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Full Access What Constitutes Quality in Minority Education? A Multiple Embedded Case Study of Stakeholder Perspectives on Minority Linguistic and Cultural Content in School-Based Curriculum in Sunan Yughur Autonomous County, Gansu

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What Constitutes Quality in Minority Education? A Multiple Embedded Case Study of Stakeholder Perspectives on Minority Linguistic and Cultural Content in School-Based Curriculum in Sunan Yughur Autonomous County, Gansu

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While quality in education has long been a significant issue, definitions of quality are often taken for granted rather than argued for, allowing the possibility that the criteria used by researchers and planners to judge quality may differ from local stakeholders’ perspectives, particularly regarding the place within quality education of the knowledge, culture and language of non-dominant groups. However, there is an accumulating convergence of research that calls for assessments of quality in education of non-dominant linguistic and cultural groups that engage local stakeholders’ understandings. This paper presents a recent study that attempts to do this, investigating the perspectives of students, parents, teachers, and administrators in Sunan Yughur Autonomous County, a multiethnic, multilingual district in rural Gansu, inhabited by several nationalities. Over one hundred participants in three schools were asked what was important for children to learn in school; including what aspects of local (minority) knowledge, culture and language should be taught as part of school-based curriculum. The study found three educational visions in local schools: regular urban education; Chinese-medium, multicultural education; and bilingual, multicultural education. The study also found that stakeholders support the latter vision, which reflects society’s actual cultural and linguistic pluralism, as well as much research on quality education for non-dominant groups. The paper concludes with a call for a comparative approach, both domestic and international, towards the investigation of quality education of non-dominant groups in China.

10.3868/s110-001-012-0021-5
/content/journals/10.3868/s110-001-012-0021-5
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/content/journals/10.3868/s110-001-012-0021-5
2012-01-01
2016-12-06

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