Abstract


ENHANCING TEACHERS’ WATER LITERACY LEVELS THROUGH ACTION-BASED TRAINING

Understanding water and/or water-related issues more comprehensively requires people to become water literate. Even though the literature has reported several definitions on water literacy, there has still been no scientific consensus about its definition. Because ProjectWET Foundation has described water literacy with seven principles (“Water has unique physical and chemical characteristics”, “Water is essential for all life to exist”, “Water connects all Earth systems”, “Water is a natural resource”, “Water resources are managed”, “Water resources exist within social constructs”, “Water resources exist within cultural constructs”) and suggested action-based activities on water literacy, this study aimed to enhance teachers’ water literacy levels by using different activities in the light of these principles. Through a pre-experimental research methodology, 25 teachers with different expertise took part in a 7-day training project. A survey with a word association test and open-ended questionnaire (covering water definition, water reserves, water users, saving water, importance of water, and basic characteristics) was administered to the participants before and after the treatment. The findings revealed that in both tests the teachers regarded the ocean as a body holding maximum amounts of water reserve. In addition, they viewed rivers as easily accessible source of maximum potable water. Furthermore, the teachers mostly defined water as a substance composing of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms and generally indicated its important role in vital activities. In light of the results, it can be concluded that teachers are water literate in the context of six principles, except for the principle “Water resources exist within cultural constructs”. The present study suggests that further studies are needed to satisfy the principles of water literacy at different levels with various activities.



Keywords

Water, water education, water literacy, ProjectWet.


Reference