Beijing Law Review
2013. Vol.4, No.3, 100-102
Published Online September 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s .
Analysis of Solution to Environmental Law Education for
College Students
Yang Yang
School of Politic Science and Public Management, Southwest University, Chongqing, China
Received April 13th, 2013; r evised May 16th, 2013; accepted June 9th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Yang Yang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribu-
tion License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original
work is properly cited.
The environmental crisis is one of three major crises to human’s development. But there are a series of
issues in present for environmental law education of college students, such as this course, which are low
offered and lack of sustainability, colleges and universities do not pay enough attention to it. They are
weak in the relevant basic theory and they are lack of vocational training and so on. In order to solve the
above problems, we can try to do the “two combinations”. The first is the combination vocational training
and basic knowledge and the second is combining vocational training in the classroom with outside of the
classroom in environmental law.
Keywords: Environmental Law Education; Vocational Training of Environmental Law; Basic Knowledge
of Environment
Population crisis, the crisis of resources and environmental
crisis are three major crises faced by human to develop. If these
three crises can’t be properly solved, humanity will be destroy-
ed by themselves which is currently urgent problems faced by
people in the world. The “sustainable development” as a pro-
position was put forward on Environment and Development by
the United Nations Conference. The report to the Seventeenth
National Congress of the Communist Party of China stressed
that “We must pursue comprehensive, balanced and sustainable
development. … so that our people can live and work under the
pleasant ecological environment conditions to achieve econo-
mic and social sustainable development”. When it came to
thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, the
concept of sustainable development was resonated among
delegates who participated in this national congress. It is the
concern of the rest of humanity to protect the environment. All
the governments in the world should offer the relevant courses
according to their curriculum conditions to help college stud-
ents to form scientific opinion and ethic of environment.
The Reason for Environmental Law Education
To achieve this goal, China is facing a severe situation. As
compared to they grew up in environmental education for the
developed countries of Europe and the United States, we have
not pay attention to it until 1996 when the Outline of National
Environmental Publicity and Education(from1996 to 2010 year)
has been promulgated by the State Environmental Protection
Administration, the State Board of Education and the Central
Propaganda Department.And then, the Coordination Committee
of Provincial Environmental Propaganda and Education have
been established in all provinces. The Ministry of Education
decided to incorporate formally environmental education into
the curriculum of the primary and secondary schools in China’s
eighth basic education curriculum reform that was carrying out
not long ago, and the Guidelines of Environmental Education
for the Primary and Second school was formulated. Our college
students almost had never received any education about envi-
ronment before entering the university. But as the main force in
the social construction and the future builders, they will enter
into different jobs and departments once graduated, and most of
them will become decision makers, managers or practitioners at
different levels. If they do not develop a good awareness of
environmental laws or even their behave against environmental
laws and regulations, the future of the nation will be worrying.
So it is a great significance for China’s environmental protec-
tion and sustainable development to strengthen their awareness.
It has very strong plasticity for them in their college days that
their outlook in life and world was formed maturely and nor-
mally. Generally speaking, there is an extremely important
significance to strengthen their environmental law education.
Through carrying out environmental law education in college
and university, it can help them to definite environmental
concept, form awareness of environmental rights and achieve
the following six goals of environmental education finally: 1)
awakening; 2) knowledge; 3) attitude; 4) skills; 5) evaluation
capacity; 6) participation and so on. These will be more di-
rected and targeted, more energy to get instant results. It is an
important part of environmental education. It is aimed at form-
ing the conception of environment by raising the public
awareness of environmental law to protect their environmental
rights and interests by means of law. Compared to environ-
mental ethics education and environmental awareness education,
it has a direct effect on the behavior of citizens, therefore it can
produce a more direct social effect.
Problems and Solutions
First of all, to reinforce the basis theoretical knowledge of
environment. The current problems is that its mode is single
and colleges and universities do not pay enough attention to it.
