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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

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, Volume 11 Issue 3

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Editorial
Research article
Achieving Equity and Quality in Japanese Elementary Schools: Balancing the Roles of State, Teachers, and Students
Lynne PARMENTER
Front. Educ. China. 2016, 11 (3): 272-298.  https://doi.org/10. 3868/s110-005-016-0024-2
Abstract   PDF (305KB)

The aim of this paper is to explore perspectives on equity, quality, motivation, and resilience by focusing in depth on the perspectives of educators in one small, semi-rural school in Japan. The paper is intended to provide rich, in-depth data and discussion as a way of providing insights from different perspectives into findings from large-scale international assessments. The two key questions addressed in the paper are, (1) How are equity and quality achieved and maintained in Japanese elementary schools? and (2) How are student motivation and resilience perceived and fostered in Japanese elementary schools? These questions are addressed through analysis of key official documents related to the questions, together with analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with education professionals working in an elementary school. The paper will contribute to understanding the perspectives of teachers in a particular school context in Japan on the roles of state, teachers, and children themselves in the task of achieving and maintaining equity and quality in a high performing education system.

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Explaining Hong Kong Students’ International Achievement in Civic Learning
Kerry J. KENNEDY,LI Lijuan
Front. Educ. China. 2016, 11 (3): 299-321.  https://doi.org/10. 3868/s110-005-016-0025-9
Abstract   PDF (349KB)

This study identifies predictors of Hong Kong students’ civic learning. It has adopted a cross-sectional quantitative design using secondary data from the 2009 International Civics and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS 2009; Schulz et al., 2010). Multi-level analysis reveals that most of the variance in student achievement can be accounted for by school level rather than individual level factors. Student background variables are largely insignificant suggesting the resilience of many Hong Kong students. Regarding Hong Kong students’ achievements in civic learning, a possible explanation is made and implications are developed for both theory and practice.

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Configuration of the Teacher–State Relationship: The Shanghai Experience
ZHAO Zhenzhou,ZHU Zhiyong,RUAN Linyan
Front. Educ. China. 2016, 11 (3): 322-337.  https://doi.org/10. 3868/s110-005-016-0026-6
Abstract   PDF (226KB)

As one of the most prominent cases of high performing education systems in Asia, Shanghai has received widespread attention in recent years. The existing literature has shown that the formation of a high performing education system in Shanghai is closely associated with the high-quality teaching force. The purpose of this paper is to explore the experience of Shanghai in configuring the teacher–state relationship and building the teaching profession against China’s background of centralized education. Our analysis was framed around three key actors that have reshaped the relationship between teachers and State in the post-Mao era, including the establishment of teaching as a profession, schools, and the labor market. Based on policy analysis and empirical evidence from Shanghai, the research findings indicate Shanghai’s own experience in building the teaching profession, teachers’ professional well-being, and other subjective perceptions related to school management and the labor market.

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Racism, Equity, and Quality of Education for International Students in South Korean Higher Education Institutes
Jin-Hee KIM
Front. Educ. China. 2016, 11 (3): 338-355.  https://doi.org/10. 3868/s110-005-016-0027-3
Abstract   PDF (268KB)

This study aims to understand equity issues of international students’ learning in Korean higher education institutions by engaging with the issue of racism and identifies how international students in Korea reshape their learning trajectory and how we could provide equitable and quality education for international students. Espousing a qualitative case study design, six students from different background were interviewed to examine features of perceived institutional racism based on their learning experience in Korea. Major findings showed that internationalization has not been fulfilled in terms of engaging with international students although Korean government and higher education institutions have developed relevant policy to attract international students. This study indicates that Korean universities need to reconstruct their social, cultural, and institutional systems to embrace equity, diversity and inclusiveness to empower international students’ capacity.

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Reigniting the Passion for Learning: A Systematic Attempt in Taipei
LIN Tzu-Bin
Front. Educ. China. 2016, 11 (3): 356-373.  https://doi.org/10. 3868/s110-005-016-0028-0
Abstract   PDF (216KB)

Despite being ranked highly, the 2012 PISA result shows that the M-shape distribution of Taiwanese students is top of the 65 participating countries. This shows that the gap between high and low achievers in Taiwanese schools is the biggest. This paper aims at exploring Taipei’s responses to this M-shape phenomenon. It starts from mapping out the context of education reform in Taiwan and introducing measures of helping to ensure equity in education in order to close the gap between high and low achievers. Following this, the data collection process is described and the researcher’s reflections are provided. The discussion then moves to recent initiatives on reshaping school culture such as through school-based programs, establishing the Curriculum Development Circle, and on reclaiming teacher professionalism and cultivating the passion for learning among learners at senior high schools in Taipei. This paper offers international readers insights into attempts to strike an equilibrium between maintaining high performance and striving for equity in Taipei.

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Transforming Turnaround Schools in China: Strategies, Achievements, and Challenges
Peng LIU
Front. Educ. China. 2016, 11 (3): 374-414.  https://doi.org/10. 3868/s110-005-016-0029-7
Abstract   PDF (379KB)

The existence of turnaround schools has been a problem in the Chinese education system. There are diverse causes including the education system itself, the financial system, and other issues. However, there has been a lack of research to help us fully understand this phenomenon. This article provides a holistic perspective on the strategies the Chinese government has used to improve turnaround schools, the achievements that have been made, and challenges in the change process. Implications for transformative practice will also be explored.

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