Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Exercise Physiology | Exercise Science | Health and Physical Education | Kinesiology | Leisure Studies | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Public Health | Sports Management | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies | Tourism and Travel


Human interaction with the aquatic environment has always taken different forms to meet the needs of pleasure, survival, therapy or performance. The diversity of existing aquatic spaces presents itself as a challenge, due to their variety, dynamism, unpredictability and unrepeatable conditions. These factors potentiate an infinite number of possibilities for human response in interaction with the aquatic environment, with aquatic competence being the one that will be able to sustain all types of interaction. Thus, the aim of the proposal has been to present a new approach to the contextualisation of aquatic competence. After a literature review on the concept of aquatic competence, a three dimensional model is presented: aquatic literacy, drowning prevention and environmental education. Recognising the human being as a bio-psycho-social being, a holistic model is developed, where the dimensions are based on three types of know-how (to be, to know and to do). In turn, these knowledges are influenced by the socio-cultural environment, the aquatic environment, the self and by others. Considering its breadth and the focus on the human being, this ecological model should not be a privilege, but a condition of aquatic programmes. Therefore, the acquisition of aquatic competence is presented as a civic necessity.