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The challenge of widening citizen participation in climate change education: developing open educational resources on the lived experiences of climate change

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If climate change education is to become more than self–serving and contribute to meeting the global challenge of sustainable development, it must broaden its scope to include a wider range of students in terms of age, social group and ethnicity than is usually the case. In this paper the authors discuss how open and flexible learning can apply its strengths in the area of widening participation, as it can lever years of experience with non–traditional target groups. They show how flexible learning universities, such as Open Universities, may offer their curriculum as open educational resource (OER) for these types of learning and can indeed contribute for achieving such a needed critical mass. Mass education of this type may have a key role to play in meeting any global challenge, and climate change is no exception. In this paper, the authors exemplify it through an exploration of a partnership project between eight European universities in developing the LECH–e materials for a Master's curriculum on the lived experiences of climate change.

Keywords: climate change education, sustainable development, sustainability, open educational resources, OER, e–learning, lifelong learning, LLL, widening participation, electronic learning, online learning, citizen participation, lived experience, open learning, flexible learning, Masters courses, higher education

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