Special Issue "Water Literacy and Education"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 August 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Cory T. Forbes
Website
Guest Editor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE, USA
Interests: water; climate; K-12; undergraduate; education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Societies today face an array of global, water-related challenges. Socio-hydrological issues (SHIs) such as these provide a strong rationale for the importance of systemic water education efforts aimed at cultivating water literacy among learners—the global citizens of today and tomorrow—in formal, non-formal, and informal contexts spanning the continuum of Pre-K to gray. To effectively engage in the socio-hydrological systems of which they are a part, learners should develop a robust understanding of (1) core hydrological concepts and (2) their social, cultural, economic, and political dimensions. In this Special Issue of Water, we invite contributions documenting research on the design, implementation, and impact of innovative water education programs that address these goals. Such programs might include K-12 or postsecondary curricula or courses, outreach programs with youth or adults, preservice teacher education, and/or professional development with K-12 educators, informal educators, or postsecondary faculty, each of which may focus on education about some aspect(s) of natural and/or managed water systems. Collectively, this Special Issue will showcase the current state of research on teaching and learning about water and efforts to cultivate water literacy through a diverse multitude of strategies and approaches. It will also highlight important areas of need for future water education endeavors and associated education research and/or program evaluation.

Prof. Dr. Cory T. Forbes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Water literacy
  • Water education
  • Socio-hydrologic
  • Education research
  • Teaching
  • Learning
  • Curriculum
  • Assessment
  • Program evaluation
  • Outreach

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Water from the Perspective of Education for Sustainable Development: An Exploratory Study in the Spanish Secondary Education Curriculum
Water 2020, 12(7), 1877; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071877 (registering DOI) - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
Current educational curricula in Spain contain few references to sustainability topics, so there is insufficient coverage of these issues in the classroom. Notably, there is a lack of reference to the concept of water from a sustainable perspective. The key aim of this [...] Read more.
Current educational curricula in Spain contain few references to sustainability topics, so there is insufficient coverage of these issues in the classroom. Notably, there is a lack of reference to the concept of water from a sustainable perspective. The key aim of this study was to analyze the presence of the concept of water in the curriculum that regulates secondary education in Spain using a previously established system of categories. An exploratory and descriptive research methodology was followed, in which we carried out a qualitative lexicographical analysis of the concept of water in the Spanish secondary education curriculum. An analysis of the cognitive demand required of students to learn about water, according to Bloom’s taxonomy, was also conducted. The results show that the concept of water appears moderately in the curriculum focusing on some aspects of Sustainable Development. Likewise, the analysis of the cognitive demand required of students for learning about water reveals that lower levels of knowledge and comprehension predominate based on Bloom’s taxonomy. We consider that teaching water from a sustainable perspective can generate in students awareness and values about nature and the environment, knowledge that contributes to sensible use of water and involvement for sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Literacy and Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Sociohydrologic Systems Thinking: An Analysis of Undergraduate Students’ Operationalization and Modeling of Coupled Human-Water Systems
Water 2020, 12(4), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041040 - 07 Apr 2020
Abstract
One of the keys to science and environmental literacy is systems thinking. Learning how to think about the interactions between systems, the far-reaching effects of a system, and the dynamic nature of systems are all critical outcomes of science learning. However, students need [...] Read more.
One of the keys to science and environmental literacy is systems thinking. Learning how to think about the interactions between systems, the far-reaching effects of a system, and the dynamic nature of systems are all critical outcomes of science learning. However, students need support to develop systems thinking skills in undergraduate geoscience classrooms. While systems thinking-focused instruction has the potential to benefit student learning, gaps exist in our understanding of students’ use of systems thinking to operationalize and model SHS, as well as their metacognitive evaluation of systems thinking. To address this need, we have designed, implemented, refined, and studied an introductory-level, interdisciplinary course focused on coupled human-water, or sociohydrologic, systems. Data for this study comes from three consecutive iterations of the course and involves student models and explanations for a socio-hydrologic issue (n = 163). To analyze this data, we counted themed features of the drawn models and applied an operationalization rubric to the written responses. Analyses of the written explanations reveal statistically-significant differences between underlying categories of systems thinking (F(5, 768) = 401.6, p < 0.05). Students were best able to operationalize their systems thinking about problem identification (M = 2.22, SD = 0.73) as compared to unintended consequences (M = 1.43, SD = 1.11). Student-generated systems thinking models revealed statistically significant differences between system components, patterns, and mechanisms, F(2, 132) = 3.06, p < 0.05. Students focused most strongly on system components (M = 13.54, SD = 7.15) as compared to related processes or mechanisms. Qualitative data demonstrated three types of model limitation including scope/scale, temporal, and specific components/mechanisms/patterns excluded. These findings have implications for supporting systems thinking in undergraduate geoscience classrooms, as well as insight into links between these two skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Literacy and Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Flipped Learning Approach as Educational Innovation in Water Literacy
Water 2020, 12(2), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020574 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
Water literacy has become a fundamental aspect in today’s society, as its conservation, preservation and management is key to ensuring human survival. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the effectiveness of flipped learning methodology on a traditional training practice in water [...] Read more.
Water literacy has become a fundamental aspect in today’s society, as its conservation, preservation and management is key to ensuring human survival. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the effectiveness of flipped learning methodology on a traditional training practice in water literacy at the first level of secondary education. The flipped learning method consisted in providing the contents to the students before the class sessions, encouraging an active learning. A descriptive study was adopted with two experimental groups, two control groups and only post-test. An ad hoc questionnaire was used as an instrument to measure the parameters: Socio-educational, Motivation, Interactions, Autonomy, Collaboration; Deepening of contents; Problem solving, Class time and Ratings. The final sample was composed of 120 students, divided into four groups of 30 students each. The application of the treatment in the experimental groups lasted 10 sessions of 55 min. The results indicate that the use of time in class, the autonomy and the deepening of the contents were the aspects that improved most with the flipped learning approach. However, no significant differences in ratings were found. Finally, the main findings and their implications for water literacy are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Literacy and Education)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Water and Climate Change, Two Key Objectives in the Agenda 2030: Assessment of Climate Literacy Levels and Social Representations in Academics from Three Climate Contexts
Water 2020, 12(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010092 - 26 Dec 2019
Abstract
The relationship between climate change and water is an obvious and key issue within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This study aims to investigate the social representation created around this relationship in three different territorial contexts in order to evaluate the influence [...] Read more.
The relationship between climate change and water is an obvious and key issue within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This study aims to investigate the social representation created around this relationship in three different territorial contexts in order to evaluate the influence of the territory on the perception of the risk of climate change and its relationship with water. By means of a questionnaire completed by 1709 university students, the climatic literacy of the individual was evaluated in order to relate it to other dimensions on the relationship between climate change and water (information, training previous on climate change and pro-environmental attitudes) in their different dimensions in three different territorial contexts. Three hypotheses have been tested: (1) The denial of the CC is significantly associated with a representation that belittles the consequences of global warming and other extreme phenomena. (2) Territorial contexts with high average rainfall levels and low average annual temperatures tend to minimize the social representation of water risks associated with the CC. (3) There is significant interaction between the socio-cultural context and social representations on the causes, consequences and solutions to the problems of CC and water. The first two hypotheses have been rejected, while the third has been accepted. The research results show high climate literacy in the samples of selected university students. It is noted that students recognize a close relationship between the problem of water and the climate crisis. Likewise, they identify different types of causes, consequences, physical processes and solutions. Different climatological contexts do not show significant differences in the social representations that students show about climate change, while socio-educational variables such as available scientific information, or ideology orientation do show significant differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Literacy and Education)
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