1st Edition

The Strong State and Curriculum Reform Assessing the politics and possibilities of educational change in Asia

Edited By Leonel Lim, Michael W. Apple Copyright 2016
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    As Asian education systems increasingly take on a stronger presence on the global educational landscape, of special interest is an understanding of the ways in which many of these states direct their schools towards higher achievement. What is missing, however, are accounts that take seriously the particular construction of the strong, developmental state witnessed across many Asian societies, and that seek to understand the politics and possibilities of curriculum change vis a vis precisely the dominance of such a state.

    By engaging in analyses based on some of the best current social and cultural theories, and by illuminating the interactions among various state and non-state pedagogic agents, the chapters in this volume account for the complex post-colonial, historical and cultural consciousnesses that many Asian states and societies experience. At a time when much of the educational politics in Asia remains in a state of transition and as many of these states seek out through the curriculum new forms of social control and novel bases of political legitimacy, such a volume offers enduring insights into the real if not also always relative autonomy that schools and communities maintain in countering the hegemonic presence of strong states.


    2.List of Contributors

    3.Chapter 1: Introducing the Strong State and Curriculum Reform in Asia (Leonel Lim and Michael W. Apple)

    Section One: Ideology and the Strong State: The Tensions and Limits of State Curricular Control

    4. Chapter 2: Global City, Illiberal Ideology: Curriculum Control and the Politics of Pedagogy in Singapore (Leonel Lim)

    5. Chapter 3: Strong State Politics of the National History Curriculum and Struggles for Knowledge, Ideology, and Power in South Korea (Mi Ok Kang)

    6. Chapter 4: Unintended Hegemonic Effects: Institutional Incorporation of Chinese Schools in Postwar Hong Kong (Ting-Hong Wong)

    Section Two: Praxis and Change: Teachers, Social Movements and Pedagogic Agents

    7. Chapter 5: National Education in Hong Kong: Curriculum as a site of struggle between “One Country” and “Two Systems” (Sara G. Lam)

    8. Chapter 6: Social Movements and Educational Change in China: The Case of Migrant Children Schools (Min Yu)

    9. Chapter 7: The Struggles of Teachers Unions in South Korea and the Politics of Educational Change (Hee-Ryong Kang)

    Section Three: Globalizing Hegemony: Resisting and Recontextualizing International Reforms

    10. Chapter 8: Teach For/Future China and the Politics of Alternative Teacher Certification Programs in China (Christopher B. Crowley)

    11. Chapter 9: The Politics of Neoliberal Loanwords in South Korean Cross-National Policy Borrowing (Youl-Kwan Sung)

    12. Chapter 10: Provincializing and Globalizing Critical Studies of School Knowledge: Insights from the Japanese History Textbook Controversy over “Comfort Women” (Keita Takayama)

    13. Chapter 11: Afterword (Michael W. Apple & Leonel Lim)


    Leonel Lim is Assistant Professor at the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Singapore, where he teaches courses in curriculum theory and the sociology of curriculum.

    Michael W. Apple is John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the Institute of Education, Imperial College London.

    'In this path-breaking volume, Lim and Apple and their collaborators both elaborate a convincing critique of existing work on the governance of education in East and South-East Asian countries and provide the bases of extensive theoretical reappraisals of the relationship between state and educational reform. Taken together, the individual chapters collectively represent a major scholarly advance on existing studies and provide a platform to which all future work – political as well as academic – will be indebted.’ - Roger Dale, Professor of Education, University of Bristol

    ‘Aiwah Ong described neoliberalism as a mobile technology. This book is careful, powerful and erudite exemplification of that. With a mix case studies and overview, the collection bring into focus the complexities of culture and curriculum in contemporary Asia. The analysis succeeds in capturing what makes neoliberalism the same and different at the same time, as it moves around the globe. As the book makes very clear, what now happens in Asia is of crucial importance to what might happen next in the West.’ - Stephen J. Ball, FBA, AcSS, Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology of Education, Institute of Education, University of London

    ‘Drawing upon and moving beyond the intellectual traditions of Euro-American critical social theories, the authors of chapters in this volume honor the complexities of power and knowledge and transgress disciplinary boundaries. They not only illuminate how “Asia as indigenize our understandings of curriculum reform in a region thriving with paradoxes and contestations.’ - Ming Fang He, Professor of Curriculum Studies, Georgia Southern University

    'As a brave departure, they set-up the stage where regional ‘Asia’ is undergoing tumultuous political, social and cultural changes and upheavals and invite a team of scholars to provide insider accounts of how the politics of curriculum reform are played out. The result is a refreshing and insightful critical scholarship about curriculum reform and educational change in Asia.' - Aaron Koh, Associate Professor of Education, The Chinese Univerity of Hong Kong