Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-0-7391-4698-9 • Hardback • February 2014 • $114.00 • (£88.00)
978-0-7391-4699-6 • eBook • February 2014 • $108.00 • (£79.00)
Kai Yu is associate professor of education and public policy at Beijing Normal University.
Professor Kai Yu richly elucidates this matter in a qualitative study that focuses on the dynamics of school reform in modern Beijing. He effectively employs the conceptualization of the 'street level bureaucrat' whose decisions affect what is and what is not realized. This conceptualization, which came out of examining the implementation of special education reform in one state in the United States over 40 years ago, proves to be equally useful in understanding why central goals for inclusive child-focused education in China and more specifically in Beijing have only been partially realized. . . .[I]t is an important book that nuances what we are learning about school change and deepens our understanding of how capacity, ideology, and local power limit the ability of central authorities to change schools.
— Frontiers of Education in China
Dr. Yu details the political, historical, economic, and philosophical backdrop to meritocracy and inclusive education in Beijing and China. The case studies and the themes he addresses will resonate with education systems around the world. Dr. Yu shows how meritocracy and inclusive education intersect achievement, motivation, school structures, educational access, post-school opportunities, and the day-to-day lives of students, parents, and teachers. As Beijing and China navigate this landscape, so too do all education systems. The lessons learned and the policy and pedagogical ways forward that are identified in this book will have applicability well beyond China and well into the twenty-first century.
— Andrew J. Martin, University of New South Wales
This is an important book for educators, political scientists, sociologists, and policy makers. It provides valuable insights into the challenges of school reform in Beijing and China and offers understandings that are equally relevant to those who study or attempt to foster change in the U. S. and other countries. Professor Kai Yu’s examination of street-level implementation of education policy in four Beijing high schools provides important information regarding the challenges of implementing inclusive education policies when street-level bureaucrats respond to other drivers, while describing how some educators have been able to promote inclusive student-centered learning.
— David Osher, American Institutes for Research
For over a century, public education systems across the globe have pursued two overarching and at times conflicting goals: equity (closing gaps in educational opportunities and outcomes) and excellence (improving achievement). Professor Kai Yu’s fascinating book tells the dynamic history of the tug of war between these two goals in China through social history and four rich case studies. This incisive analysis of how meritocratic vs. social justice visions of education have evolved and are playing out in Beijing is a must read for scholars of education policy and practice in China. It is also highly informative of similar debates in the U.S. and around the world.
— J. Lawrence Aber, NYU Steinhardt