In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the People's Republic of China experienced dramatic growth and expansion that altered the educational environment of children. Rapid economic development increased prosperity and educational opportunities for children expanded in a wealthier society. Yet, a by-product of rising wealth was rising inequality. While the children of the emerging urban middle and elite classes enjoyed new prosperity, the children of hte persistently poor in rural communities continued to experience challenges such as food insecurity, illness, hardships of family separation, and migrant life on the margins of the cities. This time period saw a large resource gap emerge between the home conditions of poor rural children compared with those of their wealthier urban counterparts.
This book highlights the complexities China has experienced in seeking to extend full educational access to rural children— including rural- to- urban migrant and ethnic minority children—during a momentous period in China. Chapters delve into the experiences, perceptions, strategies, and diffi culties of rural- origin children and their families in the school system, and lay bare the challenges of policy initiatives designed to support rural education.
We hope the experiences detailed here will be of interest to students and scholars of rural educational policy and practice in China and worldwide.
PART I: How Rural Families Support and Their Children’s Education
Chapter 1 Credit Limits as an Element of Family Socioeconomic Status: An Application to the Case of Children's Educational Outcomes in Rural Gansu Province
Wensong Shen and Emily Hannum
Chapter 2 Engendering a Love for Learning: Family and School Contexts and Children’s Educational Engagement in Rural Gansu, China
Yuping Zhang and Peggy A. Kong
Chapter 3 Educational Differences in Parental Support for Children’s Schooling in Rural China
Peggy A. Kong
Chapter 4 Parental Involvement in Rural Anhui: Coping with the Burden of Guanxi
PART 2: Challenges for Minority Youth in Rural Areas
Chapter 5 "Two Basics" in a Rural Muslim Area of Northwest China
Chapter 6 Exceptions to the Rule: Rural and Nomadic Tibetans Gaining Access to Dislocated Elite Inland Boarding Schools
Gerard A. Postiglione and Xiaoliang Li
PART 3: Challenges of providing quality education in rural communities
Chapter 7 Universalization of Preschool Education in Rural Shanxi
Tanja Sargent, Shudan Hao, Xiao Yang, and Lin Li
Chapter 8 Correlates and Implications of Grade Retention in Rural Northwest China
Li-Chung Hu and Emily Hannum
Chapter 9 Schools as De Facto Childcare Centers: Adolescents’ Lives and Educational Paths in Rural China
PART 4: Challenges for Rural Migrant Children
Chapter 10 Access and Equity for Rural Migrants in Shanghai
Chapter 11 Migrant Education: Family Strategies and Public Policies