Knowledge: Carry out the investigation of the river!
Investigation of the river can now take place. This phase again comprises several steps, in particular the exact planning, sampling of data and their evaluation. In the planning phase the group may have decided to use e.g. ecological section of the FyR checklist. In the second phase concrete places and time points for sampling are to be fixed. In this phase, the pupils get a great number of single parameters. In the analysis all these are combined as a score, a figure characterizing the ecological quality.
The ecological investigation as a scientific based analytical procedure brings about valid results only if applied correctly, thus the pupils have to learn to reproduce it precisely (“take it and act it”). But even scientific methods are manmade and cover only a few aspects of reality and influenced by interests. For instance, our checklist is based upon the ideals and visions of sustainability and biodiversity. If we had different ideals, we would probably ask other questions and would have different results.
That’s why, the students should have the opportunity to deconstruct the method. During the investigation of the river, they will learn that the ecological index is only one aspect of river quality. This happens e.g. by finding further characteristics of river quality like the morphology of the river-bed, the aesthetics of the landscape or examples of economic usage of the river. We suggest some activities in the didactical guidelines.
In this phase the web methods may help
- the group to open various perspectives of exploration and use of additional sources of information (cf. virtual environment excursion). The web methods can also provide a construction of their own picture of the river (cf. digital photo excursion; learning by designing)
- to exchange perspectives between the learning groups (e.g. by fore-chat or virtual thought rotation).