Ever since OECD started in 1997 the project of Definition and Selection of Competences:Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations, the term "key competences" has been highlighted in the educational documents in many countries and regions. Despite varied definitions of key competencies, there is a common understanding in those countries and regions. First, key competences should be understood from two aspects:fostering the whole person and promoting social development; second, both citizenship and internationalization have been emphasized by each economy and international organizations; third, most economies put emphasis on such competences as information, science and creativity in the new century. Meanwhile, each economy pays more attention to their excellent traditional culture in building the system of their own key competences.
In order to deepen the comprehensive educational reform, it is imperative to explore and construct the system of key competences in China. Therefore, it is necessary to review the Three-competence theory and Basic-skill theory developed by Tao Xingzhi, a famous Chinese educator in the 20th century. In his career, Tao first proposed three essential competencies, including learning to live, learning to be initiative and learning to be creative; later, Tao developed the idea of 23 basic skills at Yu Cai Middle School, which came to be known as Three-competence theory and Basic-skill theory. In Tao's opinion, learning to live, learning to be initiative and learning to be creative are necessary for one to be a whole person and the 23 basic skills are the embodiment of these three competences. In a sense, these two theories could be considered as Tao's idea of key competencies.
Based on Tao's Three-competence theory and Basic-skill theory, as well as a comparative analysis of the related researches on key competences, this paper attempts to develop a new system of key competencies in the new era. That is, key competences involve field competencies and general competencies. General competencies cover social development (social responsibility, national identity, international understanding and cooperation), personal development (self-understanding and self-management, the competence to be happy) and advanced learning ability (critical thinking, creativity and lifelong learning). Field competences put more emphasis on specific fields, such as language literacy, mathematical competences, science skills, art literacy and information skills.
In China, modern apprenticeship is highlighted in current vocational education reform and development. This reform involves three levels, namely learning methods, vocational training model and vocational education system. In order to promote the successful construction of modern apprenticeship in China, five key issues should be made clear:what is modern apprenticeship? What is the purpose of developing modern apprenticeship and what kind of modern apprenticeship should be developed? What are the main barriers to developing modern apprenticeship? What are the supporting conditions of modern apprenticeship? In the development of modern apprenticeship, it's necessary to capture the substantive problems and develop proper strategies in terms of the five issues.
The connotation of modern apprenticeship includes four aspects:a) it is a learning style of technical competence based on stable mentor-apprentice relationship; b) it is apprenticeship of modern industry and service industry; c) it is one part of modern occupation education; d)it is an open system of technical skills training.
In many countries the purpose of developing modern apprenticeship is to solve the problem of high youth unemployment, while in China, the more important purpose is to cultivate skilled workers who can adapt to the emerging industry. Therefore, the modern apprenticeship system in China should develop at several levels to meet the needs of different policies.
However, the development of modern apprentice system in China faces a critical institutional obstacle, that is, the economic operation mode is too inclined to free market. In the current system environment, the key to the development of modern apprenticeship is how to reconstruct mentor-apprentice relationship in modern enterprises under the market economy system. Based on the experience in Germany and Japan, it is necessary to impose proper coordination on economic operation through social forces, and we can employ different modes in product market and labor market.
The development of modern apprenticeship in China is also challenged by inadequate infrastructure, such as the lack of national vocational teaching standards, master system as well as the path to the apprentice's career development. System reform and the improvement of infrastructure can help guarantee the development of modern apprenticeship. As modern apprenticeship is a very complex system, research on the system requires a multi-perspective, involving not only economic sociology, labor market theory, but also the perspective of social constructivism to explore social mechanism which may contribute to its development.
By modifying the institutional analysis framework suggested by W. Richard Scott (2010), this paper offers a framework for analyzing the institutional complementarity of apprenticeship, in which the three dimensions of regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive factors interact with each other. England and Germany are selected as cases as they are the typical Anglo-Saxon countries and Rhine countries which have had great success.
In terms of apprentice participation, the German system shows better equilibrium than the English one. Regulative factors in the German system are at medium level, and the system relies more on the strong normative and cultural-cognitive factors. In England, both normative and cultural-cognitive factors are weak, while the regulative factors are strong due to the incentives for apprentices. However, the institutional arrangements in both countries aims at the same direction:providing apprentices with promising future.