In terms of colleges and universities which have offered the
basic environmental education, it is usually associated with
environmental protection technology, ecological ethics educa-
tion in all aspects into a textbook, thus it is fewer hours for
studying the content of environmental law. And it has a strong
influence on environmental education for the traditional
examination-oriented education ways to let the students lost the
interest in learning related contents. It is the only reason to
study it for students that is to cope with the examination. Such
education mode makes students learn the knowledge only stay-
ing in theory, and not improving in practice. Even, many col-
lege teachers think that it’s enough for college students to get a
general idea about environmental knowledge. But scholars have
found in the survey that few students can accurately explain the
basic concepts of environment such as ecosystem, hydrosphere,
light pollution and so on (Xu & Zhu, 1998).
Secondly, lack of practice training of environmental law. It is
necessary for students to improve their practical abilities of law
in the environmental law education. If they know the specifica-
tions and its relationship of Prevention and Control of Envi-
ronmental Pollution Law, Protection of Natural Resources Law,
International Environmental Law, the college students can im-
prove their ability to implead and cope with the disputes of
environment and resources according to the specification of
Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Law. They can
also improve their ability to apply it correctly by deeply under-
standing the relationship and differences among Natural Re-
sources and Environmental Protection Law, the related substan-
tive and procedural laws. All of these is absent from our present
legal education (Dong & Wang, 2006). It is common for our
students who major in law have poor ability to practice. And
other students’ practice shine light in this respect. It generally
reflects that the law graduates are lack of ability to practice and
they do not understand the way of law’s practical operation.
They apply the laws simply and mechanically. They can not
respond to the emergencies, the difficult and complex case
owing to lack of comprehensive analysis for a specific circum-
stance of the case. According to the experience of judicial de-
partments, they will be able to hear the cases, handle the cases
and act as agent of various legal affairs at least three or four
years later when they graduated from colleges and universities
to work in the legal practice department (Zhou, 2006). There-
fore, the environmental law education should be provided the
necessary legal vocational training for students.
We must combine environmental education about basic
knowledge with legal vocational training of environment. Like
most countries in the world, legal education is a kind of under-
graduate education in China and students have no background
for other higher education before entering law school. But the
legal education is a kind of graduate education in the United
States where students are asked to be must receive the related
disciplines for 4 years before enrollment. Because the legal
system is a standard rules for all aspects of the state and social
life, the effective learning to laws needs a wide range of basic
academic knowledge as support. Thus, environmental law edu-
cation should also reinforce the related basis theoretical know-
ledge of environment.
Firstly, talking about the basis theoretical education of en-
vironment. All universities should offer a specialized compul-
sory course of environment education about environmental
legal education. This course should include all aspects of en-
vironmental knowledge, like environmental law education,
environmental ethics education, environmental protection. The
undergraduate students will be educated the specialized en-
vironmental laws education in turn.All schools should also
offer the course of environmental law education in relation to
professional course for the feature of discipline. University is a
cradle to cultivate the specialized qualified talents and different
disciplines have different features, so they have different effects
on environment. Accordingly, all schools should offer this
course which are highly targeted for their students according to
their own professional features in order to improve their sensi-
tivity to the environmental influence, in addition, to help them
to comply with the regulations of environmental law and im-
prove their environmental consciousness in the future of their
design or work. Colleges and universities should also offer the
elective courses in relation to environmental laws to meet
different students’ demand for the knowledge of environmental
law. This educational plan is to make up for a lack of the both
above, to meet the needs of different students from different
majors and to cultivate the compound talents for the moderni-
zation construction of our country, the school should offer some
elective courses to meet the students’ need for different know-
Secondly, talking about legal vocational training of environ-
ment. It can be divided into two modes of different training-
training in the classroom and outside of classroom.
Legal vocational training of environment in the classroom.
Environmental laws can not be separated from the practice and
it. It is an important part of the environmental law education.
The case teaching method in it is especially for first. This
teaching method in the legal education has always been empha-
sized, and its importance goes without saying (Dou, 2009).
