RCE Hangzhou - 2019

Sino-German Cooperation Project on Education for Sustainable Development
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Sino-German Cooperation Project on Education for Sustainable Development
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Hangzhou
Contributing organization(s) : 
1. Hanns Seidel Foundation (Germany)
2. Zhejiang International Studies University (Hangzhou, China)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Prof. Dr. Wu Weidong
Organizational Affiliation: 
Dean of School of Education, Zhejiang International Studies University
Dominik Sprenger
Organizational Affiliation: 
Director, Hanns Seidel Foundation (Zhejiang Office)
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Chinese, German
Date of submission:
Friday, April 26, 2019
It contributes to the development of education standards/curricula in Zhejiang province and is also a part of the Sino-German people-to-people dialogue on state level.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Main activities: Zhejiang Province. Transfer regions: Sichuan and Yunnan
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Zhejiang International Studies University, No. 299, Liuhe Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China 310012
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Province of Zhejiang and its capital Hangzhou form a cradle of Chinese civilization. Moreover, with its high-tech industry (Alibaba & Geely) the region is a powerhouse of economic development in China. The natural environment of Zhejiang includes rivers, streams, lakes and mountains – West Lake scenery area in Hangzhou is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. As the population structure transforms from rural to urban and the development of urban culture(s) diversifies, environmental awareness is currently increasing. This leads to a situation where public authorities as well as education provides are looking to develop new methods and policies that support sustainable development.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The development of traditional industry in the late 20th century has led to serious environmental pollution (air, water and soil). The economical shift from heavy industries towards a service centered economy is changing the population structure, which brings along a conflict of cultures and the stratification of the society. As environmental awareness spreads, senior public officials, teachers, students and the general public are realizing more and more the value of a sustainable living environment. Nevertheless, this desire is not yet mirrored enough in teacher training policies, institutes and in local schools.
January, 2015
In the past decades, China’s technology and social productivity have greatly improvement. But at the same time, resources were wasted, the environment was damaged, and the ecological balance was destroyed. China is confronted with a series of environmental problems, but public officials and teachers lack knowledge on how to conceptualize these challenges in educational policies and materials. We chose to focus this project on senior provincial education administrators, principals and teachers. Through international conferences that spread awareness on a political level and promote the SDGs, as well as through head master and teacher trainings the Sino-German Cooperation Project on Education for Sustainable Development aims to (1) spread awareness on ESD and to (2) develop teaching and (3) learning materials and (4) contribute to policy development. Educators that are trained in the project are then used to transfer their knowledge in less developed rural areas of China (e.g. Sichuan, Yunnan).
To influence our future generation, senior public officials, educators, teachers and schools play a vital role. Therefore, this project aims to build capacity for ESD through developing a pool of senior administrators and teachers as well as ESD materials that can be used as multiplicators. The activities also help schools to develop and to implement ESD in their curricula well as to utilize place-based and local learning environments in teaching and in learning.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Activities include:
- National and international conferences
- Head Master and teacher training workshops on ESD
- Dissemination between teachers (from Zhejiang to Western China and vice versa)
- Exhibitions and contests of teachers’ work
- Pupils’ competition of handworks on environment protection
- Exchange trips between teacher training students (Germany – China)
Size of academic audience: 
The project has directly reached over 2000 students, 100 teachers and 11 Schools across Zhejiang Province. From Zhejiang awareness and materials have been transferred through teacher trainings to other selected western provinces.
This project has empowered teachers in the project schools to teach about sustainable development in a place-specific, interactive, comprehensive way. Moreover, it has spread awareness on the necessity of ESD within senior governmental officials.

The most tangible result of the project can be seen in the thousands of teachers, students and community members who have been impacted by the program all across Zhejiang as well as in the western Chinese provinces. Ten modules, including teaching and learning materials, based on local characteristics and on the school needs have been completed under the guidance of German experts. Moreover, a book titled “Education for Sustainable Development in Primary Education: Curriculum Design based on Sino-German Research” (ISBN: 978-7-5508-2669-4) will be published in 2019. An external evaluation of the project was conducted in 2018.
Lessons learned: 
Two important factors are (1) a constant participation of carefully selected actors/influencers and a (2) participative “sandwich” working model.

The participants in this project have been taking part in the described activities for three consecutive years. They have not only significantly increased their knowledge on ESD but also disseminated the gained experiences to other provinces. Through the participative “sandwich” working model the organizers (Hanns Seidel Foundation and ZISU) have been able to create fora for dialogue between the national and provincial level authorities (e.g. education ministry/departments) and schools. This enables that new learning methods and ideas can be created and scaled in to a wider context.
Key messages: 
The Sino-German Cooperation Project on Education for Sustainable Developments a holistic approach to ESD. Participants and stakeholders are enabled to develop their own learning and teaching environment as well as forming policies and curricula. The project aims to empower senior public officials, educators as well as local inhabitants alike to make changes in their own surrounding.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
RCE Hangzhou members are working together with the chinese Ministry of Environment and Ecology in order to scale the results on a national as well as on an international level. In 2019 RCE Hangzhou will hosts the “12th RCE Asia-Pacific Meeting” as well as the 20th conference between the Chinese, Korean and Japanese ministries of environment.
This project is mostly funded by two key members of RCE Hangzhou: the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Zhejiang International Studies University.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon 微信图片_20190422160918.jpg (1.19 MB) The German expert Dr. Bianca Schemel is observing the class. Jing Cheng
Image icon 微信图片_20190422160910.jpg (1.87 MB) Students are communicating with German experts. Jianbing Ni
Image icon 微信图片_20190422160901.jpg (1.76 MB) Teachers are rewarded after three years of training. Jing Cheng
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level