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Archive for the ‘education in China’ Category

Recently I was re-reading my uncle’s post(s) about a brief visit to China last year and it got me thinking about how laowai learn about China while in China. This has been a topic of some interest to me over the past twelve or so years, both in terms of self-analysis and observation of other people like me. Of course the blogosphere is full of the writings of people engaged in precisely this kind of reflection. Some are thoughtful and informative; others are rife with misunderstanding and plain old bigotry/racism. Few display the depth of experience and insight of this piece (en francais).

At any rate, no promises here of deep pronouncements on this topic, but I will state the obvious and leave you to think about it for yourself. What is clear from Harold’s posts is that no one arrives as a blank slate on new territory. I would suggest that the more strange the new place, the more reliant we are on past experience, cognitive frames, and habits of mind. Whether or not we are ever able to shed these inheritances of our earliest development and experience is an open question. I would hope so, but I have a vested interest in believing what may be a convenient fiction. After all, what good is it to be an authority in the field of education if much of what one claims to know turns out to be so much poppycock?

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This series of posts by Dr. Shibao Guo (University of Calgary, Canada) is a truncated version of an article (Guo, 2012) that appears in a recent special issue of the scholarly journal Canadian and International Education. Part 1 provided an overview of the present state of education for migrants and the curious and little known phenomenon of migrant teachers. Part 2 describes the places where the research was conducted as well as the methods used to collect data.

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Due to the obvious practical limitations of studying such a large phenomenon, this study focused on migrant teachers in two cities, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, both in Guangdong Province. These two cities were chosen because it was in Guangdong that Deng Xiaoping initiated experiments with the market economy in the 1980s, a policy shift that led to the mass migration that we see today. The purpose of the study was to understand the unique conditions, challenges, and experiences of migrant teachers. By 2009, Shenzhen’s population had reached 8.9 million, including 6.5 million migrants (Shenzhen Statistics Bureau, 2010). One third of Zhuhai’s population is people without local hukou (户口-household registration). Given the growing migrant population in both cities and the challenges they face, data collected in this study offers a glimpse into the changes in education and the experience of migrant teachers under China’s market economy. (more…)

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This series of posts by Dr. Shibao Guo (University of Calgary, Canada) is a truncated version of an article (Guo, 2012) that appears in a recent special issue of the scholarly journal Canadian and International Education. Part 1 provides an overview of the present state of education for migrants and the curious and little known phenomenon of migrant teachers.

Photo credit: SEAN YONG / REUTERS

Photo credit: SEAN YONG / REUTERS

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Migration is a term used to describe the movement of populations from one place to another. Economic globalization and modern transportation technologies have spurred and greatly enhanced the mobility of people across national boundaries. With its international focus, the current debate on migration ignores or overlooks internal movement of people within nation-states. China’s migrant population reached 221 million in 2011 (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011), meaning that China is experiencing the largest internal migration in human history (Fishman, 2005). Another 300 million people are expected to move in the next three decades, most notably from rural to urban areas (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011). (more…)

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In this photo essay, I’m concerned with the kinds of teaching and learning that go on at the thousands of public memorial sites around the PRC. Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced some of the photos from my visits to these places, although at some of them, taking pictures was obviously out of order (e.g., the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum). Of those that I’ve retained, I’ve decided to stick to sites related to the Revolutionary War that I think are worth considering. I hope you enjoy them. (more…)

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In a previous photo essay, I talked a bit about the hidden (and not so hidden) curriculum of school courtyard pedagogy. Today, a different kind of pedagogy: the pedagogy of educational desire. Much is made of the high value placed on educational attainment in Chinese culture (see here for a somewhat deeper discussion). This photo essay introduces one form that the instilling of educational desire takes in Mainland China. (more…)

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