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Left-behind Children research in the Summer of 2016

Project collaborated with University of Applied Arts Vienna, Social Design - Urban Innovation and Wuhan Institution of Technology, Arts and Design. 

In the summer of 2016, at Hua Chu Ao primary school, Chongyang County, Xian Ning city, Hubei Province, China, where together with 7 researchers from the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Wuhan Institution of Technology traveled for 15 days trying to deeply study the special group through a series of field research. 

While there, we worked with local village teachers to elaborate a two-week curriculum that included regular teaching sessions in maths, language and English, extra-curricular physical activity sessions, and educational sessions in art and music.


We tried to understand from the field research:


1. The basic situation of education in the countryside, the learning situation of left-behind children, their living conditions and their relationship with their families. 

2. The barriers rural teachers encounter in communicating with left-behind children.
3. The psychological situation of left-behind children as a whole
4. The psychological changes of "problem" children
5. The challenges and opportunities that rural teachers encounter in their daily teaching.


Special Populations, Inclusive Education, Child Poverty, Social Change, Social design

Research Methods:

Participatory Research
Experimental Research
Field Studies
Stereotype Research
Desk Research

Research Locations:

Hua Chu Ao primary school, Chongyang County, Xian Ning city, Hubei Province, China


Talking to rural teachers

Practical activities
Our Classroom

Rural area workshop with local government staffs

To find out more about what the project was exploring in 2016, please be free to contact me.

Hua Chu Ao primary school

Hua Chu Ao primary school in Chongyang County is located in a remote mountainous area in rural China, where over 80 per cent of the children have to walk up the mountain for an hour to get to school. Most students' families are very poor, many children are brought up by their grandparents or relatives, 92% of the children there are in divorced or left-behind families. Some students do not have the slightest impression of their parents, the complexity of the family situation makes the children have problems in their personality and psychology.


In response to these problems, together with the team members visited more than 50 families, and combined their professional characteristics to develop a teaching arrangement exclusively for left-behind children.


Art of special course

We have done a lot of exploratory art education type activities here, where we hoped to open up a bridge of dialogue with children through art.

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One of these activities is about transforming abandoned plastic bottles - enable children to re-recognize the world from the art and design perspectives by the long-term contacts with them at school during teaching process.

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In the process of getting along with the children, we found that the countryside was full of plastic bottles that the children had thrown away after drinking water. Transform the plastic bottles and the reason why we choose the fish as the object is that the fish can't live without the water. Similarly, we humans can't live without water. By doing the art activity, children can cherish water resources.

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