What are the perspectives of stakeholders (grandparents, parents, students and teachers) in relation to education in rural China?
Waldrip, B and Short, M and Zhang, Qinhan, What are the perspectives of stakeholders (grandparents, parents, students and teachers) in relation to education in rural China?, ICEDU 2016 Abstract Book, 21-22 April 2016, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 43. ISBN 978-955-4903-51-7 (2016) [Conference Extract]
This paper investigates the perspectives of stakeholders in relation to education in rural China in
relation to social changes stemming from rapid economic growth. Historically, rural citizens suffer
potential social and economic injustice by the implementation of the household registration (hukou)
system and other national polices, especially in relation to the provision of education. These
inequalities between rural and urban communities not only influence the qualities and opportunities of
education, but also people’s perception of the value of education. This paper reports on research that
explored stakeholders’ perception of the value of education in rural China and the reasons for
stakeholders holding these opinions from three aspects, including social mobility, gender and culture.
The research data include 669 student questionnaires, 456 parent questionnaires and 36 interviews
with students, parents, grandparents and teachers from a relatively poor county of HeBei province in
Northern China. This investigation explores that the way in which social mobility, gender, traditional
culture shape stakeholders’ perception of the value of education. The findings indicated that
grandparents tend to have different perspectives from the parents and students in terms of reasons for
their acceptance of the significance of education due to the diversity of understanding upward social
mobility. Meanwhile, although the gender factor of students is not a significant issue, it cannot be
ignored that a small number of stakeholders still give preference to boy’s education. This
investigation also offer a cultural viewpoint to clarify reasons for parents’, grandparents’, teachers’
influences on student’s perspectives. The result of this research provides an in-depth understanding of
the causes of impacting on stakeholders’ perception of the importance of education in rural China.
China, rural education, perception of the value of education, householder registration system