In terms of employer's participation, the German system has better equilibrium, with relatively stronger normative and cultural-cognitive factors than regulative factors. The three factors reinforce each other. However, in the English system, strong regulative factors compensate the weak normative and cultural-cognitive factors. Despite great difference, Germany and England share the similarity in institutional arrangements.
In terms of quality assurance, Germany presents an excellent model, in which quality assurance goes along with all the process of apprenticeship training, including providers' accreditation, training standards, training process, evaluation and qualification. The regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive factors are all strong and they reinforce each other. Great efforts have also been made in England, but all the three factors are still not strong enough and need improvement.
To sum up, the results show that:a) matual-reinforcement and compensation are the two basic forms of institutional complementarity for apprenticeship; b) strengthening regulative factors could be an effective approach for government to developing apprenticeship; c) the key point to institutional complementarity for apprentice participation is to provide promising careers for apprentices; d) the institutional complementarity for employer participation lies in reducing the risk of poaching externality; e) institutional complementarity for quality assurance relies on the reinforcement of institutions upon all the process of apprenticeship training; f) complementarity also exists between institutions for quantity improvement and those for quality enhancement.
The implementation of modern apprenticeship is not only inevitable for higher vocational education to better serve the current economic and social development, but also an efficient approach to promoting the interaction between vocational education system and industrial economic system, as well as the development of skilled talents. In addition, it is important for the construction of modern vocational education system. In western countries, modern apprenticeship, which has made great contribution to the development of skilled talents, proves to be an effective training mode in vocational education. From the perspective of social construction and by identifying the stakeholders and their interest concerns, this paper analyzes the institutional obstacles and their negative influence on the construction of modern apprentice system. For example, the lack of a credible commitment between enterprises and the apprentice undermines enterprises' positivity; the lack of the protection system of apprentice rights and interests tends to cause apprentice alienation; the absence of industry education function leads to the high cost of transactions between schools and enterprises; the lack of the protection system of labor safety impedes the identity of enterprise masters; the lack of the national curriculum framework gets the quality of apprenticeship training out of control.
Based on the above analysis, the authors discuss the challenges facing higher vocational colleges in their construction and practice of modern apprenticeship, and then put forward five mechanisms by analyzing some cases of modern apprentice system in higher vocational colleges. The five mechanisms are:a) building an interest-driven mechanism by integrating the interests of all parties; b) setting up a mechanism of communication consultation through a joint management platform; c) constructing a cooperation mechanism between masters and teachers; d) constructing a curriculum development mechanism through collaborative curriculum development; e) constructing a quality guarantee mechanism by establishing evaluation system. In conclusion, the paper argues how higher vocational colleges could promote modern apprenticeship under the current institutional environment through their innovative practices.
From pre-industrial society to post-industrial society, technicians' knowledge structure has changed from one dimension to four dimensions. In post-industrial society, technicians' four-dimensioned knowledge structure includes:experiential technical knowledge, material technical knowledge, methodological technical knowledge and theoretical technical knowledge. Each has its specific mechanisms of development and operation.
Firstly, experiential technical knowledge takes the form of skills and experiments, which tends to be personalized, emotional, tacit, pre-scientific, system-integrated, situational, etc. Material technical knowledge takes the machine as its carrier, which is semi-theoretical and semi-empirical. Material technical knowledge is utilized to create, accumulate and implement the knowledge through operating and controlling machines. Methodological technical knowledge is a knowledge of design and decision, which contributes to the design of working process and decision-making. Secondly, the development of experiential technical knowledge and material technical knowledge requires training and internalization in workplaces. The development of methodological technical knowledge relies on the transfer and insight in the mentoring apprenticeship. The development of theoretical technical knowledge requires accumulation and the sublimation of learning in schools.
In recent years, there have been several defects in the professional training modes in vocational colleges. Firstly, the ways of collaboration between vocational colleges and enterprises have helped little to train qualified technicians for the manufacturing industry. In addition, the collaboration has provided ineffective learning experience. Last but not least, the collaboration has not been designed to provide enterprises with a platform for operation. Therefore, it's imperative to revolutionize the professional training modes, including the transformation of technicians' knowledge structure.
