A nationwide learning module – Climate.now – is providing tools for understanding the fundamentals of climate change and applying this knowledge at work.
WHAT WAS IT ABOUT?
Finland needs a new generation of climate change experts in order to be among those who offer solutions to the global sustainability crisis. The project was launched in the autumn of 2014 by facilitating a dialogue between Finnish universities. We wanted to find out what kind of climate change know-how society needs and whether this can be met by the current curricula of universities.
What was achieved?
We drew up a report on the current status of climate education in Finnish universities as a basis for discussion. The report indicated that although courses on climate change are available at all Finnish universities they do not reach out to students, and issues such as the basics of climate change are not taught in a sufficiently comprehensive fashion. Students of economics and communications tend to be particularly weak in this regard.
This challenge was met by compiling a public learning module on the basics of climate change. The module consists of three to five credits, and can be taught or studied by teachers, students and professionals alike. It covers the basics of climate change as a natural phenomenon, and ways of mitigating and managing it.
Climate.now was published in September. The web-based package of learning materials contains sections on climate change as a phenomenon, how to mitigate it and how to adjust to it. The materials contain lectures, videos, learning tasks, tests and applied tasks which can be connected to the student’s own field of expertise.
The project was co-ordinated by the University of Helsinki. Other participants included Lappeenranta University of Technology, the University of the Arts Helsinki and the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The project was realised in co-operation with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Ministry of Education and Culture and ClimateGuide.fi.