Posts Tagged ‘Mainland China’

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.


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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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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(see my full review of the book here in the Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education)

In his recent book, Governing Educational Desire (2011)Andrew Kipnis examines a phenomenon that for China insiders and outsiders alike has become common-sense orthodoxy. After all, who by now doesn’t assume that the pursuit of ever higher educational credentials is a universal feature of “Chinese” societies and sub-cultures around the world? For those interested in a more critical perspective on such understandings of Chinese society and culture, Kipnis’ contribution is a welcome one. (more…)

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A vocation of the heart is a blog concerned with all things education in Mainland China. My hope is that this blog will promote scholarly discussion of Chinese education and society that goes beyond the common sense  and often stereotypical commentary that dominates on line discussion forums. Clearly the CCP, its policies, and its mode and practices of governance will be important, but I hope that discussions will  avoid the tendency to reduce China to an “imagined totality” defined by the proclamations of its ruling elite (Zhang, 2008). (more…)

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