Research and Development of Environmental Awareness about Water in Primary Education Students through Their Drawings
1.1. Socio-Scientific Problems as Teaching Contexts for Environmental Education
1.2. Teaching and Learning Strategies for Improving Environmental Awareness about Water
1.3. Research Aim
- To identify and analyse student conceptions and perceptions of water as an essential resource for living beings, from an ecocentric and anthropocentric perspective.
- To know and value the knowledge students have about the phenomena, processes, and elements of the natural and urban water cycles.
- To explore and interpret the respectful behaviours and attitudes shown by students towards water conservation and care.
- To determine the interest and willingness of students to address water issues, assessing their knowledge and ability to identify the origin, impact, and possible solutions thereof.
2. Research Methodology
2.1. General Background
- Data reduction. Through this procedure, the units of analysis (drawings) were segmented to be categorized and coded. The category construction process allowed the elaboration of a system of mixed categories, which included predefined categories (deductive), coming from the review of the specialized literature  and ad hoc categories (inductive) that arose from the observation of sample drawing fragments. The mixed (deductive-inductive) category system was configured as follows:
- Macrocategory 1. Affective dimension.
- Macrocategory 2. Cognitive dimension.
- Macrocategory 3. Conative dimension.
- Macrocategory 4. Active dimension.
- Data layout and transformation. Graphs, diagrams, and descriptive matrices were constructed to show the relationships between the categories and to discover the complexity of their structure.
- Obtaining results and verifying conclusions. All the information was unified through processes of comparison, contrast, and triangulation to identify similarities and differences between the units of the categories. In the end, a comprehensive macro was built that contributed to the creation of a theory of environmental awareness. The Atlas.ti v7.0 program (2012) (Berlin, Germany) was used to support the qualitative analysis processes.
2.3. Information Collection and Analysis Instruments
2.4. System of Categories
2.4.1. Macrocategory 1. Affective Dimension
2.4.2. Macrocategory 2. Cognitive Dimension
2.4.3. Macrocategory 3. Conative Dimension
2.4.4. Macrocategory 4. Active Dimension
2.5. Analysis of the Information
3. Research Results
3.1. Qualitative Analysis
3.1.1. Affective Dimension
3.1.2. Cognitive Dimension
3.1.3. Conative Dimension
3.1.4. Active Dimension
3.2. Quantitative Analysis
4. Conclusions and Discussion
5. Limitations of the Study and Future Research
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Session Description||Scientific Knowledge Covered||Environmental Awareness Dimension|
|Session 1: Can we live without water?|
Students are presented with an imaginary situation in which they must explain to extraterrestrial beings what interest and relevance water has to our planet. The following questions are asked: can we live without water, what is water, what is it used for, where do we find it, in what processes is it involved, etc. The students are asked to draw a picture that answers these questions.
|Previous knowledge||Affective, cognitive, conative, and active.|
|Session 2: Is there water for everyone?|
Students watch a documentary that highlights the problems of access, supply, and infrastructure of water resources in developing countries. It also analyses the current global dilemmas and challenges to ensure that water reaches all the inhabitants of the planet. The following questions are asked: could you live with only 3 litres of water per day; what would we need to know about to be able to solve the dilemmas raised in the documentary; what solutions can you think of to respond to the problems raised; and what can we do in our daily lives to improve the situation? Students should discuss as a group and present the conclusions reached to the rest of their classmates.
|Social, economic, and environmental issues||Conative and active|
|Session 3: Do we take care of the water around us?|
The following dilemma is posed to students: A coastal city, with strong periods of drought in summer and whose most important resource is tourism, sees its population tripled during the summer season. The mayor, in order to reduce costs, decides that water for human consumption is not to pass through the sewage treatment plant and is to be discharged directly into the sea. What do you think of this action? How do you think this affects the sea? What would you have done? What would be the solution? The students in small working groups should investigate and discuss, trying to answer the questions posed. The conclusions reached are shared with the class group.
