climate issues and to create online communities around climate action. For example, the hashtag #ClimateStrike has been used by young people around the world to organize and promote climate strikes and other forms of climate activism. Another example is the Climate Reality Project's social media campaigns, which use online platforms to educate and mobilize people around climate solutions.
Uses mapping tools to visualize and tell stories about climate change impacts and solutions.
A powerful way to engage people emotionally with climate issues (e.g., using personal narratives or case studies) and to help them understand the human impacts of climate change. For example, the Climate Listening Project creates short films that highlight the experiences of people affected by climate change around the world. Another example is the Climate Stories Project, which collects personal narratives about climate change and shares them online.
Engages learners in design projects that promote sustainability, such as designing green buildings or renewable energy systems.
Sustainable food workshops
Explores sustainable food systems and their connections to climate change, such as plant-based diets, organic farming, or food waste reduction. For example, learners can participate in cooking classes to prepare sustainable meals or visit local farms to learn about sustainable farming practices.
Uses modelling tools to simulate and explore the impacts of climate change on different systems, such as the global climate or local water resources.
Helps learners understand the complex interconnections and feedback loops involved in climate change.
Virtual & augmented reality
Provides immersive experiences that can help people understand complex climate science concepts. For example, the Virtual Earth System Laboratory allows users to explore the Earth's climate system in a 3D virtual world. Another example is the Augmented Reality Climate Science program developed by the University of California, Davis, which uses an app to overlay climate science visuals onto real-world objects.
Uses images, videos, or infographics to help learners understand climate concepts.
Empowers young people to become leaders in the climate movement and advocate for policy change.