Story-field” Philosophy Education for Children
From 2001 to 2011, Chinese government consolidated most rural schools. By the end of 2016, there were over 100,000 small-scale schools for children from the most underprivileged families in rural China. Due to the condition of understaffing, poor environment, lower educational quality, shortage of reading resources and absence of moral education among rural schools with small scale, a social welfare program called “Story-field” has been launched, which aims to provide formative philosophy education for children and improve quality of education rural schools. By donating “COGITO BEAR” philosophical fairy tale books, carrying out philosophical storytelling competitions,regular philosophy education lessons and training for rural teachers, the program concentrates on cultivating children's skills of generalization , critical thinking, imagination and value judgment and thereby opens and enriches children's value and spiritual world, which in return promotes the improvement of rural small-scale schools' education quality.
1.Quality Education: The program focuses on the educational needs of children from the poorest 20% households in rural China. It is committed to giving rural schools greater access to quality education, and contributing to the achievement of educational equity, rural revitalization and the greater SDG 4. 2. Partnerships for the Goals: By mobilizing social support, this program has developed into a platform for rural education, pooling high-quality educational resources and institutions. It aims to help rural schools continually improve their quality of education, and contribute to the achievement of SDG 17.
Based on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the program has optimized its positioning, pogram design, recruitment model and educational content to better deliver SDGs. More specifically, it has 1) tailored social resources to the individual needs of rural schools; 2) built a empowerment system for the continued growth of rural seed teachers; 3) improved its recruitment practices so as to benefit more schools; and 4) incorporated such SDG-related values as low carbon, equality, health, and development into “COGITO BEAR” books.
(i) Multi-level recruitment model: To reach more small-scale rural schools that are located in remote and inaccessible parts of China, the program has established a comprehensive recruitment system, under which it directly invites or welcomes applications from individual schools, cooperates with non-profit educational institutions, and receives support from local education authorities for School recruitment. Such a system has made the Program more inclusive and effective than it used to be. (ii) Menu-like support: A package of learning resources are easily available for rural schools, including philosophy books tailored to children, teacher’s manuals, audio teaching materials, video model lessons and online classes. based on their unique conditions，rural schools can pick up the appropriate resources for their future development. (iii) Capacity enhancement platform: Both online and offline activities, such as experiential classes, online courses and workshops, are organized to improve teaching and other professional skills of rural teachers. (iv) Incentive mechanism: The projects of the program are graded according to their effectiveness, and seed schools and teachers are selected accordingly. These measures have increased participation and engagement levels, creating social values and unleashing potentials. (v) Project management: All projects of the Program are fully funded by Eton Kidd, whose finance and legal departments are responsible for auditing and monitoring related activities, ensuring their compliance with Chinese laws and regulations.
.1.Outcomes: The program has benefited over 500,000 students and teachers in 4,200 small-scale schools in rural China. It has offered more than 3,040 minutes of free online philosophy courses to over 600,000 children and more than 40 teaching-skiil training sessions to rural teachers. It has also organized six sessions of storytelling competition and three University to Village volunteering projects over past seven years. 2.Changes: Changes have been made in this program from three various perspectives . Students have performed better in regards to their thinking methods, behaviors, communication skills and peer relationships. Teachers have improved their teaching practices, philosophies and achieved professional development. Small-scale rural schools have had access to more education resources with high quality. 3. Recognition: The Program has received the SERVE Award at the fourth China Education Innovation Expo and the Best Practices in Education Award at the 2018 China Business Summit on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
1. Enabling Factors: Stable funding, original content of philosophy books tailored to school children, expert teams of education-content research and development, comprehensive curriculum platforms and long-term partnerships enable the long-term execution and effectiveness of the program. 2.Constraints: The program has a scant supply of content. Courses are yet to be customized and interactive. Additionally, stronger professional support shall be provide to seed teachers in rural schools within the program. Project promotion yields limited substantial effects. Facing these challenges, we actively borrow external support to turn seed teachers into skilled readers, curriculum designers and executors who can help incubate exemplary rural schools and finally create a better society.
1.Sustainability：As to the sustainability of program, the program models and systems that include recruitment, research and development of content, training, social cooperation, program implementation and management have come into maturity. With stable funding, we are working towards incorporating more resources, funds and supports for program optimization. 2.Replicability：The Cogito Bear philosophy-for-children books are developed around 54 universal values. The philosophical fairy tales in the books are popular among children and easy to understand. Editions in four foreign languages are available for overseas markets, and the learning resources are open to the public. In implementing the project in 156 cities and counties of 30 provinces in China, we have developed a model for promoting philosophy reading among rural children, which is transferable to other countries and regions.
In early 2020 when the outbrea Covid-19 led to nationwide schools shutdown, our program timely shifted the program priority to epidemic responses. To protect students and teacher against Covid-19 and to improve the awareness of personal hygiene, we donated thousands of surgical masks to rural schools in Hubei, Gansu, Guizhou, Hunan and Yunnan. Moreover, free online courses on public health and life science were accessible to rural schools,which attracted 90,000 views. Over the first half of 2020, we had concentrated our efforts on upgrading the program design. In August, we returned to our focus on philosophy education for rural children, as we started a new round of recruitment and reopened online courses and training for teachers.
SDGS & Targets
Deliverables & Timeline
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Since May 2014, the program has been executed over 4,000 small-scale rural schools in 30 provinces in China.