In recent years, international assessments such as PISA have placed countries of predominantly Chinese descent or influenced by the Chinese writing system and Confucian philosophy at the top of student performance rankings. Can a distinct “Chinese education model” be identified?
Professor Chuing Prudence Chou from the Department of Education at National Chengchi University (Taiwan) pondered these questions in a public talk at The HEAD Foundation on May 11.
Professor Chou spoke in detail about the motives behind the book, noting a lack of integrated efforts to address the topic, despite the increasing attention on the success of international assessments in Chinese-based education systems.
The book therefore aims to create a platform for debate and to encourage readers to consider the notion of a “Chinese education model” from multiple perspectives.
Professor Chou found that it is impossible to identify a singular model, as the plurality of Chinese education models stems from varied geographical, historical and cultural terms.
In building a theoretical framework to understand “Chinese education models”, Professor Chou emphasised that such models can be understood in terms of three characteristics: dynamism (constantly changing over time), hybridity (influenced by German, US, Japanese and other education models) and heterogeneity (manifested in different ways and contexts, from geographic region to institution type).
Additionally, Professor Chou explained how Chinese education models are made up of elements such as norms (of society, teaching and parenting, and learning processes), institutions (governmental, business and educational) and the role of individuals, such as teachers and students.
These elements work hand in hand and collectively define education models while being subjected to national and cultural contexts.