Modern apprenticeship offers a new perspective of the transformation. Firstly, it has established close relationship between students and the production situation, which can help students gain plenty of first-hand knowledge from the production process. Secondly, based on a stable mentoring relationship, modern apprenticeship can help students gain methodological technical knowledge needed in modern society. Thirdly, stakeholders can be gathered together in vocational college and enterprises in support of the cultivation of skilled talents. In conclusion, modern apprenticeship is of great value for the training of skilled talents, and it's essential to find a proper way to integrate modern apprenticeship into the cultivation of skilled talents between vocational colleges and enterprises.
This article is based on the empirical investigation in 546 elementary and middle schools from 82 counties 14 provinces, as well as macro data of compulsory education development and case studies of each province from 2010 to 2014, It aims to evaluate the balanced development of compulsory education in China since the implementation of National Medium and Long-term Plan for Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) and presents an analysis of the balanced development of compulsory education since 2010. According to the evaluation, compulsory education in China has made remarkable achievements in terms of balanced development, reaching a new starting point. First, a guarantee mechanism has been established to promote the compulsory education in a strategic way. Second, an investment mechanism has been improved to ensure a growing investment in compulsory education. Third, remarkable achievements have been made in the standardization of school construction. Fourth, some progress has been made in capacity-building of the teaching staff, and the balanced allocation of the teaching staff is under way.
However, the evaluation reveals some problems, such as inadequate funding of compulsory education in central areas, big gaps in education quality between schools, structured short-staffed schools in rural areas, plus the new challenges in urbanization. Therefore, to promote high-quality and balanced development of compulsory education in China, it's essential to adhere to the development concept of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing, adopting a top-level design and overall planning, and ensuring there is a cushion in place for those in great need. Besides, it's important to build a development network, focusing on the key points to promote balanced and improved quality. First, it's important to renew the development concept and change the traditional ways of balanced development of compulsory education. Second, it's necessary to establish a linking mechanism, strengthen the responsibilities of the government to promote the balanced development and synergetic governance of compulsory education. Third, it's imperative to further improve comprehensive reform, solve the problems one by one, and overcome the major obstacles to the balanced development of compulsory education. Fourth, it's advisable to enhance the guarantee system, and explore a three-dimensional path to balanced development of compulsory education.
Technology and engineering is an important part of STEM education. To promote the standardization of STEM education in support of the cultivation of the 21st century talents, NAEP (the National Assessment of Educational Progress) started TEL (the assessment of technology and engineering literacy:a new assessment program in the United States since 2014). TEL is designed to test students' ability to understand, use and evaluate technology as qualified citizens. The ability involves understanding technological principles and strategies needed for developing solutions and achieving goals. The objectives of TEL are categorized into three:technology and society, design and system, information and communication technology (ICT). TEL is carried out in the context of typical issues, problems, and goals that students might encounter in their schools, communities or societies.
The assessment of TEL is completely digitally based and includes interactive scenario-based tasks. Participants are asked to complete a variety of problem-solving tasks based on interactive scenarios. The abilities and literacy of participants involved in the tasks are highly consistent with core competencies for the 21st century, which include critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation, information literacy, media literacy and ICT literacy, and so forth.
The NAEP's TEL has great implications for educating innovative talents in China's basic education. One is to create a problem-based context for students' learning through integrated, real-life and complex issues related to technology and engineering. Another is to enforce the informal learning for students to develop their TEL. In addition, in developing students' ICT literacy, technology and engineering education should be highly valued. All in all, China's basic education can integrate multiple resources to strengthen TEL education, STEM education and relevant assessment to develop Chinese students' 21st century skills.
There exists a close relationship between the tradition of pedagogy and pedagogy, but so far there has been limited research on the tradition of pedagogy. However, research on the tradition of pedagogy can not only contribute to further education researches, but also to the inheritance, innovation and development of pedagogy. Therefore, it is important to conduct a comprehensive systematic and intensive study of the tradition of pedagogy. Abstracted from pedagogy, the tradition of pedagogy is the integration of ideology, values, research categories, research paradigms, and knowledge hierarchy. The development of pedagogy has been closely related to culture and philosophical tradition. It has been inherited and created by researchers of pedagogy. The tradition of pedagogy mainly include four characteristics:a) stability, which is closely related to the Christmas Characteristics of the tradition of pedagogy; b) phased, which means pedagogy has undergone a process of gradual development; c) developmental, the development of tradition of pedagogy cannot be separated from its foundation, i.e. the foundation of tradition of pedagogy; d) referential, the development of pedagogy has borrowed a lot from other disciplines. The tradition of pedagogy is based on the development of pedagogy. Besides, the tradition of pedagogy is connected with tradition, cultural tradition, traditional pedagogy, pedagogical tradition, and the tradition of Marxist pedagogy. The tradition of pedagogy has positive effects on the development of pedagogy, and we should study the tradition of pedagogy in a critical way. On the other side, the tradition of pedagogy tends to be resistant to innovation, which in some ways has undermined the researcher's thinking. Also, the specialization of pedagogy has been questioned due to its borrowing from other disciplines.
