Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2018 Issue »

    My Future, My Family, My Freedom

    Meanings of Schooling for Poor, Rural Chinese Youth

    XIN XIANG
    In this article, Xin Xiang investigates what dushu, or “schooling,” means for rural senior secondary school students in a high-poverty county in southwestern China. With the persistence of China’s rural-urban education inequality and alarming reports about secondary school dropout rates, rural students’ and their families’ attitudes toward schooling have become a topic of academic as well as public debate. Drawing from repeated interviews with and observations of twenty-seven students conducted over a year, Xiang uses portraiture methodology to illustrate the different dimensions of meaning these rural youth attach to dushu: the means to a future of comfort and dignity, a family responsibility and collective investment, and a path toward individual freedom and actualization. This portrait also reveals the deep contradictions that define these students’ experiences of dushu and how it often denies the hopes they attach to it and demands painful compromises.

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    Xin Xiang is a PhD candidate in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her current work investigates the evolving educational inequality in China, particularly as it relates to the rural-urban divide. Apart from her academic work, she is the cofounder and director of Clover Youth Development Center, a grassroot nonprofit education organization that serves migrant youth in Guangzhou. Xiang’s writing has appeared in Nature Human Behavior and many Chinese education research publications, such as the Migrant Children Education Bluebook and the Volunteer Teaching Industry Development Report. She is the recipient of Harvard University’s Hoopes Prize. 

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    Spring 2018 Issue

    Abstracts

    Knowledge Citizens?
    Intellectual Disability and the Production of Social Meanings Within Educational Research
    ASHLEY TAYLOR
    Ethics, Identity, and Political Vision
    Toward a Justice-Centered Approach to Equity in Computer Science Education
    SEPEHR VAKIL
    Risky Business
    An Integrated Institutional Theory for Understanding High-Risk Decision Making in Higher Education
    LAUREN A. TURNER and A. J. ANGULO
    My Future, My Family, My Freedom
    Meanings of Schooling for Poor, Rural Chinese Youth
    XIN XIANG
    Teaching in the Restorative Window
    Authenticity, Conviction, and Critical-Restorative Pedagogy in the Work of One Teacher-Leader
    SARAH M. FINE

    Book Notes