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Frontiers of Education in China

ISSN 1673-341X (Print)
ISSN 1673-3533 (Online)
CN 11-5741/G4
Postal Subscription Code 80-979


, Volume 9 Issue 2

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China’s Strategy for the Internationalization of Higher Education: An Overview
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (2): 151-162.
Abstract   PDF (201KB)

Over the past decades, the internationalization of higher education in China has had considerable achievements, and has contributed to the current transformation of the Chinese system into one of the largest and arguably most promising ones in the world. Setting the Chinese experience in an international context, this article assesses the latest developments. It argues that China’s internationalization of higher education is part of a much larger process of cultural integration between China and the West. From this perspective, it concludes that although China’s recent developments deserve to be noted, China has a considerable distance to go before its aspirations to create truly world-class universities are fulfilled.

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Towards Building Direct Educational Partnership: The Foundation of Shanxi University in 1902
Aisi LI
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (2): 188-210.
Abstract   PDF (329KB)

The foundation of Shanxi University is a prime example of the collaborative efforts in higher education between the Chinese and British in late Qing China (1842–1912). Both sides made compromises, with the Chinese adapting their ideas of educational sovereignty, and the British agreeing to work under the supervision of the local government. Such a collaboration was made possible by the individual personalities of the two founders and their visions for China’s higher education. The dual structure of the university, with one department to teach Chinese learning and the other to teach Western learning, showed that, at a local and personal level, these officials and missionaries opted for direct cooperation, despite the myriad changes and upheavals following the Boxer Movement. In addition, by allowing foreign missionaries into critical roles in a government university, the principle of ti-yong dualism was gradually being adapted. The formation of Shanxi University not only demonstrates the dynamics of the Sino-Western educational relationship and the roles individuals played in it, but also stimulates reflection on China’s contemporary cross-border partnerships in higher education.

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Dancing in Fetters? Chinese Principals’ Perceptions of the Effects of Finnish Training Programs
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (2): 211-237.
Abstract   PDF (262KB)

Although there is an increased interest in overseas training for educational leaders in China, little is known about the value of such programs. This qualitative case study explores Chinese school principals’ perceptions of leadership practices and professional development after undertaking a Finnish training program. The article also explores difficulties related to different educational contexts when an attempt is made at applying the Finnish education experience to China. Famed for its excellent education, Finland is currently actively involved in exporting its education by providing such training programs to the whole world. Data was collected by semi-structured interviews with six Shanghai principals. The results showed a certain level of satisfaction but also needs for improvement. It thus appears that such an overseas training program can play a positive but limited role in expanding Chinese principals’ leadership practices and professional development.

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Pursuing the Qualities of a “Good” Test
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (2): 238-249.
Abstract   PDF (197KB)

This article examines the issue of the quality of teacher-produced tests, limiting itself in the current context to objective, multiple-choice tests. The article investigates a short, two-part 20-item English language test. After a brief overview of the key test qualities of reliability and validity, the article examines the two subtests in terms of test and item quality, using standard classical test statistics. Unsurprisingly, the pretested items outperform the teacher-produced test. The differences between the two subtests underscore issues about the quality (or lack thereof) of teacher-produced tests. The article ends with suggestions of how teacher-produced tests might be improved.

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Curriculum Adaptation in Special Schools for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (SID): A Case Study of Project Learning in One SID School in Hong Kong
ZHANG Jia-Wei,WONG Lam,CHAN Tak-Hang,CHIU Chi-Shing
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (2): 250-273.
Abstract   PDF (359KB)

Using a qualitative case study approach, the authors analyzed the curriculum adaptation process for one project learning activity in School K, which is a SID school in the context of school-university collaboration. Multiple sources of data were collected for triangulation, including interviews, documents and observations. Curriculum adaptation strategies in this study were analyzed from five perspectives: instructional goals, instructional content, instructional strategies, instructional settings, and student behavioral needs. It was found that curriculum adaptation efforts could help students with ID develop potential at their own level through project learning activates and teachers could also gain professional development during the university-school collaboration process. As for future studies, enlarging the sample size, involving teachers’ past orientations and motivations in the project learning process, and collecting quantitative data could all be taken into account.

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13 articles