Chinese education

Palgrave Studies on Chinese Education in a Global Perspective’.

Book series co-edited by Fred Dervin (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Xiangyun Du (University of Aalborg, Denmark).

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China’s extraordinary success story is often attributed to her education system, with science and technology being top priorities on the educational policy agenda. Devotion to education in China is also quite high.

The end of the 1970s saw the reshaping of Chinese education. The momentous policy of restoring university entrance examination and sending Chinese students to study abroad represented a historical step of the open reform in its educational system. The following 30 years observed a rapid rising of a country through education with its strategic enhancement of science and talents development models. Population of 9-year-compulsory education was achieved within 25 years, which took nearly a century in many developed countries. Special policies were enhanced for the improvement of rural education. Higher education arose from its ashes and developed from elite to mass education 10 years after the opening and reform (with more than 60% of high school graduates enrolled in colleges and universities by 2008). Vocational schools take the majority of the rest graduates (41 million in 2008) to train them with useful skills for the service industry. Market economy led to the fast development of private education, which was permitted to reopen and academic competition returned. In 2001 teacher education was improved and teacher qualification regulations were instituted. In some parts of China the nine years of compulsory education for all are now free. But the success story does not seem to apply to every corner of China, especially in rural areas: teachers’ salaries are still low, some classrooms badly equipped and old, equity and equality do not seem to reach everyone, etc.

The coin of success of education in China also has its two sides. Rapid development is carried along challenges and issues as well. For example, issues of   educational equity due to geographical differences and economical gaps between students backgrounds; inclusion and access issues of new generation of migration from rural to urban areas; development of technology and its impact on educating younger generation from one-child family; uprising school autonomy and need for new types of leadership in the school development, quality of assurance in the post-era of higher education expansion; challenge and transformation of teacher-student relationship in the technological and globalized knowledge society in comparison to the Confucian dominated pattern in the past 2000 years. In addition, the trend of studying abroad led to issues of brain drains with only a minor portion of the over one million young talents return to China. Furthermore, facing the uprising challenges of climate change, environmental issues, energy resource lack, food safety, health, eco-innovation etc., how can younger generations of Chinese be educated with sufficient knowledge, skills and competence in order to become competent professionals and global citizens? And how can they be developed into talents with creative thinking in order to contribute to the innovation development of the country and world?

The great accomplishment in the development of Chinese education within 30 years created a remarkable miracle in human education history. Nevertheless, knowledge and deep understanding of the development process remains limited outside of China, partly because most of the current academic works conducted by scholars in China are in Chinese, and another possible reason is researchers outside of China turn to examine China’s education with ‘coloured’ eyes.

Therefore, first and foremost this book series aims at providing insight knowledge about Chinese education and its development/transformation in a comprehensive way to an international academic forum. Another purpose is to analyse and problematize the so-called Chinese characteristics of its revolution, reforms, innovation and transformation by examining educational features that are often misunderstood or misrepresented in e.g. the ‘West’. Furthermore, this series also attempts to examine the changes of the past 30 years and the issues as well as challenges that Chinese education faces, with an emphasis on alternative and critical explorations of educational development. The impact of globalisation on Chinese education is also central. Any level of the curriculum is of interest to the series editors (preschool, primary, secondary, vocational, higher education, adult education, etc.).

The series intends to make the following contributions:

–     to provide updated, original and authoritative knowledge about diverse aspects of Chinese education to global readers;

–     to offer alternative and critical discourses on Chinese education;

–     to establish a global platform for discussions, debate and reflection on Chinese education;

–     to offer comparisons between China and other countries in relation to education;

–     to problematize research methodologies in relation to doing research on education in China;

–     to encourage intercultural collaboration between Chinese researchers and international collaborators to develop joint book projects.

These objectives will be achieved through the following topics (amongst others):

–       (Forms of) assessment, testing, evaluation – is China obsessed by assessment?

–       Chinese education in a global context – comparative studies

–       Chinese language and intercultural education – Chinese as a soft power worldwide?

–       Chinese scholarship overseas – student, staff and academic mobility and migration

–       Commercialization of education

–       Confucius and education – myths and realities

–       Creativity and innovation development in Chinese education

–       Critiques of Chinese education – the usual representation of a lack of autonomy and rote learning amongst Chinese learners?

–       Development of global citizenship

–       Education Reform/educational policy

–       Educational equity

–       Green education in China

–       Inclusive education or education for all

–       Internationalization of education

–       International rankings

–       Knowledge collaboration and brain circulation with China

–       Multicultural/intercultural/minority/migrant education

–       Non-essentialist approaches to understanding Chinese education

–       Pedagogy development and innovation in China

–       Quality assurance of education in China

–       Reflection on research methodology in educational study in China

–       Representations of Chinese education (media, cultural productions) in China and abroad

–       Representations of the ‘users’ (Chinese teachers, students and parents)

–       Teacher training/education

–       Technology assistance in education in China

The series intends to include single author manuscripts (e.g. dissertations and monographs) or edited volumes (including a wide range of contributors) that provide an original window on the trends and issues of Chinese education today. The series will also stimulate co-operation between Chinese scholars and scholars from other countries (Eastern and Western countries).

Submit a proposal HERE