Polar Curricula Issues: Teaching Experience

Lead Author Olga, Mandryka
Institution Contact Russian State Hydrometeorological University (RSHU) 98 Malookhtinsky prospect, 195196, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Theme Theme 4: Building Long-term Human Capacity
Session Name 4.3 Teacher Education in the Arctic, sustainable schools, and relevant learning: Towards Social Justice and Inclusion
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Long-term experience of teaching polar-related sciences in Masters’ Programmes for both “classical” and “social” ecologists at RSHU has been submitted. While the courses on Marine Polar Ecosystems along with Ecological Problems of the Arctic are forming the curriculum of Ecological Department some basic fundamentals inside them seem to be important to promote the Concept of Sustainable Development.
Firstly, marine nature resources are estimated not only in terms of biodiversity, but also as Natural Capital which possesses its monetary value. Broad international experience, especially Norwegian, shows in practice the methods of ecosystem services valuation. It makes students come to deliberate decision in any given situation, for instance, whether or not humanity benefits from oil drilling today or from nature conservation in the future. The examples are vast enough, like ecosystem-based management in the Barents Sea or planning a Weddell Sea Protected Area at the expense of fishery.
Secondly, talking about ecological problems of the Russian Arctic two trends regarding indigenous peoples are under consideration. It is a great conflict between traditional human communities having lived environmentally-friendly for ages without any private property in land and market economy, which gathers pace nowadays. The strategy of quick industrial development in the Arctic is incompatible with adaptive potential of indigenous communities and their natural environment.
To be at the cutting adge international involvement is highly important for the students. Our educational programmes are constantly applying to relevant groups in the Facebook such as: Polar Educators International, Arctic Frontiers, EU-PolarNet. The students not only have home tasks based on the site but also participate in polar forums and discussions.