The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched two free online courses targeted at education professionals and students from the Caribbean interested in improving their knowledge.
The courses — 'What Works in Education: Evidence-Based Education Policies' and 'Climate Change Education' — are offered free of charge on the edX platform. They run for seven weeks, are self-paced, and require between three and five hours of effort each week, based on the IDB's estimation.
According to information from the IDB, the first course, 'What Works in Education: Evidence-Based Education Policies', allows students to learn what elements contribute to successful education and how to identify, analyse and implement evidence-based education policies that improve learning in different settings. The course features elements that are central to successful education systems like high-quality early childhood and preschool development programmes, effective teaching methodologies, and the development of skills needed for students to achieve their full potential in the professional world.
The second course, 'Climate Change Education', allows teachers and other education professionals to learn how to work with students to help them explore climate change theory through the use of interactive and engaging activities designed for primary and secondary school students. It covers the basic science behind climate change, the main social and ethical issues related to the phenomenon, and offers guidance on how to use games, debates, experiments, theatre and other tools to support and enhance learning.
' What Works in Education: Evidence-Based Education Policies' started on March 6 but is still open for registration. 'Climate Change Education', meanwhile, is scheduled to begin on March 28.
Students have the option of receiving a verified certificate at the end of the course, at a cost of US$25.
EdX is the online learning platform developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 2012. It provides massive open online courses (MOOCs) defined by their allowance of open access via the web, and their facilitaion of unlimited participation. EdX has over 120 institutional partners from around the world, including universities and other learning institutions, as well as leaders in diverse fields. Among the universitites are Harvard University, University of Oxford, Sorbonne Universite, McGill University, and Peking University, while Amnesty International, Amazon Web Service and the IDB are examples of sector leaders.