Rural China Education Foundation

Our mission is to promote education in rural China that empowers students to improve their lives and their communities. We believe rural students should develop skills and confidence from their education that will help them deal with real world problems, deepen their understanding of social issues, and prepare them to improve their environments. Our strategy is to accumulate and share practice-based expertise on curriculum and teaching methods that meets these goals.
Apr 19, 2012

Village Teacher Goes Back to School

Ms. Sun Teaching
Ms. Sun Teaching

The Rural China Education Foundation is piloting a professional development fellowship for rural educators in China. Our first fellow is Sun Huimiao, former elementary school founder, principal and teacher. Ms. Sun is a 40-year-old native of Houjia Village, Shanxi Province. She only graduated from high school but with her keen sense of children's emotions and how to connect book learning with the real world, she is one of the most talented teachers RCEF has come across. Check out some of Ms. Sun's teaching in action below!

Here, Ms. Sun brings students on an investigation of water pollution and sources in their village.

When she noticed third-grade boys' fascination with snails, she helped them turn it into a research project

RCEF is currently investing in her by sponsoring an 11-month fellowship for Ms. Sun to learn more about leadership, educational theories, and non-profit work. RCEF assigned her a coach to help her set and achieve her goals for personal and professional growth so that she can return to her hometown and become a more effective teacher and educational leader. 

Jan 25, 2012

Shining Example at Rural Education Conference

Teacher Sun spoke at this national conference.
Teacher Sun spoke at this national conference.

Over the past several months, RCEF has been busy promoting service learning teaching methodology amongst teachers and NGOs that work with rural children. Service learning is an educational approach that cultivates civic responsibility by integrating academic learning and personal growth with meaningful service to the community. In a typical service-learning project, students identify problems that they are concerned about in their community, research the problems and potential solutions, create and implement a plan for addressing the problem, and reflect on their learning and action throughout the process.

A new RCEF handbook on service learning presents this teaching methodology in detail along with practical examples of how RCEF teachers have applied it in rural China. Over 200 copies were distributed to participants at a national conference on rural education in December 2011 in Guangzhou, China. A RCEF teacher with over 15 years experience teaching in village schools in northern China gave a well-received presentation about the service learning projects she and RCEF developed with classes of fourth- and fifth-grade children in rural Shanxi Province. Her story was so moving that a reporter from a national education magazine profiled her and these teaching methods for a cover feature story that will come out in their February 2012 edition! 

Teacher Sun and her students on a field trip.
Teacher Sun and her students on a field trip.

Links:

Nov 6, 2011

Left-Behind Children and Elderly

Migration from rural to urban areas is a common phenomenon in China. However, when rural adults migrate to cities to work, they often leave behind young children and elderly parents. China Daily estimates there are 20 million “left-behind children” and 20 million “left-behind elderly” in China’s rural areas. Their lives and needs were the focus of a curriculum unit for third- and fourth-graders developed with support from the Rural China Education Foundation.

You can watch a video of the teaching here: http://www.youtube.com/ruralchina#p/u/2/58iTa7dZxZE.

First, teachers in two schools in Yongji, Shanxi Province selected age-appropriate books and a short film to get students thinking about this topic from various perspectives. Then the students interviewed left-behind children and elderly people in their communities about problems that they face. Around 40% of the students are left-behind children themselves. They discussed which problems they could personally work on alleviating, settling on these 3 issues: academic difficulties faced by left-behind children whose parents aren’t home to help with homework, poor personal hygiene, and the heavy workload of the elderly who must farm the land and do household chores.

Students thought about the reason for these problems and found that there is much they can do to help. They decided to form small groups in each village matching up older students with younger students to address the problems. Each group made plans, including when and where to meet, and elected a group leader to handle coordination. Based on home visits, program teachers found that students’ guardians strongly approve of this initiative. We will continue to provide updates on the innovative teaching that this program helps to develop!

Links: