Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2022, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (10): 91-99.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2022.10.008

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Psychology Trumps Pedagogy: A Review of China’s New EducationExperiment in Action by Zhu Yongxin

A. Berg Donald   

  1. Deeper Learning Advocates, Portland Oregon 97068, USA
  • Accepted:2022-07-04 Online:2022-10-01 Published:2022-09-29


Throughout the world the pattern of disengagement established in primary and secondary schools leads to the problem of disengagement in the workplace which, according to Gallup, results in global losses of $7 trillion per year in productivity. In his book China’s New Education Experiment in Action, Professor Zhu Yongxin presents a variety of stories about the success that the innovative schools that follow his principles have achieved. Recent findings in psychological research that are not commonly known in the field of education can help explain the success that Professor Zhu’s principles have facilitated. Through placing their central emphasis on the motivation and engagement of students, the schools that apply the principles of the New Education Experiment produce both academic achievement and “a happy, complete life of education.” Looking to the future, there are challenges that all educational innovations face, no matter where they occur. As a potential means for proactively facing those inevitable challenges to the schools in the New Education Experiment, the value of using scientifically informed measures of the psychological climate in those schools is discussed.

Key words: engagement, motivation, education innovation, self-directed education