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The English Curriculum in the People's Republic of China

Adamson, Bob; Morris, Paul; (1997) The English Curriculum in the People's Republic of China. Comparative Education Review , 41 (1) pp. 3-26. Green open access

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The status and role of English as a school subject in China has fluctuated wildly because of its desirable but sensitive connotations. English is the language of world trade and communications, which makes its study an important strategy in implementing internationally-oriented policies for "modernization", while its historical overtones of imperialism, capitalism and even barbarianism are unwelcome for those who prefer more self-reliant and isolationist approaches. This paper traces the career of the English curriculum in China since 1949, with particular reference to the junior secondary school curriculum, through an analysis of the national syllabus and textbooks. It identifies five distinct periods and analyses the major forces of curriculum change, the dynamics of curriculum design, and the principal features of models for change in each of the periods. It is argued that the overall process of policy-making, and curriculum development specifically, has been characterized by a complexity and pattern of development which is not adequately recognized in existing portrayals that have focused on the relationship between macro political shifts and educational policies, and have emphasized the role of the state.

Type: Article
Title: The English Curriculum in the People's Republic of China
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 1997. University of Chicago Press.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10004755
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