With the explosion of private schools in China has come an emerging opportunity for the faith-based community to offer an alternative to the current lopsided system. By taking a holistic approach to education, these schools can prepare students for life, not simply the next exams, and can also equip parents to fulfill their vital role in the academic, emotional, social, and spiritual development of their children. Variations on the traditional home schooling model developed in the West are also being pursued in China by believing parents who choose not to send their children to public schools.
All of these approaches are still in the beginning stages; if they are to become more widespread then much more needs to be done in the areas of teacher training, curriculum development, and accreditation of programs, to name a few areas. Still to be addressed is the question of whether or how the official educational establishment will accept these innovative approaches. Nonetheless, organizations already working in the field of education would do well to consider the newly open doors for partnership with Chinese believers who are pioneering these educational models.
Harvard-trained educator C. H. offers the idea of a "learning community" as an environment where parents are active participants in the educational process. Read more about H.'s proposal and how it could help change the face of education in China here.
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Image credit: Chairman Mao, by Cory M. Grenier, via Flickr
Brent Fulton is the founder of ChinaSource. Prior to assuming his current position, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding US director of China Ministries International, and from 1985 to... View Full Bio