|Water collection, transport processes, storage, distribution, and water treatment processes.||Cognitive and active|
|Session 4: Do we take care of the water around us?|
The following dilemma is posed to students: Recently a law has been passed that limits the amount that can be fished daily on the coast of Málaga due to the disappearance of marine species that is occurring due to overexploitation. Because of the application of this law, a Málaga fishing family begins to suffer great economic difficulties to survive. The family decides not to abide by the law and fishes without respecting the established limits. What consequences do you think this situation has from an environmental point of view? Would you propose a solution? The students in small working groups should investigate and discuss, trying to give answers to the questions formulated. The conclusions reached are shared with the class group.
|Social, economic, and environmental issues||Conative and active|
|Session 5: And the coast, do we take care of it?|
Students are told they are going on a trip to a beach near the school and asked to draw what they think they will find on this visit. The trip takes place, and the students collect photographs and notes in their notebooks of what they find on their coastal route. In the classroom, working in small groups, they contrast their initial drawings with their photographs and notes. Each group agrees on a drawing that gathers all the data collected during the outing. Finally, each group presents its drawing and proposes actions that could improve the ecosystem studied.
|Terrestrial aquatic ecosystem and social, economic, and environmental issues||Affective and active|
|Session 6: Why is water important in my life?|
It is proposed that half of the students in the class take on the role of tourists and the other half take on the role of citizens of a coastal area. In this role, they reflect on why water is important and what actions they could take to look after it. After the group discussion, all groups present their consensus to the rest of the class.
|Water Uses||Cognitive, affective, and active|
|Session 7: Where does the water we use when we take a shower go?|
The students must give an answer to the question posed by means of a drawing. Next, a video describing the path of wastewater is shown. Students are required to carry out an experimental activity in which they use filtration and chlorination processes to treat several water samples with waste. Finally, the wastewater treatment process and its importance in the hydrological cycle is discussed.
|Transportation processes, storage and distribution water and water treatment.||Cognitive|
|Session 8: What happens to the water we use when we take a shower?|
Students are taken to a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) where some water pollution problems are discussed. At the end of the visit, in groups, students are required to create an advertising slogan to try to raise awareness of these problems and provoke a change in the behaviour of citizens.
|Water treatment processes and associated pollution problems||Cognitive, conative, and active|
|Session 9: What is water used for?|
Students are divided into groups and assigned a plot of land next to a river in the province of Málaga. The students propose exploitation activities on their plots of land and study the water needs of each one. At the end, they explain their decisions in environmental, economic, and social terms.
|Water uses and related problems||Affective and cognitive|
|Session 10: Can we live without water?|
As a final evaluation, students are again presented with the same imaginary situation as in session 1. Students are expected to modify and complete their initial drawings.
|Final knowledge.||Affective, cognitive, conative, and active.|
|Level 0||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|No phases are shown||Phase A||Phase B||Phase A-B|
|Level 0||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|No phases are shown||Phase A||Phase B||Phase C||Phase A-B||Phase A-C||Phase B-C||Phase A-B-C|
|Level 0||Level 1||Level 2|
|No phases are shown||Phase A||Phase B|
|Level 0||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|No phases are shown||Phase A||Phase B||Phase C||Phase B-C|
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Pozo-Muñoz, M.P.; Martín-Gámez, C.; Velasco-Martínez, L.C.; Tójar-Hurtado, J.C. Research and Development of Environmental Awareness about Water in Primary Education Students through Their Drawings. Educ. Sci. 2023, 13, 119. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020119
Pozo-Muñoz MP, Martín-Gámez C, Velasco-Martínez LC, Tójar-Hurtado JC. Research and Development of Environmental Awareness about Water in Primary Education Students through Their Drawings. Education Sciences. 2023; 13(2):119. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020119Chicago/Turabian Style
Pozo-Muñoz, Mª Paz, Carolina Martín-Gámez, Leticia Concepción Velasco-Martínez, and Juan Carlos Tójar-Hurtado. 2023. "Research and Development of Environmental Awareness about Water in Primary Education Students through Their Drawings" Education Sciences 13, no. 2: 119. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020119