The Water Detective Program is a water-focused environmental education program that aims to increase the knowledge of natural processes in early general education and to promote an integrated approach to teaching and focusing on creative thinking that sparks curiosity and helps in solving problems.
We are living in a world that is rapidly changing due to climate change, technological advancements, population growth and rapidly increasing negative impact of our civilization on the natural environment. All these problems require fast and drastic changes in our attitudes towards nature and changes in our behavior.
Early integrated education on natural processes related to deterioration of habitats and biodiversity, droughts and floods, erosion and deforestation etc. – based on games, experiments, fairy tales, role-playing – increases the notion of risks and solutions, which we believe leads to better decision making, and eventually to resilient communities that are built in harmony with nature.
As an architect and planner, I soon in my career realized that it is not very easy to be constructive in group communication without having at least a basic common knowledge base. Since the water is connected to everything in our lives, a national Water Detective program was born in Slovenia in the late 1990s. Twenty-year experience leads to the ELEDAN project that brought the program into the international dimension.
At this point we are aiming at achieving our goals by providing teachers with educational tools that will support them in their desire to motivate children to learn about water and environmental problems and to search for solutions.
We believe that is essential to combine research with direct experience and artistic expression. Through artistic expression, one can personalize natural processes and, therefore, change the perspective when looking at a particular problem. This can give different insights into problems, but it also touches the pupils’ emotions. This is very important because in this way our basic value system is involved, which is needed to bring forward our willingness to change.
We are happy that we were able to provide you with the first e-learning package designed around our first research question “How can a river clean itself?”. I hope that you will find it useful.
the leader of the Water Detective Program