The first article we chose to analyze, “China defines road map for becoming a learning society by 2020,” was taken from the China Education Blog.
Some comments we had on the article:
Overall, I was surprised at how progressive the reforms seem to be–very “Western”-style in that it calls for greater emphasis on holistic learning (combining learning-thinking-practice). I would like to know what the authors of this policy had in mind. In addition, concepts like community service and social practice, improved quality of education for disabled students, and expanded school autonomy (greater recognition of private schools) also are an extreme jump from what the Chinese educational system currently looks like. While infrastructure in China changes overnight, new policy and practice can take ages to take root. I have extreme doubts about achieving these foundational reforms by 2020.
One area in education in which I do see China expanding rapidly is internationalization of its system. Everyday there is an article or news story about the number of Chinese students going to study abroad, American and other international students studying in China, and new exchanges with universities in China. The 100,000 Strong Campaign, for example, is part of that.
It happens to many Asian countries to set their policies following the Western system. That is because many Asians go study abroad to Western countries in order to seek better educational opportunities. Truly, China is one of the biggest countries to send their people to study abroad.
There are a couple of other articles relevant to the education reform in China offered by OECD.
It is quite surprising to see a country that has a strong, long line of historical roots to be willing to adapt to something new. China is heavy on their history so to be westernized is definitely a bit of a shock. It would be interesting to see how China evolves their educational policy to be more “modern,” but try to keep their historical roots. However, I do see this as a positive progress especially with the goals of study abroad. I hope to see a positive outcome within the next few years.