Like Ron Dyer said“Law as a science consists of certain prin-
ciples or doctrines. To have such a mastery of these as to be
able to apply them with constant facility and certainty to the
ever-tangled skein of human affairs, is what constitutes a true
lawyer … and the most effective method to grasp these
principles is learning cases including these principles.”
It can be divided into two kinds for the teaching cases of this
course. One is the type of description, the other is the type of
discussion. The former is used to illustrate these rules or prin-
ciples to help students to understand and deepen their impres-
sion for the case after it is introduced a rule or principle of a
law. These cases are usually simple and less controversial and
are mostly used at ordinary times. Of course, this teaching
method is also very important, but it is more as a supplemen-
tary means to learn its theory. The latter is a more complex and
controversial cases and can be argued from different points. It
is often the headspring of some new rules and legal thoughts
and also the best resources to train students’ abilities of envi-
ronmental law thinking.
Legal vocational training of environment out of the class-
room. It can help students to obtain more perceptual under-
standing and arouse students’ enthusiasm for learning. This
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display uses Q and A of environmental law to fully mobilize
their initiative in active learning. This teaching method is trying
to make the courses meaningful and interesting for them to
learn and relax, and it will be to enhance students’ learning
motivation and make students participating the activity con-
sciously. Not only it is a kind of improvement for participants,
but also it can be obtained some environmental legal know-
ledges in the process for the audiences. Furthermore, they are
organized to take part in the practice of environmental
protection. Facts speak louder than words, colleges and univer-
sities should organize students to participate in various prac-
tices of environmental protection to realize the importance of
environmental protection for themselves, legal knowledge in
environment for environmental protection and protecting them-
selves environmental rights by means of law in the process. It
can fundamentally inspire the students’ desire to learn the
knowledges of environmental law by this means. Firstly, they
are encouraged to establish association in relation to environ-
mental education and environmental laws (Peng, 2011). Asso-
ciation activities is a highlight on campus, student fraternities
and societies to create by themselves can undoubtedly play a
good role in promoting environmental legal education for them.
Encouraged by the relevant associations, they can apply the
knowledge of environmental law in the classroom to practice
and learn more knowledges from practice, it is truly to do that it
comes from practice to practice.Secondly, it is also an im-
portant platform for association to promote the knowledge of
environmental law. They will hold various activate through
their independent operation and promote each other. It can of-
ten bring many students to join in this group and this knowl-
edge can be continuous effectively spread among them. Thus,
the simulation activities should be established like moot court,
case stimulation and so on. Such activities not only can enrich
their environmental legal knowledge, but also make them
realize legal seriousness and inviolability. They will also be
realized the damage to the society and the human cased by
environmental law violations. This is a preparation for them to
later formally participate in the judicial activities through their
simulating experience. Ultimately, it can help them to improve
their environmental crisis awareness and remind them to solve
it by means when they encountered the environmental problems.
It can really be transferred into their power of external beha-
In the eighteenth report “Promotion of ecological civiliza-
tion”, comrade Hu Jintao puts forward that, “the construction of
ecological civilization is a long-term task for the well-being of
people and China’s future. Faced with increasing resource
constraints, severe environmental pollution and ecosystem
degradation, we must foster our ecological civilization’s idea to
respect for, comply with and protect nature. It should be put in
a prominent position and be a part of economic, political, cul-
ture and social construction. It helps us to work hard to build
our beautiful country ... create a good working and living con-
dition for people and contribute to the ecological security for
world (Li, 2001).” It plays a positive, far-reaching role to con-
struct ecological civilization, build our beautiful country, create
a good working and living condition for people and contribute
to ecological security for world.
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Li, S. H. (2001). Strengthening the ecological moral education for
college. Leading Journal of Ideological & Theoretical Education, 11,
Peng, L. W. (2011). Ecological personality on the right. Law Science
Magazine, 7.
Xu, H. and Zhu H. X. (1998). Theory and practice of international
environmental education. Beijing: People’s Education Press.
Zhou, Z. R. (2006). Seeing legal education from the quality defects of
law graduates. Legal Daily.