“Education in China” Abstracts 2013-09-09T04:52:22+00:00

The article abstracts are organized alphabetically. To view the entire article, simply click on the title.

Brain Drain (Réncái liúshī 人才流失) Cong CAO China’s people have been studying overseas for more than 150 years, but the number staying in the West rose steadily after China introduced its reform and opening-up policy in 1978. This trend has reversed somewhat in the twenty-first century, as returnees are drawn back mainly by China’s booming economy. The brain drain of high-end talent continues to be a problem, however, which China must address to secure its future.
Central University for Nationalities (Zhōngyāng Mínzú Dàxué 中央民族大学) Rebecca A. CLOTHEY Nationalities institutes in China provide educational opportunities for minority students who might otherwise never gain access to higher education. They were established throughout China in the 1950s in response to a critical need for skilled minority professionals and higher education of Chinese Communist Party cadres. The Central University for Nationalities in Beijing plays an important role in the higher education of China’s minority nationalities.
China Education and Research Network (CERNET) (Zhōngguó jiàoyù hé kēyán jìsuànjì wǎng 中国教育和科研计算机网) Jian LIU & Zhiwen CHEN The China Education and Research Network (CERNET) promotes China’s worldwide status and influence in the field of Internet technology by providing a platform for international educational and scientific collaboration. It has become a leading research network because of its cutting-edge research in next generation Internet, including the China Next Generation Internet (CNGI)-CERNET2/6IX and its adoption of IPv6.
China Scholarship Council (CSC)  (Guójiā Liúxué Jījīn Guǎnlǐ Wěiyuánhuì 国家留学基金管理委员会) Jian LIU The China Scholarship Council (CSC) is the nongovernmental agency responsible for managing scholarship programs offered through China’s central government and other Chinese entities. These programs provide financial support for both Chinese students studying at home and abroad, and foreign students studying in China. Created in 1996, it represented a milestone in China’s opening-up and a watershed in international exchange and cooperation.
Digital Divide (Shùzì hónggōu 数字鸿沟) Chun LAI & Jing LEI China has invested billions of dollars since 1982 building a digital infrastructure to educate and inform its citizens. This huge investment in computer hardware and software, Internet access, educational technology, and teacher development has paid off, but a “digital divide” persists—between urban and rural areas, income and educational levels, and social groups. Mobile technology, “information caravans,” and community IT training centers are some of the methods being used to overcome this divide.
Distance Education (Yuǎnchéng jiàoyù 远程教育) Jing LEI & Ruhui NI Propelled by the demand for higher education, advances in technologies, and government support, distance education has become one of the most rapidly growing areas in the field of education in China. Understanding the development history of distance education in China can help to examine current practices and major challenges in this field, and to better inform a discussion of the future of distance education in China.
Education and the Cultural Revolution (Jiàoyù yù Wénhuà Dàgémìng 教育与文化大革命) Jian LIU &Ruth HAYHOE
Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) transformed China’s educational system from what had been in place under Soviet influence in the early 1950s to a more revolutionary one. The new system valued practical knowledge over academic learning, viewed teachers and students as equals, and sought to eradicate so-called bourgeois tendencies. Although access to basic education was expanded during this period, higher education and scientific research suffered, as did many Chinese citizens who were subject to bitter experiences of class struggle.
Education Laws (Jiàoyùfǎ 教育法) Xiaobin LI Formal education has shaped Chinese tradition for some 2,000 years since civil service examinations tested the knowledge of candidates applying for bureaucratic positions. Laws governing how education was administered for a growing general public, however, did not come in effect until the 1980s. Broad in scope at first, these laws are being amended as China works to improve its education system on all levels and to collaborate with private and international institutions.
Educational Technology (Jiàoyù jìshù 教育技术) Naxin ZHAO China has assigned educational technology a critical role in improving quality and equity in basic education, expanding higher education, and promoting world-class research. Its National Center for Educational Technology has narrowed the digital divide, the China Education and Research Network is advancing research, and OpenCourseWare programs have expanded access to the best courses. To capitalize fully on educational technology’s potential, however, China needs to look beyond application and embrace the insights that learning theory offers.
Environmental Education (Huánjìng jiàoyù 环境教育) Xia JI Environmental education (EE) in China can be said to have begun with Premier Zhou Enlai in 1973. In general, the development of EE and education for sustainable development (ESD) has mirrored international development. But EE and ESD in China tend to emphasize environmental protection awareness and knowledge with much focus on the scientific and technical; truly progressive EE and ESD will require more focus on the ethical and aesthetic aspects of environmental protection.
Foreign Language Education (Wàiyǔ jiàoyù 外语教育) Xiaoying QI & Ruying QI China’s foreign-language education policy has shifted over the years—from the political orientation of the 1950s that favored Russian, to the economic focus of the Four Modernizations that led to English dominance in the twenty-first century. Curriculum design has evolved too, and now embraces communicative, student-centered approaches that promote composite skill development. Teacher training, innovative materials, and a creative learning environment should improve the quality of Chinese foreign language education even more.
