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Global Water and Sanitation Awareness Curriculum consists of a number of activities (water usage survey,creative writing, art projects, simulations,action plans) designed to raise student awareness of the unequal availability and use of water, the health risks associated with water borne diseases, the link between water and the well-being of women and girls. Emphasis is given to exploring actions students can take to address these challenges.
The issue of access to clean water is a critical one and likely to become more so in the future. An effective amount of student and teacher material is provided to allow for an introductory examination of the issue. The pedagogy adopted, while not especially creative, involves a good mix of teacher directed and student initiated learning. Additional support and resources are offered by the sponsoring organization.
Teachers may have some difficulty in selecting those lessons in the resource that are appropriate to the grade level they teach. Lessons that are labelled appropriate for grades 2-12 are likely to be problematic.
The resource also includes a number of Fact Sheets and historical biographies. While these provide useful and relevant information, more attention should be given as to how they may be used in class in a more creative manner.
While the issue of clean water may be treated at various grade levels, the approach and pedagogy used in this resource would seem to be best suited for middle school students.
The resource may be used in science classes that begin with the physical and chemical characteristics of water and advance to related issues under the general umbrella of Science, Technology and Society. The resource also has relevance for Geography and Social Studies units that focus on natural resources and their management. The attention given to water borne diseases also makes the resource relevant for certain units in the Health and Wellness curriculum.
More generally, the resource may be used in support of those units of study that have as their focus human rights, the challenges faced by the developing world, and the concept of global citizenship.
The issue of access to clean water introduces larger issues such as human rights, gender equality, inequality of opportunity, individual and collective responsibility, child mortality, and sustainable development.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
The sponsors of the resource have as a mandate a resposibility to raise awareness of the challenges faced by much of the world's population in obtaining clean water and to take appropriate action in the face of those challenges. This resource is in keeping with their awareness raising responsibility and reflects the organization's view of the world water situation. The facts presented and the perspective offered on those facts are, however, supported by many others who work in the developing world.
|Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).|
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The resource connects the dots in the vicious cycle that links the struggle to obtain clean water to inadequate or polluted sources; to the unequal burden placed on women and girls and their related inability to obtain the education they need to improve their situation; to the sickness and death that further challenge efforts at social and economic improvement in the lives of many of the world's population.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The resource helps students recognize that making clean water available to those without it is a necessary prerequisite to solving other problems of poverty, health, education, and gender inequality. The resource does not however, give equal attention to the reasons why the necessary solutions are not forthcoming. While it draws attention, for example to how we and others use an inordinate amount of water, it does not explore how reducing our usage would help those who lack clean water.
|Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.|
|Action Experience||Very Good|
The resource includes a variety of activities to draw attention to the struggle for clean water. Students undertake a number of art and writing project (posters, letters, poetry), organize information booths, and raise funds to help others obtain clean water (recycling personal treasures, water walks, wishing wells, water sports day)
|Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
The list of possible student activities is impressive and could be carried out with a minimum of organization. Tips and suggestions are provided to help students set up information booths and write effective letters.
|Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
The aim of the resource is to raise awareness of and empathy for those for whom access to clean water is a daily struggle. The authors of the resource understand that personalizing the larger issue of clean water is the most effective way to promote empathy and therefore they include stories about individuals and families struggling to obtain clean water.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
The focus of the resource is the daily struggle of humans to obtain clean water.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.|
While the resource is concerned with the consequences of a lack of clean water in the developing world, a number of activities are included to draw attention to the students own use of water, to the process by which local water arrives in their taps and to our "difficulties" when the tap does not deliver that clean water.
|Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.|
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The resource is intended to draw attention to a current issue - lack of clean water - so as to encourage the action required to better ensure a future where clean water is a given
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The focus of the resource is not to have students debate the merits of possible answers to the issue of clean water but to raise their awareness of the issue, to help students in drawing the attention of others to the issue, and to encourage them do what they might as a class to assist those who are working to address the issue.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning||Good|
In order to understand the reasons for and the consequences of a lack of clean water students must reference a number of subject areas.
The concept of sustainable development helps students integrate the different subject areas.
|Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.|
The lessons adopt a number of teaching strategies to help students gain an understanding of the problems associated with a lack of clean water. Teacher directed instruction and discussions explore the water cycle; student-owned water surveys and Water Challenge Days raise student awareness of their consumption of water; personal stories about the daily struggles of women and girls to obtain clean water reveal the link between clean water and gender in the developing world; student research on infectious disease broadens their understanding of the causes and consequences of water borne diseases; historical case studies enlarges student understanding of infectious diseases; fact sheets provide essential data about the impact of water borne diseases.
|Discovery Learning: |
Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.
In comparing the availability and use of water in their communities with that of others in the developing world, students may be expected to consider issues of "fairness", inequality, and social justice. The various advocacy and other action components included in the lessons will help students explore their responsibility and that of their class and community in addressing the issue.
|Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
The lessons include a mix of instruction - teacher directed learning, simulations, data collection and analysis, story/journal writing, advocacy projects - that should appeal to the variety of interests, abilities and talents in the classroom.
|Differentiated Instruction: Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.|
Students have a variety of opportunities to learn by doing. They gain an understanding of the discrepancy with respect to water use and availability by comparing their usage to that of others in the developing world, by limiting their water use to a gallon of water in a given day, by collecting and measuring rainfall in their community and comparing it to other places in the world, and by simulating the daily walk women and girls must make to acquire needed water.
The various suggestions for student advocacy on the issue of water may be expected to contribute further to their understanding of the issue.
|Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
The lesson directs students to work in pairs in several activities - estimating availability of potable water; positing a definition of infectious disease, etc - and to work cooperatively in measuring local rainfall. many of the advocacy actions suggested by the lesson would be best carried out by small or large group cooperation.
While not directed, there are others instances in which a teacher who wishes to promote cooperative learning may do so.
|Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
The lessons do not provide explicit direction for evaluation of assessment but there are plenty of opportunities for teachers to assess student understanding and participation.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching||Poor/Not considered|
|Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
A number of case studies are included in the lesson
|Case Studies: Relevant case studies are used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine concepts in an authentic context.|
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Students exercise choice in deciding what infectious disease they will investigate; in choosing a scenario to convey a day in the life of a family without access to clean water; in determining what medium they will use to promote a better understanding of the importance of clean water and to advocate for societal action.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|