Renmin Jiaoyu - people's education : conflict and change in Chinese education 1950 to 1958
Through the medium of the main educational journal of the decade 'People's Education' or 'Renmin Jiaoyu', this thesis attempts to analyse developments in Chinese education in the 1950s from a Chinese perspective. It is written in the full realisation that educational developments in this period have had a bad press from the limited number of works which have appeared, works which have all to frequently paid scant attention to the views of those most intimately concerned with the system itself, ie the students, teachers and administrators. It is written with the intention of placing the main participants centre stage and relegating, to the wings, those translated sources which hitherto have provided the overwhelming bulk of the information used by research workers. All the key areas of their activity are considered in the text which follows. Quite naturally, the political campaigns and the full time primary, middle and higher systems are examined but their study is not allowed to dominate the work. The nature and extent of the persisting influence of the bourgeois educationalists is assessed and an analysis is made of the only instance of open debate between conflicting educational methodologies which appeared in the magazine ie the controversy over 'all round development' which took place in the mid 1950s. The nature of the Soviet input is set against an assessment of the Chinese response and substantial attention is given both to mass educational provision and to the effectiveness of the legacy of the Old Liberated Areas. Indicative of the central role played by the participants are the sections devoted to the discussion of problems, readers' letters and questions and answers. All these main areas are presented within a structure and in a context ordained by the Chinese themselves. By examining the main objectives of the magazine and in trying to assess the nature of its contributions as prescribed by the authorities, the process of conflict and change is thematically studied.