The Project WET Curriculum Framework consists of three major areas: conceptual, affective and skills. The framework is based on current educational research, water-related curricula and national education reform efforts. It incorporates key concepts related to learning about water and water resources.
Water has unique physical and chemical characteristics.
- The water molecule has a specific structure.
- The structure of the water molecule gives water characteristic properties.
- The properties of water lead to unique chemical and physical behaviors.
Water is essential for all life to exist.
- Chemical processes of life occur in a water solution.
- Life processes are based on water quality.
- Life processes are based on water quantity.
- Water is a limiting factor of life.
Water connects all Earth systems.
- Water is an integral part of Earth’s structure.
- Water plays a unique role in Earth processes.
- The water cycle is central to all Earth systems.
Water is a natural resource.
- Water resources are based on supply.
- Water resources are used by all living things.
- Multiple uses of water can lead to water resource issues.
Water resources are managed.
- Water resources are managed by individuals and communities of people.
- Water resource management sets objectives based on needs and issues.
- Water resource management develops strategies to resolve issues.
- Water management effectiveness is determined by assessing progress toward expected outcomes.
Water resources exist within social constructs.
- Water resource use has changed over time.
- Water resources have value based on economic systems.
- Water resources are governed through political systems.
Water resources exist within cultural contexts.
- Different cultures often express different beliefs about water.
- Cultural beliefs about water resources change over time.
- Cultural beliefs about water vary within a society.
- Cultures express their connections to water through art, music, language, and customs.
- Various cultures influence our understanding of water resources.
NOTE: The following affective components of water education are interrelated; they are not necessarily listed in sequential order. People’s attitudes and values are constantly evolving; classifying them and placing them in discrete categories can be difficult. The categories listed below are based on arrangements presented by various professional environmental educators (Caduto 1985; Engleson 1994; Marcinkowski 1993).
- People’s awareness of and sensitivity toward water and water-related concepts and issues.
- People’s attitudes (opinions, likes, dislikes) toward water and water-related concepts and issues.
- People’s values (consideration of worth, need to cherish, importance) toward water and water-related concepts and issues.
- People’s behavior toward and expression of water and water-related concepts and issues, influenced by awareness and sensitivity, attitudes, and values.
Caduto, M. 1985. A Guide on Environmental Values Education. UNESCO-UNEP International Environmental Education Program, Environmental Education Series, no. 13. Paris, France: UNESCO.
Engleson, D. 1994. A Guide to Curriculum Planning in Environmental Education. Madison, Wis.: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Marcinkowski, T. 1993. “Assessment in Environmental Education.” In Environmental Education: Teacher Resource Handbook. R. Wilke, ed. Millwood, N.Y.: Kraus International Publications.
Following is a list of thinking and process skills utilized when learning about water and water-related concepts and issues. The skills listed are based on those advocated by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The organization of skills is based on the scientific method of investigation and Bloom’s Taxonomy of cognitive thinking skills. The structure is logical and efficient for identifying skills within the Project WET activities. The first four skill areas involve learning, assimilating and processing information. The last three pertain to applying information, evaluating and presenting results. While learning often progresses in the order in which the levels are presented, this sequence will vary in certain situations.
- Gathering information includes: reading, observing, listening, collecting, researching, interviewing, measuring, computing, calculating, recording.
- Organizing information includes: matching, plotting data, graphing, sorting, arranging, sequencing, listing, classifying, categorizing, estimating, mapping, drawing, charting, manipulating materials.
- Analyzing information includes: identifying components and relationships among components, identifying patterns, comparing, formulating questions, contrasting, discussing.
- Interpreting information includes: generalizing, summarizing, translating, relating, inferring, making models, drawing conclusions, defining problems, identifying cause and effect, confirming.
- Applying learned information includes: planning, designing, building, constructing, composing, experimenting, restructuring, inventing; predicting, hypothesizing, proposing solutions; problem solving, decision making, developing and implementing investigations and action plans.
- Evaluating application of learned information includes: establishing criteria, verifying, testing, assessing, and critiquing results.
- Presenting evidence of learning from application and evaluation processes includes: demonstrating, writing, drawing, describing, public speaking, reporting, persuading, debating.