A multifaceted perspective on decentralisation : analysis of the Chinese National Curriculum Reform at the general upper-secondary education (2017)
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The debate on whether China's education governance is moving towards 'recentralization' or 'decentralisation' has started in the 1980s. Most of the prior studies have discussed related topics at the higher education level and the general pre-collegial level, but few at the upper-secondary level. This thesis aims to contribute to education decentralisation research via an in-depth investigation of the Chinese National Curriculum Reform at the general upper-secondary education (2017). Considering China's complicated situation, the theoretical framework of the Multifaceted Decentralisation is proposed by the author and applied to analyse and compare the 2017 Curriculum documents (the Scheme, the Standards, and a training quiz) with the school teachers' perceptions of the curriculum reform (based on 50 responses to a schoolteacher questionnaire). Based on comparing the document content analysis and the qualitative survey analysis, three related findings confirmed the trend of educational decentralisation in China. They also found its multifaceted pattern with multi-layer, trans-scalar mixed-degree features. Finally, the relation between that pattern and its context was further explored by the author. The curriculum reform history study in this thesis presented the evolvement of China's educational governance from centralisation to multifaceted decentralisation with the changing political and socio-economic context. Besides, the Multifaceted Decentralisation analytic framework enriched the theory of decentralisation. Furthermore, based on these results, it was possible to argue that China's educational decentralisation's motive was its proactive strategy to meet the socio-economic and educational development needs. Finally, this thesis suggests that education governance, including decentralisation, is context-dependent when discussing a country's policy. ...
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