TOGETHER BUILDING SUSTAINABLE VILLAGE: TEACHERS TRAINING
Together Building Sustainable Village: Teachers Training Program
Since 2016, Zigen has supported rural schools to participate in the Green Eco School Program through developing thematic teacher training, sponsoring schools to implement activities that are related to environmental education, local culture preservation, gender education, school-family-village engagement, collaborating with local education bureau to conduct best lesson plan selection, and to carry out county level program reflection and evaluation conference. In 2016-2019, approximately 3000 teachers from 74 rural schools in nine counties of six provinces (Yulong of Yunnan, Rongjiang of Guizhou, Qinglong, Fengning, Longyao, Baixiang of Hebei, Xinzhou of Hubei, Shilou of Shanxi, Linxi of Inner Mongolia, etc) received systematic teacher training.
Participants are local education bureau officials, education research center staff, some are school directors, teachers from elementary schools, middle schools and universities. Teachers are trained systematically and will gradually grow as trainers for Zigen’s county level teacher training, to further provide technical assistance and professional guidance regarding education for sustainable development to front-line teachers in rural China locally. Through participatory approach, to help rural teacher establish profound knowledge, consciousness/awareness, skills, attitudes about education for sustainable development. The most important part is to engage teachers to take actions by integrating critical thinking and constructive thinking to their students’ education, and furthermore, to lead their students to pay close attention to care for their hometown, the environment and local culture preservation, and become the backbone of promoting sustainable development in the future.
The county level training were coordinated by Zigen and its local partners, such as local teaching and research center, advanced learning schools, teacher professional development training center, caring for our next generation working committee. Whether the training were organized as once a week for consecutive three weeks, or three days in a row, it was clear that all training has to meet the basic requirement: (1) At least 80% of teachers at the school have to participate in the training; (2) Ensure three days of total 18 hours of training hours, and (3) All thematic topics have to be covered. Zigen looks forward to having steady funding support to sponsor each Green Eco School for three years, to further improve the quality of teaching and learning at our partner schools in rural China.
Building Village for Sustainable Development Teacher Training Manual Published
Since 2013, Zigen has been working with Beijing Normal University National Ethnic Education and Multiple Culture Research Center conducting thorough assessment with teachers, students, parents, education bureau in rural China to develop and refine the training curriculum. After three years, Building Villages for Sustainable Development Teacher Training Manual was officially published in April 2017, which is a benchmark that symbolizes Zigen’s teacher training has marched to its promotion stage.
The development of the manual was focused on the characteristics of China rural society, rural school and rural teachers, through participatory training approach, engaging rural teachers to reform their consciousness, sense of value, attitudes and behaviour toward sustainable development, which leads to the improvement of teachers’ professional capacity development, promote the development of rural education and rural society, and build villages for sustainable development together. The manual integrated the concept of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) four pillars of Education of Sustainable Development (Social Justice, Environmental Responsibility, Economic Prosperity and Cultural Vibrancy) and had six topics, including student-centered teaching and learning methods, environmental education, rural culture preservation, gender education, school-family-village collaboration, and program practices.
The manual was a collective wisdom of both China and international experience. It is based on the actual needs for development of rural education, specified the training objective, case studies and relative activities. It has strong local base, and is practical for use. The publishing of the manual is a recognition of its professionalism and value, and will help the dissemination of experience of promoting education for sustainable development.
The Near Term Goal is to raise awareness of and promote effective participatory education on sustainable development in primary and secondary schools in rural China. A train-the-trainer model is adopted, which will greatly increase the ability to scale rapidly and reach a high number of students and rural communities covering a vast geographic area in China.
The Long Term Goal is to publicize and advocate for the incorporation of ESD in the formal curriculum by the local and national government.