Water literacy in Central and Southern Alberta : how five watershed education programs foster a relationship between humans and the land/water they depend on
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Alberta is the driest province in Canada; however, residents do not often recognize the relationship between their own water uses and the health of the watershed they reside in. Therefore, there is a recognised need for water literacy education in the province. The researcher asked five members of water education organizations in central and southern Alberta how they work to increase water literacy within their regions. The programs primarily use experiential methods, combined with discussion and information to engage participants in connecting their own water usages to the watershed. This research looked at ways language, stories, and metaphors, as well as the hidden curriculum of systems thinking, are used in the programs to foster water literacy. However, due to the generally low water literacy of participants, the programs are often limited to basic water education which restricts educator’s ability to create deeper awareness of the holistic systems connected to water.
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