Hickey, Christopher and Jin, Aijing 2007, Contemporary PE reform in China : teachers' talk, in AARE 2007 : Proceedings of the 2007 International Educational Research Conference, Association for Active Educational Researchers, [Australia], pp. 1-16.
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Among the many changes occurring across Chinese society in the early phase of Y2K is the construction and implementation of a new physical education (PE) curriculum. Not unlike recent changes in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, this process has seen a heightening of the profile of health. Presented within a wider framework for making the school curriculum more relevant, PE is more closely aligned with China's emerging health concerns around young people. Foremost here are burgeoning social anxieties about decreased levels of physical activity, dietary practices, risk-taking tendencies, and a general decline of social cohesion/connection across the profile of contemporary youth. This paper reports on a study undertaken to explore the experiences of Chinese PE teachers as they engage with the new curriculum.
The data reveals a number of structural, personal and cultural factors that work against teachers taking up the opportunities presented in the new curriculum. Prominent here are; low professional status, an expanding generation gap, lack of training and the grip of deeply rooted cultural values. Juxtaposed against the like experiences of PE teachers in Australia and the UK the paper concludes with practical recommendations for nurturing curriculum change in China.