The Læra Institute has prepared a curriculum development guide for UArctic member faculty who are developing, re-developing, enhancing or reviewing an undergraduate curriculum focused on the study of the Circumpolar North. UArctic and many of its members call such a curriculum ‘Circumpolar Studies’, but it sometimes also goes by the name ‘Arctic Studies’ or ‘Northern Studies’.
Our purpose is not to dictate a set of criteria for curriculum developers to follow. Rather, we offer a set of guiding principles to support them in developing curricula that address the Circumpolar North in all its diversity, and that facilitate meaningful learning outcomes.
We are therefore less concerned with identifying and enumerating specific topics of study, than with setting out a general approach to Circumpolar Studies curriculum development. Our starting points are the UArctic’s existing core Circumpolar Studies curriculum, which is designed to enable broad knowledge and understanding of the lands, peoples and critical issues of the Circumpolar North, as well as the UArctic’s core values as expressed in the UArctic’s academic endorsement principles:
- Circumpolar: operating across different regions of the North
- Inclusive: respecting multiple systems of knowledge
- Reciprocal: promoting multidisciplinary understanding
By supporting UArctic member faculty in this way, our curriculum development guide aims to strengthen existing UArctic academic standards, and to reinvigorate the connections between a UArctic-wide academic community of educators and students.
UArctic itself also offers various pathways through which members can collaborate on educational goals or pursue larger educational projects. These pathways include affiliation with the Læra Institute, strategic partnerships with other members or member consortia already offering Circumpolar Studies curricula, and the UArctic academic endorsement process leading to inclusion in the UArctic Study Catalogue.
Our curriculum development guide is a living document. We shall keep it under review, and we shall update it from time to time as the Circumpolar North—as well as our understanding of the region—changes.
Download a copy of 'Circumpolar Studies Curriculum Development (Version 1.0)' published in August 2022.