On February 2nd, the Comparative Studies in Educational Traditions SIG held its first seminar of the year 2024. The seminar featured Dr. Zhu Yanzhen, a PhD graduate from the Faculty, who presented her doctoral research on Chinese intellectual traditions. Dr. Zhu shared her insights on constructing an analytical framework for interpreting Chinese intellectual traditions during the seminar. The term “intellectual tradition” is frequently used but rarely defined, leaving room for further theoretical and empirical inquiries. Dr. Zhu’s theoretical inquiry began with a comprehensive examination of the definition of tradition and further explored the theories of Edward Shils and Michael Polanyi. The inquiry was deepened with the inclusion of non-Western intellectual histories and traditional Chinese resources.
Dr. Zhu’s developed analytical framework defines Chinese intellectual traditions as patterns that guide the actions of Chinese intellectuals, both explicitly and tacitly. The framework also suggests that an individual’s real experiences can serve as a starting point for exploring intellectual traditions. Dr. Zhu’s presentation shed light on the complex topic of intellectual traditions and provided a valuable framework for interpreting Chinese intellectual traditions. Her approach emphasizes the importance of considering non-Western intellectual histories and traditional resources when exploring intellectual traditions.
The seminar was attended in person by Prof. Yang Rui, Prof. Nutsa Kobakhidze, Prof. Liz Jackson, Prof. Jeremy Rappleye and Prof. Yang Lili. Additionally, participants from around the world joined online. The seminar was facilitated by SIG secretary Fan Lijun and CERC secretary Tian Renxiang. We look forward to more seminars in 2024.
CERC was very proud to host Prof. Michael Crossley for a talk at the CERC public seminar on December 4th, 2023. The seminar, titled “Challenges for Comparative and International Education: Learning from Qualitative Methodologies and Research Traditions in Oceania,” provided a platform for CERC members to engage in a conversation with Prof. Crossley in the field of Comparative Education.
During the first part of his presentation, Prof. Crossley offered a historical perspective on the development of Comparative and International Education. He highlighted the challenges faced by the field in the current socio-political climate, where critical interrogation of the intellectual foundations has become a priority due to global changes and tensions. Prof. Crossley further explored the challenges posed by the dominance of Northern epistemologies and the influential projects of international organizations, such as PISA. He drew connections between these challenges and his own experiences with Oceanic research epistemologies and traditions, offering valuable insights into alternative approaches and perspectives.
The talk was chaired by Prof. Mark Bray, the UNESCO Chair at the University of Hong Kong. CERC members from the Faculty, including Dr. Liliyang, Prof. Ora Kwo, and Dean Yang, were present, along with more than 50 participants attending both online and offline.
The event was dedicated to the memory of Ronald Sultana, a professor of comparative education at the University of Malta, who passed away on November 23rd, 2023.
On November 30th, CERC held a talk by Prof. Jeremy Rappleye on the topic of the approach to happiness. This talk was based on his latest book “An Interdependent Approach to Happiness and Well-Being” (Palgrave, 2023), co-authored with Yukiko Uchida. The talk aimed to provide a historical and comparative perspective on the definition of happiness. In particular, it highlighted the unique understanding of happiness in Japanese society and critiqued the dominant measurement frameworks used by international organizations such as the OECD, UNICEF, and UNESCO. These organizations and their indices, according to the speaker, tend to conceptualize happiness and well-being based on Western European and American philosophical, cultural, and social sciences. The talk delved into these policies and biases, drawing from the insights presented in the speaker’s new book.
This seminar was chaired by Nutsa Kobakhidze and attended by over 40 online participants from around the world, as well as 38 faculty staff and students. Following the talk, the audience engaged in a discussion, raising questions about the philosophical assumptions of happiness and its ontological and epistemological aspects. This led to critical reflections on how happiness is understood and how it can be known. CERC plans to organize more engaging seminars in the coming week, stay tuned for our next seminar on December 4th.
CERC and the Comparative Studies of Education Traditions SIG were very proud to host Professor Ruth Hayhoe for a seminar titled “East-West Crosscurrents in Comparative Education” on November 21st, 2023. The seminar consisted of a thirty-minute talk and a dialogical discussion about the challenges of bridging the gap between the rich Eastern higher educational traditions and the dominant Western university traditions. During the seminar, Professor Hayhoe shared insights from a recent book chapter on how Comparative Education and Comparative Higher Education have been influenced by the emergence of a Dialogue Among Civilizations and a value-explicit approach to educational research pioneered by scholars rooted in Asian civilizations. A book table was also set up at the event, showcasing four books that Ruth has contributed to CERC since the early 1990s. The event was attended by faculty staff, members of CERC, and the Comparative Studies of Education Traditions SIG from both domestic and international locations.
Ruth Hayhoe has been an old friend of CERC and is currently a professor at the University of Toronto. She previously served as the Cultural Secretary in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing (1989-1991) and as the Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, now known as the Education University of Hong Kong (1997-2002). Her research primarily focuses on Chinese higher education and educational relations between East Asia and the West. Some of her recent books include “China Through the Lens of Comparative Education” (2015), “Canadian Universities in China’s Transformation” (2016), and “Religion and Education” (2018).
