I have written about the usefulness and scope of MOOCs before – although their use as specific teacher CPD has always been a bit tenuous. The United Nations has had an excellent online repository of courses connected to Climate Change and Climate Literacy for some time, (UNCCLearn). Now for the first time, these are open to teachers with the aim to have accredited Climate Change teachers in every area. A partnership with Harwood Education, and sponsored by YPO you can find out more here. These courses are incredibly accessible – like all good online offerings they are put forward in several different ways (Video, PowerPoint, PDF etc) – and, upon the completion of five key courses you will receive an official accreditation.
Here are the courses on offer:
- Introduction to Climate Change Science (no certificate)
- Children and Climate Change (certificate)
- Cities and Climate Change (certificate)
- Human Health and Climate Change (certificate)
- Gender and Environment (certificate)
- International Legal Regime (certificate)
Certificates are awarded from the UN CC:Learn website when the person takes and passes the quiz with a score of 70% or above. There is a quiz for each certificate course AND…there is a 3-Attempt limit per person.
People who want to learn the information that comes from the United Nations’ experts from over 190 countries have two main choices: 1) just accessing and studying the course material without taking the quizzes/earning certification and 2) accessing, studying and taking the quizzes/earning certification for fully funded/free of charge CPD (Continued Professional Development) credit.
Of course, the issue of teacher subject knowledge, particularly in Primary is a thorny one. Teachers tend to be a bit ‘jack of all trades’ – for schools keeping on top of changing curricula or an ever-growing issue such as Climate Change is a challenge. This is why free online offerings, backed by prestigious institutions and with teacher-specific accreditation is a trend to encourage. Climate Change is, of course, the ultimate challenge for our future and the information, ideas and concepts presented are something we should all be aware of. As schools move towards taking responsibility for their own sustainability or eco-awareness knowledgeable teachers will be at the forefront of this.
As a bit of a disclaimer, I myself completed this course and found it incredibly interesting and very useful. I thoroughly recommend it.