Environmental education (air-related)

Photo: Rune Svarverud

The aim of study G is to examine how air pollution science and national air-related environmental strategies are mediated to students in primary, secondary and tertiary education in China, historically in teaching material and in contemporary schools and school books. The presentation of air science and knowledge about air pollution in schools and school textbooks will be studied comparatively related to findings in the other studies of Airborne. 

Main questions addressed in study G:

  • How are issues of environmental degradation – in particular questions related to air pollution – presented and discussed in Chinese teaching material, and is it at all related to traditional Chinese perceptions of the relation between air quality and health?
  • To what extent do notions and perceptions from traditional Chinese medicine play a role in the formal school book interpretation of air-related health issues?
  • To what extent is environmental education in Chinese schoolbooks reflecting current scientific knowledge on air pollution?
  • How do contemporary schools incorporate new knowledge of air pollution in their curricula and in campaigns aimed at socializing youth to become environmentally conscious?

Data: Texts and fieldwork


  • Exam papers and collections of essays on questions related to environment and air in the imperial exams of the years 1902-1905 found in archives and printed collections from archives (China and Germany).
  • Historical school books and teaching material for primary, secondary and teachers education related to air quality and health (in Chinese libraries, and possibly also in private collections, accessed with the help of a research assistant in China


  • Teaching material used in environmental education in current primary and secondary education, collected through EPBs in Hangzhou and visits to schools that use the material
  • Fieldwork in the form of interviews with teachers, students, administrators in schools in Hangzhou, and (if possible) some participant observation in classes where the school books are taught. For comparative purposes, material will be collected in Taiwan as well.

Time schedule


  • Spring 2015 to spring 2016: Identify and access, through a research assistant in Beijing, Chinese published teaching material from late Qing (ca. 1900-1911), Republican China (1912-1949) and the People’s Republic of China from 1949


  • Spring + fall 2015: Mainly fieldwork in connection with Study F. In addition collection of school book material, overview of schools using it, first visit to at least two schools using the teaching material developed by Hangzhou EPB.
  • Spring 2016: reading, analysis of school material + some fieldwork in schools in Hangzhou + Taipei.
Published July 1, 2015 1:00 PM - Last modified Nov. 22, 2017 2:37 PM