Learning places and ‘little volunteers’: an assessment of place- and community-based education in China

Research
TitleLearning places and ‘little volunteers’: an assessment of place- and community-based education in China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsEfird, R
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Volume21
Issue8
Pagination1143 - 1154
Date Published2015/11/17/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsaffect, CHINA, environmental education, Museums, place- and community-based education, pro-environmental behavior
AbstractIn 2003, China’s Ministry of Education mandated environmental education in all subjects at all levels in Chinese public schools and explicitly encouraged teachers to engage their students in hands-on learning in their local communities. However, a number of obstacles – including an intense preoccupation with test scores and student safety – make this difficult to achieve. This article presents an unusual exception, an initiative in the Chinese city of Kunming with an approach that closely resembles North American place- and community-based education. This initiative trained and placed primary school students in a local museum as volunteer docents, where they interpreted exhibits on environmental themes and local history and culture for museum visitors. The article begins with a brief description of environmental education’s circumstances in urban China and the origins of this ‘Little Volunteer’ initiative. The article then presents an assessment of the initiative’s outcomes and analyzes its implications for environmental education practice more broadly.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2014.976607