Chinese educational equity research: A historical perspective


  • Hongzhi Zhang Monash University


Educational equity, educational equality, Marxist, Chinese


Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, there have been various discussions of educational equity during the different stages of education development. This paper focused on the historical context and current situation of educational equity research in China. It examines the discourse changes of Chinese educational equity research in the Mao and post Mao era, respectively. This paper reports academic research on educational equity almost did not exist in the Mao era. At that time, the practice of educational equity was government-led and deeply affected by political ideology.It also reports thatin the post-Mao era, especially since the 1990s, research on educational equity has rapidly developed. It introduced Western academic discourses other than Maoist and adapted them to the context of China. This paper argues that the dominant discourse of Chinese educational equity research is changed in different historical, economic and political contexts of China.

Author Biography

Hongzhi Zhang, Monash University

Hongzhi Zhang has completed his PhD at the Faculty of Education, Monash University in 2013. He was a journalist with the Journal of China’s Higher Education in China’s Ministry of Education between 2006-2008. Hongzhi was a Research Fellow (part-time) and leading the Dragon’s Den Project in the Faculty of Education, Monash University in 2015. Hongzhi is currently a Teaching Associate and Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education, Monash University.

Hongzhi has published broadly in the areas of education policy, education equity, higher education and Asia study. His recent edited book is ‘Asia as Method in Education Studies: A Defiant Imagination’ (with Philip Chan and Jane Kenway) (Routledge, 2015). Hongzhi also has recently worked together with Dr. Chan and Dr. Boylein one of his recent edited books - Equality in Education: Fairness and inclusion (Sense Publisher, 2014).






General Refereed Papers