Peer victimization is widely recognized as a pervasive problem around the world. Its impacts on students' behavior and mental health can be severe or may even continue into adulthood. Since students in rural boarding schools spend more time with their peers, they are more vulnerable to peer victimization. However, few studies have examined the status quo of peer victimization in rural boarding schools. Research on its impact and potential protective factors for the students is also scarce. This study investigated the peer victimization problem in rural boarding schools, as well as its impact on students' internalized behavior. Furthermore, the mediating effect of two potential protective factors, resilience and self-esteem, is also analyzed by conducting a moderated mediation model. A sample of 16,835 pupils (mean age=10.09 years, SD=0.90) from 137 rural boarding schools in two provinces completed self-report questionnaires on peer victimization, internalized behavior, resilience and self-esteem. The results showed that 16.03% of the students in those rural boarding schools reported having been bullied by their peers. The reported percentage of peer victimization in these schools is much higher than in day schools revealed in the existing literature. Although the percentage was higher in males (18.46%) than females (13.42%), and higher in the 4th grade (17.12%) than the 5th grade (14.75%), the differences were not statistically significant. Also, peer victimization was found to be positively associated with students' internalized behavior, even after controlling for the students' gender, age, family background such as one's residence type and parents' educational level. This indicates that students from rural boarding schools may have more serious internalized behavior problems as they were exposed to more frequent and severe bullying. Finally, the analysis results of the moderated mediating model indicated that resilience played a partially mediating role between peer victimization and internalized behavior, and self-esteem moderated the relation between resilience and internalized behavior. In other words, resilience helps to reduce the risk of incurring internalized behavior when students are bullied by their peers, and the protective effect of resilience is stronger for those with higher self-esteem. This suggests that it may be most effective to help those students establish a high self-esteem along with stronger psychological resilience, in order for the students to have better shield against school bullying. The findings of this study are important for a better understanding of how and when peer victimization affect internalized behavior via resilience and self-esteems in rural boarding schools. The article concludes with some measures to reduce the school bullying in rural boarding schools. It also suggests that intervention should focus on developing students' resilience and self-esteem, as well as the relationship between parents and children.
School uniforms can serve important educational functions. Looking at the development of school uniforms worldwide, people tend to have high expectations on the unique educational functions of school uniforms. In terms of educational functions, school uniforms have the following multiple functions:a)consolidating educational order, b) nourishing good morality, c) fostering aesthetic pursuit, and d) cultivating a healthy psychology. However, people in China have not given a full play to the educational functions of school uniforms, with the problems of "three surplus and three lacks". Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen supervision over quality assurance, improve the designs of school uniforms and the fostering of aesthetics, as well as promote the industry of school uniforms as a national brand.
In China, it is generally accepted by many educators that traditional education is teacher-centered, textbook-centered and classroom-centered.Actually, the "Three Center" was first invented during the Cultural Revolution to summarize the teaching practice since the establishment of People's Republic of China. In the debate between the traditional and modern education in the 1980s, the "Three Center" was used by some scholars who opposed the traditional education to characterize traditional education. The so-called "Three Center" partly reflects some propositions of traditional education. Therefore, the term has been widely acknowledged in China. Nowadays, scholars tend to use the "Three Center" based on their objective understanding of traditional education. Consequently, the "Three Center" only represents the three key words in the traditional education theory:teachers, textbooks and classrooms. However, in order to avoid any misunderstanding of the traditional education theory, the concept of "Three Center" should be treated carefully.
With the full implementation of the National Outline for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development, great achievements have been made in China's rural high school education. However, there still exists the unbalanced development between urban and rural areas to some extent. Rural high school education, as amajor concern of China's educational equity, has attracted much attention from all walks of life. It is important to have a better understanding of the complexity of school-running forms and the management system of China's high school education. Moreover, this can help comprehensively evaluate the current situation of rural high school education so that effective measures can be explored to promote the balanced development of urban and rural education.