Case in point 13—Swarovski’s Water Schools The Water School for a Living Yangtze is characterised by the following goals and objectives—
Long-term goal - Restore ecological integrity of Yangtze River through effective public participation in sustainable water resource management
Programme goal - Improve environmental stewardship in selected watersheds of Yangtze through participatory learning and action by schools and communities
Objectives - A series of five objectives implement the programme into practice
Objective 1 - Develop Water School teaching material. Special Water School resource packs will contain translated and adapted teaching materials developed by the Water School International about global water problems, special information about national and regional water issues, teacher training manual, guide for multidisciplinary water-related activities for ages K-12 grades for schools, children, families and communities (hands-on, easy to use, and fun), basic tools for testing water quality in the field, etc.
Objective 2 - Train teachers for the Water School Programme. Innovative teacher training is essential for achieving the programme’s goals. Since the Water School is more than just ordinary classroom teaching, teachers will be trained in special techniques such as: activity-oriented approaches, place-based and integrated learning, working with the community on real-life projects, project planning and supervision with students, etc.
Objective 3 - Conduct the Water School in selected pilot schools. Trained teachers will teach the Water School curriculum in 20 selected pilot schools. The curriculum will address water issues on local, national and global levels, ecological, economic, social, cultural and ethical aspects and management of limited water resources. The Programme will actively involve the children through water investigations in the field, analysis of water data collected in nature, communications on water issues with other schools and planning of actions in the community
Objective 4 - Foster and support water community action by the pilot schools. A fundamental principle of the Water School is to motivate children to become “ambassadors” of the water message for families and communities. They will learn how to initiate and conduct local water conservation projects by local communities
Objective 5 - Link the regional Water Schools on national and international levels. Water Schools programmes are being run in three localities in China, a National Park in India and three provinces of Austria and are supervised and assisted by a coordinating office in Austria. The students of the three regions along the Yangtze will be linked through internet connections with joint website for all pilot schools, student exchanges, a student congress involving children from all schools, a national project competition, other joint events, etc. Links between the Water Schools in other countries will also be established through an international Water School Website, annual meetings of Water School leaders and a joint event for students in 2010.