THE BLUE GOLD: AN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH TO INTRODUCE THE DISCUSSION OF WATER ISSUE IN RELATION TO PLANTS, ANIMALS AND HUMAN IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
University of Padova (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:When astronomers study new planets orbiting around distant stars, they always hope to find some evidence of the existence of water in these remote celestial bodies, precisely because water is the only substance that makes life possible. Water is our blue gold, the most precious of the riches that life can give us in every way. However, very often the subject of water in primary schools is reduced to explaining the changes in its status and its cycle, thus lingering from a chemical point of view of the subject, mainly neglecting the biological aspect of the matter. Nevertheless, water is the element to which we own the existence of all the living species of our planet. For this reason, I developed the idea of dealing with the capital and vital nature of water. The treatment of water also allows us to teach respect for nature, which is essential: starting children immediately to eco-friendly practices, to respect for what surrounds them, is an action of the utmost importance, not the only foundation of civilization, but the very reason for the survival of living species.
The main purpose of this research is to introduce the topic of water from a biological point of view, in relation to plants, animals, and humans, to the second classes of a primary school in the province of Padua (Italy). Besides, the treatment of water with the human being has allowed touching on various topics related to ecology and environmental education, thus raising awareness of good practices of water use and knowledge of what pollution can result in multiple ecosystems, especially plastics and microplastics.
The above content was covered within two primary second classes, designating a class as a control group, where the concepts were given to pupils using the frontal lesson method, and a class as an experimental group, in which a laboratory-type teaching was adopted, with a management of activities based on the scientific method, where children assimilated the contents through discovery and not through a transmissive approach. The children who made up the latter class were, in fact, the protagonists of an experimental path, through which they were able to observe and demonstrate the vital importance of water for plants, animals, and humans.
In this way, it was possible to prove the validity of laboratory teaching based on the scientific method by implementing a comparison, at the project concluded, between the two methods adopted, thus establishing which had been the one capable of achieving the best results in terms of learning.
Keywords: Animals, humans, laboratory teaching, plants, primary school, scientific method, water.