, Volume 47, Issue 1–2, pp 41–53 | Cite as

China’s search for human rights education in secondary schools

  • Weihong Liang
Open File


Since the 2000s, China has explicitly dealt with human rights education (HRE) in education at all levels. This article investigates China’s policies, curricula, and practices of HRE in Chinese secondary schools. Data were drawn mainly from policy documents, textbooks, and interviews with school staff. Findings reveal a difference in the interpretations of human rights between China and the West that counteract the common impression of China in the West. Chinese policies clearly define the goals, content, and pedagogies of HRE in school systems, and the sampled secondary school takes initiatives to promote the “embedded” HRE through key components of schooling. These findings may reflect China’s search for HRE through an integrated approach by embedding concepts, values, and norms of human rights into school life, in accordance with China’s social changes in the post-1980s period.


Human rights Human rights education Integrated approach China 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong, China

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