History of Environmental Education

Can you describe the history of environmental education in Taiwan? Is this the first time that Government tries to bring environmental education into school courses?

There are five steps to describe the development of the history of environmental education in Taiwan.

  • The first step staged from late 1970’s to 1987, which the eco-protection ideology just awakened, the environmental education were introduced from oversea countries, and there were no particular authorities and persons responsible for promoting environmental education. Besides, civil eco-protection groups were initially launched, which devoted less works to the environmental education. The Department of Planning established the Education and Extension Section to encourage the environmental education works after the establishment of Environmental Protection Agency in August 1987.
  • The second stage was from 1987 to 1991, which promoted the “Policy Agenda of Environmental Education in Current Stage” and the “Plan of Strengthening the Environmental Education in Primary and Middle School”. The ministries, authorities, and primary and middle schools started to put in environmental education works in this stage; however, it was suggested to cultivate the knowledge of environment, implementation of eco-protection still remained to be promoted in next stage.
  • The third stage was conducted from 1992 to 2001, which the Executive Yuan approved the “Key Items of Environmental Education” to stage the educational works systematically. In addition, “Three-year Task of Strengthening Environmental Education in Schools” and “Task of Eco-protection and Ecological Garden” were encouraged to implement the works from various aspects. The environmental education in this stage was prosperous but lacked clear direction and guidance from regulations.
  • The fourth stage started from 2002 to 2009, and the “Task of Sustainable Development” in 2002 emphasized on the execution of sustainable development. Meanwhile, this stage had put the environmental education into the primary/ middle school (grade 1-9 curriculum) courses, corresponding to the educational reformation.
  • Since 2010, the fifth stage has been conducted, and the “Environmental Education Act” has passed and formally executed.