Water in our Life

Textbook for Teachers in Environmental Education

Ed./Hg.: Classen-Bauer, Ingrid, in assignment of: ITE "Internationalisation and Innovation of Teacher Education" / UNESCO / German Commission for UNESCO / UNEP "United Nations Environment Programme"

The need for international action and co-operation in the field of environmental education was expressed in 1972 during the "UN Conference on the Human Environment" in Stockholm. A recommendation was approved during this Conference to establish an international programme in environment education which should not only be international in scope, but also interdiciplinary in ist approach and should consider and reach all age groups.
In response to this recommendation UNESCO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched jointly, in 1975, the "International Environment Educational Programme". Since then, Environment Education has become one of UNESCO’s major programmes. In the context of these activities, the UNESCO-UNEP programme also fostered the present project carried out by ITE (Internationalisation and Innovation in Teacher Education). ITE is a network of Universities and Colleges in the field of Teacher Education who aim to cooperate in order to achieve international understanding through "Internationalisation and Innovation in Teacher Education".
One of the Joint Study Courses in the field of Environment Education dealt with the theme "Water in my Life". The intention was to create an awareness among future teachers of the necessity to deal with environment education at a very early age, to provide teachers with scientific background information about the natural and social implications in the field and help them to find didactic appoaches to deal with it in primary and lower secondary education.
The aim of the present publication is to spread further the idea of liking international understanding with environment problems. The approach is interdisciplinary but it does not aim to be exhaustive. Among the criteria for the selection of themes dominated the idea to give no exclusive priority to the natural sciences, but to integrate themes of international concern, like health, development and peace, which are issues of the social sciences. The participating Universities and Colleges, as well as the authors, are well aware that even considering these priorities they had to limit themselves to some possible themes, these are:

This book is not an encyclopedia for teachers about water, and it is also not meant as a closed curriculum. It includes articles which provide the teacher with relevant background information which he or she can use according to the needs of a particular class. The more scientific texts can be found in boxes within the main text. The suggestion for didactic approaches at the end of the main chapters are thought of as proposals which by no means have to be used in exactly the same form as suggested, but have of course to be adapted to the particular context where they will be used. Most of the didactic approaches are designed for younger children, but they can be modified, shortened, expanded, or, in some instances, completely ignored for older children.


Preface (Prof.Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
  1. Introduction (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    1. ITE and UNESCO’s work in Environment Education
    2. Ideas on how to use this book
  2. What is "Water"
    1. Introduction: Water in Environment Education (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer; Dr. Georges Dussart)
    2. Water: The Science Approach:
      1. Water on a Global Scale: Georaphical Aspects (Dr. Christopher Young)
      2. Water on a Local Scale: Rivers and Lakes (Dr. Georges Dussart)
      3. Functions of Water (Prof Dr. Ulf Amelung)
      4. Physical Properties of Water (Bertil Eriksson)
      5. Some Chemical aspects of Water and ist Constituents (Prof. Dr. Ulf Amelung)
    3. Water: An Holistic Approach (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    4. Different Approaches to Water: The "Reductionist" and the "Holistic Approach" (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    5. Didactic Approaches: Science Teaching - much more than making experiments (Bertil Eriksson)
    6. Activities and Investigations
  3. Water and Life
    1. Introduction (Hartmut Meyer)
    2. Water - An Element of Life (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    3. Water in Organisms (Dr. Georges Dussart)
    4. Organism in Water (Dr. Georges Dussart)
    5. Didactic-Approaches (Dr. Gustav Helldén)
    6. Activities and Investigations
  4. Water and Culture
    1. Introduction (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    2. Water as the Origin of Culture (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    3. Global aspects: Water, Sanitation and Diseases (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    4. Local Aspects:
      1. Retaining and Using Water. A case study in the Harz (Prof. Dr. Ulf Amelung)
      2. Excluding and Using Water. A case study in Sweden (Dr. Gustav Helldén)
      3. Getting Water in a Bolivian Village (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    5. Didactic Approaches (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    6. Activities and Investigations
  5. Pollution
    1. Introduction (Dr. Christopher Young)
    2. Atmosphere (Dr. Christopher Young)
    3. Air Pollution and Forest Damage (Prof. Dr. Ulf Amelung)
    4. Damage to Water Resources (Dr. Georges Dussart)
    5. Attempt at solving the Problems
      1. Air Pollution (Dr. Christopher Young)
      2. Soils and Forests (Prof. Dr. Ulf Amelung)
      3. Water Treatment (Dr. Georges Dussart; Dr. Gustav Helldén)
      4. Imparting a New Consciousness (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
    6. Didactic Approaches (Dr. Georges Dussart)
    7. Activities and Investigations
  6. Conclusions (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Classen-Bauer)
  7. Glossary
  8. Bibliography

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