Alternative Teacher Programs for Social Justice in Chinese Education: Distribution, Relationship, and Capacity

  • Wu WeiEmail author
  • Chen ShuangyeEmail author
Living reference work entry


During the past 20 years, Chinese education has well developed and thrived. It not only achieved Education for All but also demonstrated outstanding systematic quality in the PISA results. However, the uneven development between rural and urban education still remains distinct, and solving this problem relates to equity and social justice. This chapter aims to provide a comprehensive review of how social justice has been conceptualized in academic research and what is the specifically multicultural context around Chinese education. Based on the further review of different ways of government and the third part of social organizations improving society, we focus a specific case of alternative teacher program (TFC) to embody our discussion about operationalization of social justice in education. An integrated framework of understanding social justice as distribution, relationship, and capacity has been applied to guide the analysis.

The chapter has identified a congruent trend of considering social justice in Chinese education, i.e., first from social justice as distribution as the easiest and the most obvious path and then from social justice as relationship and capacity as the latent route. An analysis is followed to examine why relationship and capacity are not easy to achieve in the Chinese context.

Finally the chapter draws in conclusion of what is the real potential and hard to do when we operationalize the beautiful pursuit of social justice by strength of teachers. Implications and suggestions for future research are also discussed.


Alternative teacher program Social justice Distribution Relationship Capacity 



This material is based upon work supported by academic programs as follows: Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning; Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2017ECNU-HLYT001); Major Projects Funding for Key Research Hubs of Shanghai Lideshuren Humanities and Social Sciences; and 2018 Yunnan Provincial Philosophy and Social Science Education Planning Project (AD18008).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yunnan Normal UniversityKunmingChina
  2. 2.East China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Khalid Arar
    • 1
  • Kadir Beycioglu
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationAl-Qasemi Academic College of EducationBaqa ElgarbiaIsrael
  2. 2.Faculty of Education at Buca, Department of Division of Educational AdministrationDokuz Eylul UniversityIzmirTurkey

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