Pedagogies of Cultural Integration in Chinese Citizenship Education

  • Zhao Zhenzhou
  • Gregory P. Fairbrother
Part of the CERC Studies in Comparative Education book series (CERC, volume 28)


Throughout the Maoist era (1949–1976), Chinese education served twin purposes: to cultivate scientific and technological talent as an impetus for national rejuvenation and to serve as a mechanism for political indoctrination. Not surprisingly, ideological-political education played an essential function. Once Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1978, China embarked on top-down reforms that dissolved the original central economic planning system and pursued a market model. The ongoing economic reforms, with an increasing engagement with the global community, have gradually transformed the social fabric and spurred a number of societal challenges, such as increased inequality and calls for democracy (Gittings, 2006). Over the past three decades, Chinese society has witnessed a struggle for the relaxation of strict political control and authoritarian party rule, and experienced an eagerness to build a democratic civil society, especially from the intellectual and grassroots sectors. Ideological shifts and social transition have opened the door to educational reforms such as curriculum reforms and the decentralisation of educational policy, school financing, and administration (Mok, 1997). Although changes in the orientation and curriculum of moral education have received widespread attention (Zhong & Lee, 2008), very little has been written about the backstage players, Chinese scholars who have been actively committed to the reforms and have often worked on government advisory bodies.


Chinese Communist Party Chinese Scholar Moral Education Curriculum Reform Citizenship Education 
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© Comparative Education Research Centre 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhao Zhenzhou
  • Gregory P. Fairbrother

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