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GEA-China Spring/Summer 2001 Update

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Updates:

Expanding the Program

GEA-China has received numerous requests for this program from communities throughout China, however, for reasons of testing and control, the initial release has been limited to schools located in or around the Beijing area. This has helped to refine the material and adapt it to meet the needs of the Chinese education system. The program is now ready to be offered to schools nationwide.

Web of Life at GEA-China workshop
Teachers enjoyed the Web of Life Activity at the Spring 2000 Teacher Training
Educational Outreach
Laura Utley, Misha Krakowsky, Dean
Paschall, and Bill Hawks meet with Michael Crook and the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) team in Beijing to Discuss cooperation in educational out reach opportunities. GEA-China is working with the JGI team to help spread the EE message to schools across China.
 

Train the Trainers

Chinese teacher
One of the master teachers giving a presentation on what she learned about the environment and cooperative learning
In addition to showing the teachers how to apply the GEA-China material in their classrooms, a supplementary special workshops will be presented this summer. These seminars are designed to offer teachers the tools and training necessary to conduct workshops in their home region.

Students Environmental Education Textbook

To better serve the needs of teachers and students in China, GEA-China is working to develop a brand new EE textbook. The new text will use the pedagogical principals of cooperative education, a highly interactive style of instruction that encourages student/teacher interactions, while incorporating those environmental issues and data specific to China.

Laura Utley discussing the textbook
Recent meeting in Beijing to discuss the student EE textbook. Left to Right: Ms. Bao Hong, Mr. Wang Weizhong, Madame Deng Nan (Vice Minister of MOST), Ms. Laura Utley, and Mr. Xu Jie

Landmark Agreement Announced: The State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to Join in Cooperative Agreement with GEA-China

Laura Utley meeting with MOST and SEPA
Laura Utley (center), Mr. Wang Weizhong (left), Co-Chairs of GEA-China, meet with Mr. Jia Feng of SEPA (right)

GEA-China and SEPA have reached a landmark agreement to join together and offer GEA - Chinas' environmental education curriculum with the full endorsement of SEPA. This agreement brings with it access to the more than 3000 "green schools" operating under the guidance of SEPA. Green schools are identified as having EE as a primary focus in their curriculum. This will also provide an additional training center from which to offer training sessions. The Center for Environmental Education and Communication is solely dedicated to the instruction and dissemination of EE programs and materials. This agreement will also foster cooperation between GEA-China, MOST and SEPA, two ministries within China that are involved with environmental protection concerns.

University Fellowship Program - Huxley College

Brad Smith with CNU faculty
GEA-China fellowship students working at Huxley College of Environmental Studies.

Through a partnership between GEA-China, United Airlines and Huxley College of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University, four faculty members from Capital Normal University (CNU) in Beijing traveled to the US to study at Huxley College. The students spent the fall quarter writing articles, collaborating with faculty, and giving lectures. Now, back at CNU, they are offering courses on the subjects they studied, as well as writing articles for the Chinese media. GEA-China sponsored exchanges, such as the University Fellowship Program, are more than just academic. Through exchanges such as this, GEA-China strives to build stronger bonds and foster relationships between our two countries, helping everyone to work together for a better future.

As a follow up to the exchange program, administrators at both Huxley and CNU are currently exploring the possibility of co-hosting a symposium on sustainability.

Photo on ecotourism
Poster created from studying ecotourism in the Olympic Pennisula.

"I was impressed by the techniques we experienced at Huxley, they are very different from those used in China. I found the methods very flexible; students are encouraged to ask questions and are allowed to freely express their ideas. Students work in small groups, discuss issues and use the Internet extensively for supplemental material and research. I will introduce all these techniques to China."

Xiaoxiu Li
Department of Geography
Capital Normal University of Beijing

Poster on Ecotourism
Poster created from studying ecotourism at Mt. Baker.

"There are so many things to do about the environment in China. As a teacher, I have the responsibility for the environmental education in China and usage of the knowledge I learned from America to educate the students in my university. We need more and more people concerned our earth, because the earth is unique, and we need more and more people to join in to protect our surviving environment so that everyone has a good environment in which to live and to leisure. I very much appreciate the program supported by Global Communications for Conservation, Inc. and United Airlines. Because of your support, I can finish my task smoothly."

Zhongcheng Yan , Ph. D.
Associate Professor Department of Biology
Capital Normal University

College Environmental Education Textbook

The students of the Huxley College Fellowship Exchange, graduate students from CNU and several other Universities in China have spent the last year working to create the first environmental textbook for Normal Universities non -environmental majors. Most of the draft is finished and in the process of proof reading and editing. At the same time, the text is being piloted this semester in 45 classes at CNU. The book will also be piloted in Shanghai Huadong Normal University, the most prestigious Normal University in the region. This textbook is being developed under the cooperation and guidance of GEA-China. When finished, the text will be used in Normal colleges across China to instruct future teachers on how to integrate EE into lessons across the curriculum. This landmark text will also be the first college text in China to focus on techniques of inter-disciplinary education. Some of the topics included in the book will include: Beijing Water Quality, Eco-Tourism, Ecological Environment in Western China, and Panda Habitat Preservation and many more.

Shumin Pan and Laura Utley
Temple of Confucious
Pan Shumin (left), who is directing work on the college textbook, during meetings with Laura Utley.

"During the three months I spent at the Huxley College of Environmental Studies, and by attending the North American Association for Environmental Education conference in Texas, my vision has broadened. I have seen the interdisciplinary efforts EE and environmental science and in this regard, Huxley is way ahead of the curve in innovative interdisciplinary curriculum. As a result of this visit, we will do our utmost to help promote EE in China and create a channel for communication at home and abroad."

Shumin Pan
Head of Language Department
Capital Normal University of Beijing

Teacher Training Workshops

Dean Paschall heads up the outreach program
Dean Paschall, Executive Director of GEA-China, leading a teacher-training workshop
Now in the third consecutive year of providing quality EE workshops, GEA-China continues to build on the success of each preceding session. The team is now preparing for the next series of workshops, scheduled for this summer in Beijing. Although EE is the focus of the workshops, this is often the first exposure for these Chinese teachers to techniques in cooperative education. In cooperative education programs, students work in small groups to solve real world problems utilizing student-centered activities in a highly energetic and interactive format. This teaching style is brand new to China and has been enthusiastically embraced by the teachers. The technique fosters student empowerment, creative problem solving and shows how working together can effect positive environmental change.

Expanding the Program

United Airlines
Laura Utley and Misha Krakowsky meet with Steve Lieberman of United Airlines during a recent visit to Beijing. We at GEA-China would like to recognize United for the generous support they have provided for all of our GEA-China program activities. Thank you United Airlines!

GEA-China greatfully acknowledges:

  • Its founding partner, Enron;
  • Our continuing partner, United;
  • And our newest partner, McDonald's of Beijing.


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