Marine educators frequently found themselves complaining about the absence of ocean concepts in the curriculum, and then just as frequently being asked back, "Well, what about the ocean IS missing? What SHOULD be taught about the ocean." And of course, we had no consensus about what the answer should be. The absence of ocean sciences in schools resulted in a generation of students largely ignorant of the importance of the ocean, which in turn, has made it even more difficult to convince the adults in our school systems to insert ocean concepts into future standards.
CSCF initiated an ocean school-Kadalkkoodam to familiar with ocean literacy, assess what the public knows about the ocean and redress the lack of ocean-related content in state and national science education standards and assessments. The students are learning about the ocean from Indigenous fishermen and marine academics. Kadalkkoodam also taking efforts for the marine debris cleaning and ocean conservation activities.
Educational standards are the strategic point of leverage for bringing about significant systemic change in the content of science education. Our current educational system is defined by the goal of alignment. The content of curriculum, instruction and assessment are all derived from agreed upon standards. Therefore, if ocean sciences are not present in science standards, efforts to include ocean sciences in curriculum, texts and assessments will perpetually be marginalized and out of the mainstream. Conversely, if ocean sciences are present in the science standards of the future, they will naturally and automatically be incorporated by textbook publishers, curriculum developers and assessment specialists.
Those concerned about science education and about the future health of our ocean planet must be poised to influence the development of science standards by local educational agencies (school boards; school districts), state departments of education and professional societies and associations. In order to be effective, CSCF initiated to document agreed-upon science content and processes related to the ocean, coasts and coastal communities.
Coastal Students Cultural Forum conducts bi-weekly Kadalkkoodam-ocean literacy and skills in a coastal village Pulluvila in the state capital. Fishermen are the teachers and they share their daily life experience and the students understand the science, technology and social science behind their livelihood experience-livelihood experience learning.
The interactive classes are conducting in the beach and the programme covers the following principles of ocean literacy.
Kadalkkoodam impacts an ocean-literate person understands: