Unprecedented education program brings ocean literacy to Portuguese classrooms.
Oceano Azul Foundation, Oceanário de Lisboa, the Portuguese Directorate-General of Education and the Municipality of Mafra, present the pilot program “Educating a Blue Generation.”
This educational program aims to transform Portugal’s future generations into European citizens who are committed to sustainability and the conservation of the ocean.
The program will educate children on the close dependence that humankind has of the ocean, which is often barely understood, as well as teach students about the strategic importance that the sea has for coastal countries like Portugal.
Building an awareness within future generations about the importance of ocean conservation and sustainability is crucial for protecting this fundamental support system for life on Earth. With the exploitation of the ocean and the serious impacts of climate change, it is more important than ever to educate and create a Blue Generation.
This unique program trains primary school teachers and provides them with an extensive manual and curriculum about the ocean, the first of its kind in an educational school context. This manual, written and created by Oceano Azul Foundation and Oceanário de Lisboa with support and approval of the Directorate-General of Education, is entirely devoted to ocean issues, and was developed specifically for teachers as the main promoters of this initiative.
In order to grow and develop the theme in a school context, the “Educating a Blue Generation” manual addresses eight key areas of ocean knowledge, holistically incorporating a wide range of subjects including literature, ecology, law, strategy, geography, economics, history, physics, and chemistry. The manual answers questions like, “What is the ocean like?”, “Why is the ocean important?”, “How much is the ocean worth?”, “Why is the Portugal’s sea special?” “How is the ocean protected?” and “What is there to discover in the ocean?”
Engaging close to two dozen schools in the Municipality of Mafra, 180 teachers participated in the training course for “Education for a Blue Generation – strategies to integrate ocean literacy into citizen education and curriculum for schools to implement autonomously and flexibly”. The pilot program opens in the Municipality of Mafra, where it will reach about 4000 students. It is also set to begin in Cascais and is expected to expand to other municipalities and schools in Portugal.
The program teaches Portuguese students about the ocean through practical and hands-on teaching activities, encouraging interactive fieldwork in the coastal zones of Portugal and using new education techniques that combine different themes.
The goal of the program is to not only contribute to the creation of more responsible, conscious citizens, but also to prepare the next generation to live in the 21st century, a century which calls for environmental sustainability, a blue and green economy, and the reduction of CO2 levels in our societies.
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