This first Ocean Literacy MOOC aims at sensitise and enable teachers and students to incorporate ocean literacy into educational programmes.
Education in its broader understanding (in both formal and informal settings) serves as a high potential channel to reach young citizens. As a lack of sufficient ‘Ocean Literacy’ has been identified in many countries, this clearly presents a barrier for citizens to engage in ocean responsible behaviour or consider ocean-related careers.
To overcome this, it is recommended to develop education to provide the capacity to understand environmental issues, to participate in decision-making processes and to bring about changes in behaviour.
Ocean Literacy can be seen as a way of incorporating scientific literacy in practice in education, whereby scientific literacy not only refers to a person’s knowledge of science but also to his or her ability to use this knowledge in making socially responsible decisions.
Why Ocean Literacy?
The Ocean is vitally important to Europe. The EU Member States have between them the largest maritime territory in the world (approx 3.9M sq. km) and a coastline of some 100,000 km. Over 16% of Europe’s population lives by the coast, of which 85% is now developed. 90% of all EU external trade goes by sea and European ship owners control almost 40% of the world fleet. According to the EU Blue Growth programme, the ‘blue’ economy represents 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year, with further growth possible. European seas contributed in shaping the history and economy of western societies, and the European lifestyles.