Hello, I am Jo
Gibbon Conservation Education China
I am an MSc student at Oxford Brookes, currently working on a gibbon conservation education pack and teacher guide for schools in China, and working in collaboration with a small NGO in Yunnan Province, Cloud Mountain Conservation. As part of the pack I have written an illustrated storybook addressing the issue of primates as pets. The illustrator, Jen, is a former MSc student at Oxford Brookes. Like everyone else, my research work has had to adapt to a desk-based project, although I intend to go to China later in the year, or early next year to carry out the teacher training and start evaluating the resources and activities.
I am a mature student, having originally graduated in Chinese. I have worked in manufacturing and training in China and Hong Kong, as well as spending nearly 15 years in primary and secondary education, teaching Chinese clubs, working in Special Educational Needs and delivering conservation education activities.
Primarily a conservationist and animal lover (particularly primates, pandas, cats big and small, hedgehogs and pangolins), I am also a great believer in the power of education and have a fascination for Chinese culture and history. I took the plunge into primate conservation to coincide with my daughters leaving home and at last found myself able to combine all of my interests within one focus: Chinese gibbon conservation education! Why has it taken me so long?
This journey is obviously going to be a long one, as there is a lot to do, especially as I intend to look at forests and other animals in addition to gibbons, but it is great to know there is a whole community of people all focusing on similar things, sharing their knowledge and experiences, all wanting to make a difference. I am interested to know of people's experiences of education programmes, particularly with the use of conservation literature, songs, games, any benefits of making it culturally distinct to a particular country, and also anyone who has had success getting teachers on board to lead the programmes themselves within their own schools.
Great to be part of this new community!