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The following is Inadequately subtle in terms of analysis, but does give a brief and useful description of the gaokao and the anxiety surrounding it. The point made about transparency of results is an important one. In my own research, parents were very much attached to the relative objectivity and trustworthiness of the exam and equally suspicious of alternative systems to replace it. Better the devil you know.

Read this short but descriptively accurate article here:  The gaokao – The test where time stands still – University World News.

via The gaokao – The test where time stands still – University World News.

Originally posted on Justrecently's Weblog:

Wu Ping (吴平), vice president of Zhejiang University, was killed in an automobile accident in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province last Thursday, June 12.  China Radio International (CRI) didn’t give details of the accident in its news report published on the same day, but one day later, China Dailydescribed surveillance footage from the scene of the accident, Hangzhou Western Beltway, according to which, Wu almost missed the exit where he wanted to leave the beltway and head to the university. 

The footage, published on websites like sina.com, suggests that Wu Ping cut into a truck’s safety zone, long after the opportunity to leave the highway in accordance with the traffic regulations had passed.

China Daily quoted a colleague of Wu as saying that lack of sleep could be the cause of the accident – he was a diligent man who often worked very…

View original 234 more words

Hogwarts of Asia: New Campus in China Channels Harry Potter – WSJ.

via Hogwarts of Asia: New Campus in China Channels Harry Potter – WSJ.

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Stunning Photos Of Chinas Insanely Stressful College Exam Process | Business Insider.

via Stunning Photos Of Chinas Insanely Stressful College Exam Process | Business Insider.

I use the word “rural” with reservations here, as what is rural in China would hardly be recognized as such in many other places. At any rate, I offer this (very) short video as a supplement to a photo essay on School Courtyard Pedagogy I posted here some time ago. This video was shot in Summer 2013. By the way, before going off on conformity, have a close look at the fine-grained chaos at about the 13s mark. Try supervising that, teacher!

Enjoy.

In a compelling essay on China’s urbanization project, Hyun Bang Shin argues, in part, that

China’s speculative urbanisation is both an ideological and a political project that disrupts and destroys the lives of the masses, while it is the few that benefits from it (Strategising Discontents, para. 1).

I don’t disagree with the notion that this project is both ideological and political. I also buy without reservation “disrupts.” But I wonder if the word “destroy” does justice to the ideological and political in the sense that it forgets the constructive moment of this project.

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Hebei Domicide

 

One of the things that may make the claiming of the city from below difficult is the impact of urbanization as a pedagogical project on those being disrupted. As I’ve discussed in previous posts (briefly) and in my recently completed dissertation (at length), they, like the city’s neighborhoods themselves, are not only being destroyed. They are also being built into something entirely new. Of course I have now gone a step too far with “entirely.” Is there something in the remains of the city and the old socialist man — some resource of critique and/or solidarity — to be drawn upon such that the right to the city might be won? If I’m not mistaken, this question lies at the centre of Shin’s essay. I suggest you have a look yourself if interested in the answer.

Contesting speculative urbanisation and strategising discontents.

via Contesting speculative urbanisation and strategising discontents.

The recommendations here are pretty mundane*: give peasants rights over land to encourage consolidation and innovation; reform hukou to give people equal social rights; make services more efficient. Points two and three are hard to argue with as principles. Point one, of course, is seriously debatable.

Maybe it’s this early Saturday morning talking, but I found this piece somewhat underwhelming. Thoughts:

First: Is this really all World Bankers have to offer? Reform a policy that divides your entire population into two classes (yes, more complicated than that) and consigns one to relative disadvantage? Why didn’t I think of that! Improve your public services? Hm?! Get the mayor of Beijing on the horn! It seems there is poor service at the motor vehicles office!

Second: the Chinese government has been all over these problems and solutions for years. There is nothing here that they don’t already know and apparently ascribe to. Of course planning and doing are two different things.

Anyway, have a look for yourself if you’re interested in pat solutions to deeply entrenched problems.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bert-hofman-highlights-the-institutional-reforms-needed-to-keep-migration-on-track-and-inequality-in-check

* In defense of mundane solutons, I offer them quite regularly myself!

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