Moving Toward Decentralization? Changing Education Governance in China After 1985

The Impact and Transformation of Education Policy in China

ISBN: 978-1-78052-186-2, eISBN: 978-1-78052-187-9

ISSN: 1479-3679

Publication date: 30 December 2011


This chapter integrates current Chinese education reform into the unique socioeconomic context of China in a transitional time and explores the complexity of education decentralization in China through an in-depth analysis on changes in education finance, administration, and curriculum development. Mark Hanson's theory of education decentralization is cited to build a conceptual framework for examining education decentralization in China. Previous studies, government documents, laws, and regulations related to the current wave of Chinese education reform are reviewed to capture a true picture of education decentralization in China. In investigating the background, actual actions, and motive of the current Chinese education reform, the chapter demonstrates that the on-going Chinese education reform is moving toward a centralized decentralization. Linking education with the unified national goal of economic modernization, the paradoxical mixture of centralization and decentralization is a strategic means to avoid loss of centralized control. Literature on decentralization reform in Chinese education primarily concentrates on changed Chinese education policies in the reform. This chapter places the focus on the contextual factors that shape the decentralization trend in current reform.



Qi, T. (2011), "Moving Toward Decentralization? Changing Education Governance in China After 1985", Huang, T. and Wiseman, A. (Ed.) The Impact and Transformation of Education Policy in China (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 19-41.

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