NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ954880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1061-1932
"Suzhi", Relevance, and the New Curriculum: A Case Study of One Rural Middle School in Northwest China
Lou, Jingjing
Chinese Education and Society, v44 n6 p73-86 Nov-Dec 2011
There have been ongoing discussions about the most recent curriculum reform in China. The new curriculum aims at a more quality-oriented ("suzhi") education and producing more well-rounded citizens to meet the challenges of global competition. However, it is questioned how "suzhi" education is possible with entrance examination still being the sole sorting mechanism. A semester-long ethnography in a rural middle school in northwest China reveals how rural students face many challenges with the new curriculum. Based on interviews, analyses of textbooks, and observations of classroom teaching, the study examines how rural students question the relevance of their curriculum and further the meaning of formal schooling. In addition to the dichotomy between an exam-oriented and quality-oriented curriculum, students are also troubled by the dichotomy between general/academic education and relevant/practical education. The study raises concerns about the urban-centered curriculum and how the rural community's absence in the picture has led to rural students' increasing disengagement in schooling and even dropout. It also reveals how the substance of "suzhi" education and the new curriculum have further reduced rural students' chance to move upward socially. The article concludes by pushing for discussions on how formal schooling can better serve rural children and youth. (Contains 3 notes.)
M. E. Sharpe, Inc. 80 Business Park Drive, Armonk, NY 10504. Tel: 800-541-6563; Fax: 914-273-2106; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China