Educational Policy Borrowing in China: Looking West or looking East?

1st Edition

Charlene Tan

Published October 12, 2017
Reference - 202 Pages - 18 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138576032 - CAT# Y382699

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For over a decade, Mainland China has been embarking on an ambitious nation-wide education reform ('New Curriculum Reform') for its basic education. The reform reflects China’s propensity to borrow selected educational policies from elsewhere, particularly North America and Europe. Chinese scholars have used a local proverb "the West wind has overpowered the East wind" to describe this phenomenon of ‘looking West’.

But what do we mean by educational policy borrowing from the West?

  • What are the educational policies in China's new curriculum reform that are perceived to be borrowed from the West?
  • To what extent have the borrowed educational policies in China's new curriculum reform been accepted, modified, and rejected by the various educational stakeholders?
  • How does culture influence the various educational stakeholders in China in interpreting and mediating educational policy borrowing from the West?
  • How do the findings of this study on China’s education reform inform and add to the existing theories on and approaches to on cross-cultural educational policy borrowing?

This book answers the above questions by critically discussing China’s policy borrowing from the West through its current reform for primary and secondary education. It presents the latest in-depth research findings from a three-year empirical study (2013-2015) with school principals, teachers, students and other educational stakeholders across China. This study offers new insights into China’s educational policy borrowing from the West and international implications on cross-cultural educational transfer for academics, policymakers and educators.


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