Gender Inequality in Chinese Education (Zhōngguó jiàoyù zhōng de xìngbié bù píngděng xiànxiàng 中国教育中的性别不平等现象) Danke LI For centuries women were educated in China to become good wives and devoted mothers. China passed a bill in 1922 to ensure women legal rights to education afforded to men, and female enrollment and literacy rates improved greatly by the mid-twentieth century. But women living in cities and coastal regions experience more progress than those in rural, inland areas, and gender inequality still exists in curriculum, limiting opportunities for women in employment, pay, and status.
Gifted Education in China (Zhōngguó de chàocháng jiàoyù 中国的超常教育) Shane N. PHILLIPSON An awareness of giftedness in China began more than 2,500 years ago.Current gifted education programs in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, however depend more on their divergent recent histories than their common cultural heritage. Nevertheless, there is growing awareness that both conceptions of giftedness and the means to identify gifted students need to take into account the Chinese cultural heritage.
HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) (Hànyǔ shuǐpíng kǎoshì 汉语水平考试) Huamei HAN State-level Chinese language proficiency tests, Hànyǔ shuǐpíng kǎoshì (HSK), have been implemented since the mid-1980s to provide gatekeeping functions in the academic world (to set standards for university admissions) and in the business sector (to facilitate hiring and promotion decisions). The test takers most targeted include foreigners, overseas Chinese, and Chinese ethnic minorities. The status and longevity of HSK tests depend on their valid assessment of actual communicative skills and on the politics involved among institutions that develop, test, and administer them. 
John Dewey and Chinese Education (Dùwēi yú Zhōngguó jiàoyù 杜威与中国教育) Mei Wu HOYT John Dewey (1859–1952), a US philosopher and educator, lectured in China from 1919 to 1921 about democracy, his philosophy of pragmatism, and educational reform. His idea of associated living, based on the freedom of social groups to communicate and interact to further their common interest, was of particular relevance to China during these years. Dewey’s former student, Hu Shi, became a leading figure in Chinese education reform, and several experimental schools furthered Dewey’s methods.
Liang Shuming (Liáng Shùmíng 梁漱溟) Huajun ZHANG Liang Shuming (1893–1988) was an activist and scholar who considered the Confucian principle of humaneness essential to realizing one’s humanity. He maintained that cultivating humaneness was crucial to restoring goodness in Chinese society during the transition to a modern state. Although his efforts to put this theory into practice through the Rural Reconstruction Movement of the 1920s and 1930s were unsuccessful, his belief in self-cultivation as a necessary part of academic learning is valid today.
Management Education (Gōngshāng guǎnlǐ jiàoyù 工商管理教育) Bernard M. Wolf & Rudi M. Lof China’s previous management-education system was a casualty of the Cultural Revolution, but the country has built an impressive network of business schools since MBA degrees were re-introduced in 1991. The number of managers being graduated is still far below what China needs to support economic growth, however, and program quality needs further improvement. Continued progress will require maintaining partnerships with foreign schools, developing faculty, improving curriculum, and expanding research capability.
Massification of Higher Education (Gāoděngj iàoyù de dāzhònghuà 高等教育的大众化) Qiang ZHA China embraced the massification of higher education in just over ten years, and by 2008 the country’s was the largest in the world. This rapid trajectory began with the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, which called for a better-educated population to support its transition into a knowledge-based economy. A new and decentralized higher education structure is currently taking shape in China, featuring multidisciplinary approach and a focus on improving teacher and program quality.
Minority Education (Mínzú jiàoyù 民族教育) Stephen A. BAHRY Educational attainment of China’s minority nationalities has been increasing overall, but there is considerable variation among individual nationalities. Beyond assuring equity in attainment, a major challenge is how to reflect the knowledge perspectives, culture, and languages of minority nationalities, while insuring that students learn the national curriculum and the Chinese language. Accordingly, multicultural education and various models of bilingual education are being considered as means to provide quality minority education.
Moral Education (Dàodé jiàoyù 道德教育) Su-Yan PAN China has used moral education to transmit one set of national values throughout its history. In contrast to the West, moral education in China emphasizes the collective obligation to accept moral values as defined by the nation’s rulers and not by the individual. The Internet age provides a unique challenge to China’s current rulers, as they try to counteract information that threatens their moral and political authority.
National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gāokǎo 高考) Yimin WANG The National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao), a centralized test administered to high school students seeking admission to college, has been in use since the late 1970s and retains a strong social and educational function and significance. Concerns and debates elicited by the Entrance Exam, and the related reform policies that intend to mitigate problems surrounding it, include policies working towards diversifying admission standards and implementing talent-based selection criteria.
Physical Education (Tǐyù jiàoyù yú xuéxiào tǐyù 体育教育与学校体育) FAN Hong Physical education (PE) has always been an important component of education in China to produce well-balanced citizens. China’s approach to PE has gone through a number of incarnations: from the US-inspired system of the Nationalists to the sovietization of the People’s Republic of China’s early years to the politicization and militarization of the Cultural Revolution. China currently embraces a multiple-objectives approach that emphasizes individual differences and “health first.”
