A university education for all?: a study of parental educational expectations in China's Sichuan Province
LE3 .A278 2001
Master of Education
Leadership and School Development
This study explores the educational expectations held by two groups of parents in Sichuan Province of China in 2000. Ninety-two parents were surveyed by questionnaire. Participating parents were divided into two groups, 'workers' and 'intellectuals'. Intellectuals were defined as the parents who graduated from secondary schools and entered colleges or universities. Workers for the purpose of this study referred to the parents who had less than full secondary education. Results from this research showed clearly that even after twenty-five years of wide-scale reforms, parental expectations for children's education continue to rise in all classes of society. It is also clear that elitist practices continue to favor the intellectuals and other privileged urban families. Furthermore, while great progress has been made in the education of girls, the evidence shows that traditional attitudes persist in many workers' families where concerns over income and employment are greater. The thesis concludes that officialsand leaders cannot ignore the pressure for a greater accessibility to all levels of education. It argues that educational reforms must be built on greater awareness of the diversity and circumstances found in China's families. To achieve this point, communications between parents and schools should be reinforced. With this awareness, policy makers, school leaders and officials must begin their work.
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