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Frontiers of Education in China

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, Volume 13 Issue 2 Previous Issue   
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Research article
Global Educational Research in Western Times: The Rise and Plight of Chinese Educational Research
Front. Educ. China. 2018, 13 (2): 163-192.
Abstract   PDF (6136KB)

The paper offers a critical appraisal of the global knowledge developments in education using China’s contributions in a fashion similar to a case study. The paper scrutinizes the complicity of Western educational research to euro-centric biases and discusses the pursuit of a global epistemological eclecticism. To support this claim, the magnitude of the global knowledge economy, including country-by-country comparisons, is explored together with data pertaining to the success rate of submissions and citations. These data are used as the basis for arguments that the dominant research practices and developmental work serve Western interests, Western thought and a Western economy tied to standardization rather than eastern epistemological interests.

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Interculturality, Identity, and Power: Experiences of Volunteer Chinese Teachers at Overseas Confucius Institutes
ZHANG Donghui
Front. Educ. China. 2018, 13 (2): 193-215.
Abstract   PDF (319KB)

With the rapid expansion of Confucius Institutes globally, the Hanban launched a Volunteer Chinese Teachers (VCT) Program with the purpose of selecting a large number of college graduates and graduate students from Chinese universities to fill vacancies for overseas Chinese teachers. In spite of the multitude of students participating in the program, there has been a paucity of research attention on them. How do these students, most of whom have never been abroad before, manage their life in their host country and negotiate their new role as a VCT in an overseas Confucius Institute? What are their intercultural experiences as they venture into a new country to serve as a native teacher of Chinese? Based on in-depth interviews with a dozen VCTs teaching in linguistically and culturally different contexts, this study seeks to examine the dynamics of interculturality, identity and power relations involved in their overseas language teaching.

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Researching Education and Ethnicity in China: A Critical Review of the Literature between 1990 and 2014
Front. Educ. China. 2018, 13 (2): 216-244.
Abstract   PDF (320KB)

In the past four decades, marketization and modernization in China have led to conflict between economic development and the protection of ethnic minority cultures. In response, a growing number of scholars have focused on issues related to education and ethnicity in China. This article describes and analyzes how these scholars researched education and ethnicity between 1990 and 2014. Six research themes are identified: educational policy, multicultural education, minority cultural heritage in school, ideological-political education, multilingual education, and teachers and teacher education. The final section discusses how education scholars could improve future research on education and ethnicity in China.

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The Dynamics and Macro Strategy of Structural Reform in Higher Education in China: Case Study of Two Critical Periods (1949–1960 and 1998–2009)
SHI Jinghuan, JO Lyeong, HU Maobo, LI Jiayi
Front. Educ. China. 2018, 13 (2): 245-266.
Abstract   PDF (1695KB)

The development of the higher education system in China has experienced huge changes alongside the transitions in the socio-economic milieu since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Among the major structural transformations of higher education, the reform during the 1950s and the one from 1998 to 2009 can be seen as two typical cases and manifestations of macro strategy modulation. Both reforms were driven by the need of strengthening and empowering the nation as a whole through the advancement of higher education. But the 1950s reforms featured the perpetuation of state control, highly centralized resource allocation, and authoritarian administration, while the 1998–2009 period reflected the transition from a planned to a market economy in higher education, manifested in an increased weight given to market forces, the enlarged autonomy of higher education institutions (HEIs) and expanded government guidance instead of mere state control. The paper will take the two periods as cases to show why and how the reforms were formulated and what directions they are leading towards.

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The Assessment of Higher Education Quality from the Perspective of Students through a Case Study Analysis
WANG Dongfang, SUN Yuting, JIANG Ting
Front. Educ. China. 2018, 13 (2): 267-287.
Abstract   PDF (323KB)

The assessment of quality in higher education from the perspective of students has three dimensions: students’ assessment of teaching, students’ satisfaction and students’ learning engagement. These differ in conceptions of quality, evaluation methods, evaluation content, evaluation purposes, traits and priorities. The authors conducted three rounds of empirical investigations to study higher education quality assessment from students’ perspective and concluded that students play multiple roles in higher education evaluation and assessment, all of which can be improved by strengthening students’ objectivity and participation, evaluating the added value of a college education oriented to student development and taking the students’ perspective as an important way to contribute to higher education quality enhancement, assurance and control, and make proper use of higher education evaluations and assessments.

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The Training of Future Teachers in Ukraine and China
Liubov HUNKO, Katerina SHEVCHENKO, Nataliia PAZIURA
Front. Educ. China. 2018, 13 (2): 288-314.
Abstract   PDF (314KB)

This paper explores distinctive features of Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) training at several well known Ukrainian and Chinese universities. Comparative analysis was performed taking into consideration important criteria in the educational process of the degree programs (legislative, social, organizational, technological). The Chinese experience is of particular interest to Ukrainian educators because of China’s ancient history and educational traditions. Radical changes took place in the education systems of both countries in the period of transition to a market-based economy in the 1990s and to knowledge-based societies. The contribution of the educational system to fast economic development of China has brought the county to second place among the largest economies in the world. The authors found similarities in the documentation on the organization of educational processes at the universities, the shared purpose of the training, the use of traditional forms of education, and the emphasis on the practical part of the training. At the same time, different features were found in the content of theoretical training, the organization of practical training, the approaches to innovation, the social benefits provided to teachers, the prestige of the teaching profession, principles of moral education, as well as financial and technical support. The authors considered a number of progressive ideas in China’s B. Ed. training, the implementation of which, at national and institutional levels in Ukraine, might contribute considerably to the modernization of pedagogical education.

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6 articles