Private Education (Sīlì jiàoyù 私立教育) YAN Fengqiao Private education in China has gone through three distinct stages. It began with the ancient philosophical schools that included Confucianism, and traditional Chinese colleges (Shuyuan) that evolved into a complete education system. In the semicolonial period it transitioned to a model of “Western learning moving to the East.” Since China’s reform and opening-up in 1978, private education has played an important supporting role in the education sector by providing needed services beyond the public education sector.
School Choice (Zéxiào 择校) Shijing XU Disparities in education in twentieth century contributed to the phenomenon of school choice, in which parents opt to send their children to the best schools possible despite mandates to assign enrollment based on residency in a particular neighborhood. Issues contributing to school-choice controversy include the designation of key (high-quality) public schools, and enrollment fees and for-profit after-school programs for kindergarten and primary school students geared to guarantee their future placement in key high schools.
Schooling and Migration (Liúdòng yú liúshǒu értóng de jiàoyù 流动与留守儿童的教育) Lin GUO & Zai LIANG Whether children remain behind while their parents seek employment in migrant destinations or accompany them to such areas, their educational opportunities are often inferior to and more costly than for those whose parents are not migrants. Policy changes instituted by the government have begun to address key issues, such as inadequate infrastructure and teachers for the left-behind in rural areas, and additional fees imposed on parents who want to enroll their children in migrant destinations.
Sexual Health Education (Xìngjiànkāng jiàoyù 性健康教育) Alessandra Aresu Family and schools have been regarded as the proper channels to provide sexual health education in China since May Fourth Movement activists first promoted it. Many families are hesitant to teach their children about sex, however, and school programs have been inadequate. The One-Child Policy launched in the late 1970s, an increase in premarital sex and teenage pregnancies, and a government focus on HIV/AIDS have all helped to stimulate a more systematic development of these essential programs.
Tao Xingzhi (Táo Xíngzhī 陶行知) Yusheng YAO Tao Xingzhi (1891–1946) was one of the most influential educators in twentieth-century China. His theories (based on the ideas of the US education reformer John Dewey) evolved throughout his life, but his core ideology of national reconstruction through “life education” remained. Tao’s many accomplishments include the founding of Xiaozhuang School, Yucai School, and Chongqing Social University. “The great educator of the people” is the most widely studied modern educator in China today.
Teacher Education (Shīfàn jiàoyù 师范教育) Shibao GUO Teachers have been held in high esteem in China since the time of Confucius, who has been venerated by generations of Chinese. The Cultural Revolution eroded this deference, but since then teachers have regained some respect and their education has received more attention as well. New models of teacher education with less rigid curricula and more emphasis on teaching methodology are needed, however, to correct some of the deficiencies of the current system.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Zhōngguó shèhuì kēxuéyuàn 中国社会科学院) Cassandra CAO The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) was established in 1978 with fourteen research units formed from the Chinese Academy of Science. Its mission is to promote the study and development of social sciences in China and it now includes thirty-one research institutes, a graduate school (GSCASS), and a publishing house that produces some 300 academic works, 3,800 papers, and 500 research reports each year.
University of Science and Technology of China (Zhōngguó Kēxué Jìshù Dàxué 中国科学技术大学) Qiang ZHA The University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) was established under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1958 as a new kind of university that would offer an integrated curriculum of pure and applied sciences. It benefits tremendously from its close relationship with CAS, in particular when many researchers at CAS held USTC positions as department chairs and faculty members in its early years. As one of China’s most prestigious universities, it is a member of “China’s Ivy League.”
Vocational Education (Zhìyè jiàoyù 职业教育) Yiqun YE & Xueping WU Vocational education in China has gone through several phases since the modern system was created in 1949. Today it is provided through a robust network of schools at the elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, and through training sponsored by the government and commercial entities. Enrollment in vocational education has skyrocketed, helping China to fulfill its training needs for jobs at all levels of complexity in a variety of industry sectors.
Wang Yangming (Wáng Yángmíng 王阳明) Ruth HAYHOE Wang Yangming, born in 1472, was a scholar-official whose belief in challenging imperial decisions that did not uphold Confucian tradition was itself challenged, forcing him into exile. Disciples flocked to study with him and follow his conviction that all the knowledge needed for sageliness can be found in the self—by recognizing the power of the subjective mind and the value of practical personal knowledge based on experience, instead of on stores of bookish knowledge.
Zhuangzi (Zhuāngzi 庄子) Guoping ZHAO Zhuangzi (369–289 bce) remains a key figure for the Chinese because of his passion for and pursuit of individual freedom. His idea of  education grows from the Daoist school of thought, and involves deconstructing or breaking down the conventional knowledge and value structure so thatthe self can be freed of external constraints and internal passions. His ideas also affect education in a broad context of “person making.”