CERC held a seminar on October 5th on immigrant parenting and social justice by Dr. Max Antony-Newman from the university of Sheffield Hallam University, the UK. The seminar focused on immigrant parenting and social justice within the Canadian context. Max presented two examples of the “funds of knowledge” approach to parental engagement for social justice, highlighting the importance of plurilingual parenting and curriculum orientations. Additionally, he emphasized the need to ensure teacher readiness for effective parental engagement through the implementation of professional standards. Following the presentation, Max engaged in a productive discussion with students and staff, addressing their questions and concerns. The seminar was chaired by Dr. Nutsa Kobakhidze, Director of CERC, and joined by 14 attendees at the meeting room and 18 online attendees from other countries and regions.
The Shadow Education Special Interest Group (SIG) organized a successful seminar on September 28th, highlighting the research work of three graduates from CGSED program. The event provided a platform for these talented individuals to present their capstone projects, shedding light on important aspects of the education system.
The seminar focused on two crucial topics: the identity of teachers and the expectations and choices of parents regarding supplementary private tutoring in the context of current education policies. The graduates presented their in-depth studies, demonstrating their dedication and expertise in these areas.
The event attracted participation from 16 members hailing from diverse countries and regions. The attendees were eager to engage in insightful discussions and learn from the research findings presented by the CGSED graduates.
Shadow Education SIG successfully held an event on September 21st. This special event featured two CGSED students, Wei Yanan and Chen Lin, presenting their capstone projects on shadow education under the Double Reduction policy. The event was chaired by Mr. Tian Renxiang, secretary of CERC, and joined by Dr. Nutsa, the director of CERC, as well as more than 25 students and researchers from different countries and regions.
During the presentation, the two presenters demonstrated their understanding of the dynamics of shadow education from the perspectives of parents and teachers. Additionally, Achala, a researcher from the UK, shared her latest publication on the Double Reduction Policy following the presentations.
Now, we are excitedly looking forward to our next event on September 28th, Thursday. Stay tuned and keep an eye on your email for further details regarding this upcoming event!
On July 20th, CERC held its seminar titled: “The Tutoring Industry in Hong Kong: Changes, Threats, and Opportunities.” The seminar featured Richard Eng, Co-founder and Academic Director of Beacon College, a tutorial company in Hong Kong, as the guest speaker. The seminar also joined by two distinguished discussants: Mark Bray, UNESCO Chair Professor at HKU, and Zhang Wei, Executive Director for the Centre for International Research in Supplementary Tutoring (CIRIST) at ECNU. The seminar is chaired by Nutsa Kobakhidze, Director of CERC, and attended by 60 attendees from CERC members.
This seminar began with a brief introduction to the education system in Hong Kong in the 1980s, followed by the speaker’s discovery of a niche market for tutorial schools at that time. The seminar also described the growth of the speaker’s business from its humble beginnings 30 years ago to a publicly listed company in 2018. At the end of the seminar, the speaker shared his views on the future of the tutoring industry in Hong Kong, as well as the outlook for operating tutorial schools in mainland China in the face of the ‘Double Reduction policy’.
On the 21st of June, members of the Shadow Education Special Interest Group (SIG) convened to learn about the impact of Covid-19 on India’s shadow education system. The presentation, delivered by Ms. Aishwarya Sharma, a PhD scholar at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, delved into a qualitative exploratory study that examined the experiences of three private tutorial centers in East Delhi during the pandemic.
During her presentation, Ms. Sharma discussed a qualitative exploratory study that featured the experiences of three private tutorial centers in East Delhi during the pandemic. Through in-depth semi-structured interviews with leaders, tutors, and students, the research examined the challenges faced by the tutorial centers and the strategies they employed in response.
The study highlighted the importance of technology adoption among private institutions for effective center functioning. The presentation also emphasized the significance of influential leaders and teams in learning to grow, innovate, and be resilient during times of uncertainty. Overall, the presentation shed light on the resilience and adaptability of shadow education systems in India during the challenging times of Covid-19.
On June 6th, CERC held its seminar on the theme of “Family Education”. Two renowned education experts from East China Normal University shared their research insights on this topic. The seminars aimed to provide teachers and education professionals with practical knowledge and solutions to current challenges in the field.
The first seminar, titled “The Excessive Spillover of Students’ Roles and its Consequences,” was presented by Professor GAO Desheng. Professor GAO discussed the negative consequences of students being overloaded with responsibilities outside of the classroom, such as excessive homework, tutoring, and extracurricular activities. He emphasized the importance of balancing students’ academic, extracurricular, and personal lives to prevent burnout and enhance overall well-being.
The second seminar, titled “Towards Scientific Family Pedagogy,” was delivered by Professor LIU Lianghua. Professor LIU shared his research on the impact of family dynamics on students’ educational outcomes. He stressed that parents play an essential role in their children’s education and highlighted the importance of a collaborative and scientific approach to family pedagogy.
Professor K. K. Chan, as the chair of the seminar, also related the topic to her working and research experience in Hong Kong. She concluded the seminar as valuable to the research of family education, encouraging young scholars to conduct more useful and meaningful research in this area.
The seminars were attended by a diverse audience, including teachers, education policymakers, and researchers. The interactive sessions allowed participants to share their experiences, concerns, and opportunities related to the current challenges and research in education.
The insights shared by Professor GAO Desheng and Professor LIU Lianghua will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing teaching quality, student outcomes, and overall well-being in the education sector.