The turn towards using domestic experience in contemporary Chinese educational studies has led to the development of theoretical frames rooted in the reality of Chinese society. This article identifies four ways of understanding and reforming Chinese society that have been developed by 20th century Chinese educators. By reflecting on these four approaches, and on the modern value oriented reactions to social transformation expressed by contemporary Western educational scholars, this article argues that Chinese educational scholars face two essential tasks when developing theories based on domestic experience so as to make positive contributions to China’s unfinished project of modernity. The first is to study the phenomena of imbalance, alienation, and backwardness caused by all kinds of economic and cultural movements and forces in the huge space of Chinese society, and the second is to develop progressive educational ideas that are robust enough to counter these phenomena.
Using an original dataset collected at a Chinese university and adopting a difference-in-differences research design, this study draws causal inferences regarding the effect of the Government-Subsidized Student Loan Program (GSSLP) on financially needy students at Chinese higher education institutions. Specifically, this study finds that the program may have enabled financially needy students to spend 527.80 Chinese yuan more on food and take 26 hours less paid work on average during one academic year. In other words, the GSSLP has been found to have had positive impact on financially needy students’ basic needs such as food and work. In order for the program to have greater impact on such students’ overall quality of life, policy-makers should make efforts to increase maximum loan amounts. This will enable students from low income families to spend more on educational resources and reduce their finance-related anxiety.
Along with the “massification” of higher education in China since the late 1990s, the issue of quality and excellence appeared at the top of China’s higher education agenda. Since faculty evaluation of teaching is one of the major approaches adopted by China’s higher education sector to pursue quality and excellence, it is valuable to examine the effectiveness of faculty evaluation of teaching practices adopted by the Chinese higher education institutions (HEIs). Study of current literature reveals some similarities and differences between the faculty evaluation of teaching policies and practices between Chinese and American higher education sectors. This paper examines the specific practices adopted by some top-tier Chinese HEIs and American elite colleges and universities, summarizes and analyzes the major differences and similarities of faculty evaluation of teaching practices between these two countries’ top-tier HEIs, and discusses the applicability of the American models to the Chinese setting of higher education. Finally, a set of best practices regarding faculty evaluation of teaching are proposed for Chinese HEIs.
Access to higher education in China has opened up significantly in the move towards a mass higher education system. However, aggregate growth does not necessarily imply fair or reasonable distribution of opportunity. In fact, the expansion of higher education has a rather more complex influence on opportunity when admissions statistics are viewed by geographical region, rural and urban environment, social class, type of school, gender, and ethnicity. Since 1999, gaps in access opportunities have generally diminished, especially in terms of the urban-rural dimension. Efforts to increase university admission rates for women and minorities have resulted in significant progress. However, the gap in university admission between different social classes has been closing more slowly. Children from more advantaged backgrounds have more chances to study at key universities, and differences in access between provinces are still considerable. Social class polarization in secondary school is still a serious issue. Such problems at high school level directly lead to the accumulation and continuation of a gap in opportunities to access higher education. While agreeing that the aggregate growth of higher education provision in China is a positive development, we also strive to improve equality of opportunity.
Despite significant progress over the past fifteen years associated with School Mapping Restructure (SMR) in Chinese rural schools, many small schools have been closed or have merged with larger primary schools. This has resulted, among other things, in difficulties for many students in rural areas who now have to travel longer distances to a central (primary) school and whose families generally have to bear greater expenses for schooling. This paper examines the role of small rural schools in the Chinese education system, looks at the context and impacts of SMR on these schools in terms of quality, cost and access indicators, and highlights some of the key difficulties faced by these schools in the restructured education system. We argue that small rural schools have a significant role to play in delivering education services in rural China and should therefore be retained, supported and equipped with the right levels of facilities and quality services for them to fulfill their role. The policy implications of these findings for education officials are discussed in the context of continuing SMR.
This paper analyzes the behavior of families in China regarding private tutoring, applying game theory to its discussion of their actions. It finds that families will definitely give their children private tutoring after school in order to obtain better educational opportunities in situations where the distribution of educational resources is uneven. According to game theory, overuse of private tutoring after school will waste societal resources and negatively affect all the players in the game. It is argued that a key strategy to reduce private tutoring after school is to close the gaps in state provision of education.
In this paper, we employ quantitative and qualitative content analysis to investigate the nature of humanistic value content in the Chinese language arts curriculum and whether or not this varies across old and new versions of the textbooks. Our findings illustrate the various dimensions of humanistic value content in the Chinese language arts curriculum and suggest that there is as much variation across different versions of the new textbooks as there is between old and new versions of the curriculum.
This study was designed to investigate the nature of activities in an immersion English class and a non-immersion English class in the mainland of China, and to find out the differences between these two types of class through data gained from observation and interviews. Spoken discourse analysis was used to analyze the data, where Engestr?m’s activity complex system was used as the analytical framework to examine the nature of activities in the two types of classes. The results showed that it is the dynamic and situated nature of activity that makes a difference between the activities in these two classes. The interaction among the activity components, the social relations emerging through the process, the use of target language as the main mediational tool, and the subject content revealed in the activities enhance our emic understanding of the nature of activities. Implications can be drawn for English language teaching and for students’ English language learning for the schools in the mainland of China. This study contributes to both immersion education and classroom interaction.