A new resource pack for teachers
Vision and scope of the material
The Alter Aqua educational material is the result of a fruitful cooperation of a committed team from Greece and Malta with the ambition to raise awareness and sensitise the educational community on the very crucial issue of Non-Conventional Water Resources across the Mediterranean, and particularly in the Maltese Islands.
The material has been developed based on the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). It aspires to be a flexible tool in the hands of the keen educator aiming to develop imagination, curiosity, creativity, observation, skills and knowledge to his/her students, as well as an attitude of “new water ethic” in line with sustainability.
As Alter Aqua is based on the experience of the Rainwater Harvesting Programme in the Greek Islands, it is expected that valuable experience and knowledge will be shared in the future with other water scarce Mediterranean countries, where the programme can be replicated, adapted to the local needs.
Objectives of the material
The Alter Aqua material aims to build the capacities of the English-speaking educational community of the Mediterranean region, and particularly of the Maltese Islands on issues relating to Non Conventional Water Resources (NCWRs). The material can be used by educators working directly within Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), or indirectly across the curriculum. The main objectives for the students are:
• To be acquainted with the water cycle and the impacts of human activities on it;
• To be informed about the alternative or Non Conventional Water Resources;
• To explore the benefits and risks of the NCWRs at various levels: environmental, social and economic;
• To be aware of traditional and cultural aspects of water and to find out how the past "wisdom" can be transferred and applied in modern systems of water management;
• To develop the skills of critical thinking, decision making and participation;
• To acquire a positive attitude towards NCWRs and adopt responsible water consumption habits in their daily lives.
Pedagogic approaches in the material
The material is addressed to teachers and students of late primary and early secondary level (8-13 years old). It has been developed in a multidisciplinary way involving disciplines such as Environmental Studies, Science, Meteorology, Home Economics, Mathematics, History, Language and Literature. The educational methods proposed include discussions, experiments, simulations, field work, role-play and surveys.
The Activities contain a “theoretic” part, to be used mainly by the educator and a worksheet to be reproduced for each student. They are based on learner-centred and experiential approaches, stimulating the learners to questioning, working together and reaching conclusions. All activities require very simple materials and equipment.
The teachers are welcome to apply them either as a whole or in parts, according to their needs, objectives and available time taking into account also the skills and interests of their students. To this end the Activities are presented on separate A3 sheets.
This printed kit is not an end on its own: it is part of an educational pack that includes also a printed poster with water saving tips for students, available in English and Maltese; as well as a series of hands-on material to support the educators in their work. Moreover, particularly for the case of Malta an accompanying CD is included containing a soft copy of the educational material applicable for interactive whiteboards, extended references for the Maltese Islands and other support material.
Structure - content of the material
The Alter Aqua educational material includes:
• 10 Activities, each including some basic information on the issue at hand, plus objectives, the process step-by-step, practical tips and references. Each activity is accompanied by a respective Worksheet for students.
• Methodological guidelines for the educator, presenting in brief the main educational methods and practical tips for the implementation of activities.
• An information sheet providing an overview of the Water Resources and challenges in Malta.