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Towards sustainability - environmental education in China.
A German strategy for Chinese schools?
In the last years China has recognized the environment as an economically valuable good, thus promoting sustainable economic development. Among the young people, this principle is spread by creating awareness through Environmental Education (EE) in schools. Although high on the agenda, the implementation of EE is restricted by a lack of finance and know-how so that Chinese schools benefit from foreign assistance. The focus of this paper is to evaluate the situation of EE in Chinese schools and to test the adaptability of a German EE strategy in China. For this purpose, the need patterns of different categories of schools concerning the contents and the implementation of EE are analyzed. These need patterns are then contrasted with the contents and concept of the German EE strategy. The restrictions in adaptability as well as the necessary adaptations of the German strategy are concluded and laid down accordingly. Together with an outline of possible project partners, these findings are put together to form four different project proposals for EE projects in Chinese schools.

As a result of the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002, the Tamaki Foundation, Seattle WA, USA initiated a research project dealing in the first part with the ′Environmental Policy and Law in Germany, USA and Japan: The Struggle for Equity′, in the second part with ′Sustainable Growth and Environmental Protection: The Case of China′. The University of Duisburg-Essen was in charge of the second part of the project, cooperating with colleagues of the University of Maryland and the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC. The scientific results of the project were discussed with representatives of different ministries in round table meetings both in Washington DC and in Berlin. The participants agreed that increasing efforts have to be put into the development of new concepts for environmental education.
Therefore, the Tamaki Foundation decided at the beginning of 2004 to further support - a pilot project in Germany aiming at the implementation of new methods of environmental education in schools, and - a feasibility study on environmental education in China.
The latter project was kicked off in February 2004 with preparatory meetings at several ministries and institutions in Germany.
The field study was carried out by Ms. Caterina Wasmer, MA between May and October 2004 in Beijing. Ms. Wasmer has kindly been invited to China by Prof. SONG Xinning of Renmin University, Beijing. The study has mostly been conducted by the means of literature study and interviews with experts. It lines out the evolution of environmental education, its role in the educational system as well as the actors in the field. An analysis of the needs of Chinese schools and the feasibility of adapting German strategies to Chinese environmental education follow.
Outlines for possible projects in environmental education in China complete the study.
The final report was submitted as a Master Thesis at the European School of Business (ESB), Reutlingen, Germany to obtain the title ′MBA in International Marketing′.
It is well known that China′s scientific culture is different from the western traditions.
Especially the access to specific knowledge and decision-makers runs along different lines than in Europe or the USA. Taking this – and the short time of preparation – into account, Ms. Wasmer has achieved impressive results. The study has been awarded the best possible grade.
It goes without saying that we want to thank all supporters, especially Prof. Dr. Jörn Altmann of ESB Reutlingen for his supervision, the CIM experts of CESDRRC, Beijing, Dr. Eva Sternfeld and Ms. Tanja Ploetz and Prof. HUANG Yu of Beijing Normal University, Beijing as well as all those who have supported us with advice and information.
Last but not least we gratefully acknowledge the support of the Tamaki Foundation, not only in terms of finance but also in terms of promoting the importance of environmental education for a sustainable development in China and all over the world.
Günter Heiduk
Inhaltsverzeichnis :
Table of contents
Executive Summary
1. Introduction
1.1. Goal-setting and approach
1.2. A short description of contents
2. China′s educational system
2.1. Basic education
2.2. Vocational education
2.3. The administrative structure
3. Economic development and Environmental Education
3.1. The Chinese approach to sustainability
3.2. The development of environmental awareness
3.3. A Definition of Environmental Education
3.4. The goals of Environmental Education
3.5. The development of Environmental Education
3.5.1. First Phase: 1972-1983
3.5.2. Second Phase: 1983-1992
3.5.3. Third Phase: 1992-today
3.6. Foreign influences on EE in China
4. Environmental Education in the educational system
4.1. EE in the curriculum
4.2. The contents of EE
4.3. The achievements of EE
4.4. The shortcomings of EE
4.4.1. Issues of EE connected to teaching
4.4.2. EE′s issues regarding the educational system and the contents
5. A needs analysis concerning the implementation of EE
5.1. Restrictions for the implementation of EE
5.2. The categorization of needs
5.3. How should EE be implemented (should-situation)
5.4. How is EE implemented (is-situation)
5.5. Needs analysis
5.5.1. City schools Primary schools – description of is-situation Primary schools – description of needs Secondary schools – description of is-situation Secondary schools – description of needs
5.5.2. Conclusions for city primary and secondary schools
5.5.3. City-near/ well to do countryside schools Primary schools – description of is-situation Primary schools – description of needs Secondary schools – description of is-situation Secondary schools – description of needs
5.5.4. Conclusions for city-near/ well to do countryside schools
5.5.5. Schools in remote/ poor areas Primary and secondary schools – description of is-situation Primary and secondary schools – description of needs
5.5.6. Conclusion for remote/ poor area primary and secondary schools
6. Protagonists of Environmental Education in China
6.1. Governmental initiatives
6.1.1. Green Schools
6.1.2. Hand in Hand – Building an Earth Village
6.2. International Programs
6.3. Non-governmental/ foreign initiatives (NGOs)
6.3.1. Roots and Shoots
6.3.2. WWF
6.3.3. Friends of Nature (FON)
6.3.4. Global Village of Beijing (GVB).....50
6.4.1. Television
6.4.2. Print media, movies and internet
7. Feasibility Analysis
7.1. Short description of the German Tamaki Foundation Project on EE
7.2. Feasibility of adapting the German project
7.2.1. Adaptability of contents
7.2.2. Adaptability of the concept The concept on the meta level (system) The concept on project level (media)
7.2.3. Conclusion
7.3. Possible project partners
7.4. Outlines of possible projects
7.4.1. The ′global EE project′
7.4.2. The ′local EE project′
7.4.3. The ′develop EE project′
7.4.4. The ′low budget project′
7.4.5. Conclusion
8. Closing remarks
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