Affective Education in Guangzhou, China: A Case Study

By Kai Yuen Cheng and Eadaoin K. P. Hui.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While the affective domain is believed globally to be one of the main areas of human experience and development, affective education is interpreted differently in different countries, and its manifestation varies from region to region. It is argued that affective education is culturally contextualized. The present paper reports a qualitative case study attempting to investigate how affective education is conceptualized and implemented in contemporary China. A middle school in Guangzhou, the biggest city in South China, was chosen as the case school. The study was conducted via semi-structured interviews (both individual and group), analysis of textbooks and school documents, and on-site observations. Findings show that perceived aims and contents of affective education were closely related to character formation, traditional Chinese values and political ideology. Affective education was also interpreted as a response to the rapid social changes in modern China. These findings highlight the influences of Chinese cultural values and political ideology on the conceptualization and interpretation of affective education. Our findings suggest that affective education from the Chinese perspective is ‘value-oriented’ rather than ‘affect-oriented’ and it serves as the means to promote the well-being of the collective rather than that of the individual.

Keywords: Virtues, Affective Education, China

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.521-532. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.270MB).

Kai Yuen Cheng

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Mr. Kai Yuen CHENG is an experienced secondary school teacher who is currently a PhD candidate with a particular research interest in affective education.

Eadaoin K. P. Hui

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Dr. Eadaoin K P HUI is Associate Professor and a chartered educational psychologist, known for her research in school guidance and counselling, affective education, teacher stress, students’ and teachers’ perception of students’ problems and attribution. Her recent research is in conceptualization of forgiveness, forgiveness education, student school and life satisfaction, and positive youth development.

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