Academic journal article Comparative and International Education

Headmasters Become Noblemen: Mainland Chinese Teachers' Perspectives on Changes in Education under the Socialist Market Economy/Les Directeurs D'école Deviennent Nobles: Les Perspectives De Professeurs De la Chine Continentale Face Aux Changements éDucatifs Sous L'ère De L'économie De Marché

Academic journal article Comparative and International Education

Headmasters Become Noblemen: Mainland Chinese Teachers' Perspectives on Changes in Education under the Socialist Market Economy/Les Directeurs D'école Deviennent Nobles: Les Perspectives De Professeurs De la Chine Continentale Face Aux Changements éDucatifs Sous L'ère De L'économie De Marché

Article excerpt

Abstract

In this article I report findings of research into the lives and work of Mainland Chinese teachers of English in a broader context characterized by market economic reform. I draw on transcriptions of group interviews to describe and discuss teachers' lives and work, and forward a critical analysis that posits a connection between teachers' accounts and the re-structuring of social relations in post-Mao China. The article details one of several themes treated in the study, specifically the broad category of effects of educational reform. I suggest that the compliance and resistance apparent in these accounts reveals Chinese teachers to be neither cultural dopes nor harbingers of some newly emerging democratic society.

Résumé

Dans cet article, je fais le compte rendu des résultats d'une recherche concernant la vie et le travail de professeurs d'anglais langue étrangère en Chine continentale, un pays caractérisé par des réformes économiques de marché. Je mets l'accent sur les transcriptions d'entrevues de groupe afin de décrire et de discuter la vie et le travail de ces professeurs. La discussion est suivie par une analyse critique qui marque une connexion entre la description des professeurs et les restructurations sociales de l'ère post-Mao. Cet article expose en détail plusieurs thèmes mais il analyse surtout toutes les différentes catégories qui marquent les effets de la réforme éducative. Je conclus enfin en expliquant que les acceptations et les résistances des professeurs chinois envers cette réforme ne représentent ni des contrôles culturels, ni des indicateurs d'une société démocratique émergente.

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)

Introduction

To say that the past thirty years have brought a radical reconfiguration of China's political and social-economic life is to cite in a truism. So too is the act of ascribing causal significance to something called "reform." In light of China's now more than one hundred years of various modes of revolution and "reform"- from the Republican era to the Communist Revolution, not to mention the various significant changes of direction that characterized the latter, to label all changes post-Mao a distinct "reform era" perhaps serves only to differentiate its decidedly anti-radical, socially regressive character from the turbulent times that immediately preceded it (Hart-Landsberg & Burkett, 2007). As a placeholder for a distinct and unified period, the term "reform era" faces other difficulties. Is it accurate, for example, to group together the rural-focused, freewheeling, entrepreneurial and even nominally democratic 1980s with the urban-centred, tightly planned, corporatist and politically repressive post-Tiananmen China (Huang, 2008)? Is it any more precise for the Marxist leftto see the present as a continuation of something called "Revolution" (see Anderson, 2010 for a cogent example)? If our concern is with the longue durée, certainly a focus on structure is important. However, if we want to better understand social change on its own terms, the necessary starting point is the details of the contemporary scene.

With this article, I aim to contribute to a more finely textured account of contemporary Mainland China by shedding light on one darkened corner of a vast and complex society. I present and analyze data generated in a qualitative study conducted in a single city located at the heart of the North China plain. How, I ask, have market-oriented educational reforms impacted the lives and work of junior middle school English teachers in this city? How do these teachers understand these impacts, and what opinions and beliefs lie at the core of their understandings? Finally, what do the symbolic forms they use to construct these opinions, beliefs, and understandings reveal about the relationship between authority and resistance in Chinese education?

China's "Reform Era"!

The question of educational reform is mainly one concerning the teachers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.