The Fresh Water Literacies project was funded by a grant from the University of South Australia (UniSA) Research Themes Investment Scheme (RTIS). The intent of this seed funding stream is to support the formation or development of research that spans traditional disciplinary boundaries, and builds collaborative partnerships with proven outcomes. The project also had monetary support and in-kind funding from Natural Resources Management (NRM) Murray Darling Basin and NRM Adelaide/Mt Lofty branches thanks to the networks of Professor Chris Daniels, chair of the NRM Board. The funding was used for schools to purchase resources and participate in a film that documented the project. Five primary school teachers, at three different primary schools, participated in this project. While the project originally intended to use pseudonyms for both teachers and schools, the individual teachers and their principals all requested that they and the schools were identified in this report.
The aim of the Fresh Water Literacies Project was to build on primary aged students' understanding of the importance and finite availability of natural resources. The recognition of their personal impact on living in an overdeveloped world and their 'unfair' ecological footprint were also central. The project focused specifically on developing scientifically and mathematically literate citizens who have the confidence to make informed decisions and participate in a democracy. The specific natural resource we focused on was fresh water. The key research questions were:
- What would a curriculum for the Anthropocene look like?
- How might primary school teachers (Year 5) explore this curriculum in practice in a range of contexts?