Rob Efird presents on environmental education in China

September 28, 2018

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Rob Efird, professor of anthropology and sociology, and Asian studies, gave a talk this month at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Efird presented “Nature for Nurture: Environmental Education, Natural Experience, and the Healthy Chinese Child.” 

Drawing upon nearly a decade of field work, Efird discussed the emergence of, and challenges facing, environmental education in China. “For the past 15 years,” materials for the event explain, “the Chinese Ministry of Education’s attempt to promote environmental education in public schools has faced nearly insurmountable structural obstacles. By contrast, there is a growing popular embrace of the value of nature exposure for children’s health and well-being.” 

Efird’s research on environmental learning in China includes several book chapters, articles in the Journal of Contemporary China and Environmental Education Research, and a co-edited volume (with John Chi-Kin Lee) entitled Schooling for Sustainable Development Across the Pacific (Springer, 2014). He spent a year in Kunming as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar during 2011-2012, and was a National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Public Intellectual Program Fellow from 2014 to 2016. 

Speaking at Harvard was a homecoming for Efird who received a master’s in Regional Studies—East Asia from the university before earning a doctorate in Socio-cultural Anthropology from the University of Washington. 

The Fairbank Center is a post-graduate research center promoting the study of modern and contemporary China from a social science perspective.