Essay Example on Climate change is a major challenge for human Beings









Climate change is a major challenge for human beings in the 21st century United Nation 2013 Epstein 2011 Wright 2008 As a result many mitigations and adaptation plans have been generated in order to help solve the issue Education is an important part of these plans because it is considered a vital and important tool to increase public awareness United Nations 1972 Han 2015 Therefore Environmental Education EE has become the preferred solution and has gradually developed in the last decade Global EE projects such as the United Nations Education for Environment Population and Development Project have emerged to comply with the global climate change agenda Han 2015 China has a long history in developing EE In 1998 the official education project Environment Population and Development EPD was launched in Beijing and quickly spread to the rest of the country Zhang 2010 The EPD program which was later renamed to Environmental Sustainable Development ESD aimed to integrate EE into curricula in primary and secondary schools and develop textbooks Zhang 2010 The program was gradually developed over the decade and managed to accomplish notable achievements However implementation gaps such as lack of policy and school support have hindered local government and schools from implementing the programme Han 2015 

The aim of the proposed research proposal is to investigate EE in compulsory education in China I am particularly interested in the roles views and potential impacts of key stakeholders local policy makers school principals teachers and parents in the implementation of ESD at a local level Most studies in this field have focused on the national or provincial level of EE policies which is ESD and have ignored the local government and local stakeholders Therefore my PhD project seeks to fill this gap and engage local stakeholders There are two reasons why I want to explore EE further The first reason is my internship experience with Citizens Climate Lobby Education One of my responsibilities was to research and draft educational materials for volunteers These volunteers were able to use the knowledge and lobby congressional representatives to make political impacts on environmental issues Through my work I learned how to enrich people's knowledge and inspire people to fight for climate change Therefore I want to use what I learned to help my home country to solve environmental issues and protect the environment The second reason is the research opportunity for this topic

 The recent 19th Communist Party of China National Congress has sent a clear message to protect the environment and develop sustainability in China EE is brought on the table again and it is the key to develop environmental awareness for the next generations The paradigm shift of Chinese government's policy direction indicates new research areas New policies and programs will be created to develop the national agenda which will require further research on EE in China Literature Review In line with much of the literature the achievements of current ESD policies are debatable There are four policy aims of ESD which are a Develop curriculums that involves environmental protection values b Create environmental protection and sustainable development courses and textbooks c Explore methodologies for teaching and applying ESD in school d Initiate teachers training programs to develop effective teaching methods and skills Zhang 2010 With support from environmental NGOs and field experts China has quickly developed ESD policies in schools since then 

There are several key elements that have contributed to the development of ESD policies in China First schools were able to integrate ESD ideas to the curriculum Zhang 2010 Han 2015 Students were able to develop environmental protection ideas through problem solving procedures and extracurricular activities Zhang 2010 Han 2015 Second research opportunities and scholarships were provided for higher education to generate further ideas in ESD Zhang 2010 Third the international ESD forum provided ideas and values exchange in sustainable development Zhang 2010 Fourth school leadership training programs were initiated to help teachers examine ESD ideas and visions Zhang 2010 Han 2015 Fifth various activities such as speaking contests and ESD voluntary community programs were created to develop students environmental awareness Zhang 2010 Sixth government support has fostered ESD adaptation capacity for schools Zhang 2010 However the achievements of ESD remain contested Policy and institutional support was actually inadequate across schools according to Han 2015 The lack of specific supportive policies on ESD limited the development of EE in primary and secondary schools Han 2015 Some local schools weren t able to gain enough support from the government to develop ESD curricula Han 2015 Local government often shifts its paradigms to other areas due to the lack of local practitioners and key stakeholders Han 2015 Furthermore economic disparity has impacted schools negatively across China

Schools in mega cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are often more active than schools from less economically developed regions Less developed regions often put low priority on facilitating ESD in schools because of economic pressures Han 2015 Last but not least there s no official ESD training manuals and the ESD teacher training services are limited Han 2015 Li Dong 2010 Thus untrained teachers are not able to carry out the ESD requirements to students and this often results into ineffective outcomes Han 2015 The conflict between the national and local interests have also negatively impacted environmental NGOs efforts in local cities and schools Li Dong 2010 Many NGOs can only engage in piecemeal activities in some of the schools nonmainstream classes Li Dong 2010 p 13 In addition there is lack of public awareness and public support in EE Li Dong 2010 Mainstream social values often focus on the pursuit of material consumption especially nonrenewable resources Li Dong 2010 p 13 Environmental NGOs are not notable to the public and therefore are not a reliable source for developing EE Li Dong 2010

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