ACTAsia’s Caring for Life (CFL) education programme for children aims to help Asian children, aged between 6 and 12 years old, to develop a sense of compassion and responsibility for animals, people and the environment.
What is Caring for Life education for children?
ACTAsia’s Caring for Life (CFL) for Children education programme aims to help Asian children, aged between 6 and 12 years old, to develop a sense of compassion and responsibility for animals, people and the environment. Taught over six years and based on UNESCO’s Four Pillars of Education, the curriculum encompasses social welfare and citizenship, animal welfare and environmental issues. The course teaches children that all living things are interdependent and that the concept of One Health only comes from caring for all.
Why is there the need to teach CFL in Asia?
Humane education which is often referred to as PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) is widely taught in the west but is not taught in Asian schools. Without these lessons, children are not taught vital life skills such as empathy, compassion, the importance of protecting animals and the environment and how all living creatures are interconnected. ACTAsia’s CFL children’s education programme has already been taught to over 100,000 children across China who are learning how to challenge established ideas and to take responsibility for the world in which they live.
What we do to help students
ACTAsia is committed to training teachers in our Pioneer Schools to deliver our Caring for Life education programmes. We celebrate the annual international Earth Day by organising extensive activities for schools. Children are engaged in issues such as plastic pollution and how they can make a difference. Older years are invited to discuss topical environmental debates and activities for younger years include interactive street litter bingo activity and hands-on activities including making a no sew t-shirt bag.
At university level, Caring for Life education has been integrated in to the philosophy degree at Suzhou University and students must undertake a CFL module in order to graduate. The course covers ethics of life and understanding our relationship with animals.
How we reach children in need
ACTAsia also reaches the millions of ‘left-behind’ children in rural China, whose parents leave home to work in urban areas. ACTAsia’s joint project with the Hu+ Poverty Alleviation Programme in primary schools uses technology to reach the remotest of side-lined children in rural China. Through internet technology, more than 1,200 classes have been delivered online to 30,000 children with their teachers stepping in to facilitate activities guided by the ACTAsia’s online educator.
ACTAsia also run summer camps focusing on outdoor interactive sessions to compliment the formal curriculum. Fun sessions include learning about the importance of protecting the environment, road safety and how to care for pets and interact safely with animals.
How is CFL education for children evaluated?
When designing Caring for Life education ACTAsia knew it was essential to build evaluation into the programme. Every year when children start school, they complete a pre-test which covers attitudes towards animals and the environment and the concepts of empathy and compassion. At the end of the school year, when children have completed their Caring for Life education curriculum, they receive the same questionnaire. The results are then compared. A control group who has not undertaken the CFL education is also tested alongside to compare results. The evaluation generates results that are then analysed and reported in academic papers.
Currently ACTAsia is conducting an unprecedented study to see the impact of CFL over time, by tracking 600 children (control and experimental group) to evaluate the impact of CFL over three years.
What impact is CFL having?
The impact of CFL is closely monitored and independently evaluated through scientific analysis and the results shared with the Chinese education authorities. Outcomes repeatedly show positive behaviour changes in children after a course of CFL Education.
If you would like to find out more about how ACTAsia directly helps animals, people and the environment or why we focus on education or how you can help us then take a look at our FAQs to find answers to all your questions.