Hovering Between Educational Ideals and Reality: An Ethnographic Inquiry into Beijing High School CLA Teachers’ Bodily Experiences in Curriculum Change




Wang, Wei

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The eighth educational reform in China is experiencing a critical period. In the implementation process of this New Curriculum Reform (NCR), teachers become the target of criticism for their failure to act on the new ideas of the NCR. This research focuses on the question, “Why teachers accept the ideas of the NCR yet fail to implement these ideas in their daily teaching?” Through reflecting on my own teaching experience and interviewing a group of Chinese Language Arts teachers in a Beijing model high school, I collected qualitative data to create 8 ethnographic stories, showing teachers’ bodily, emotional and intrapersonal experiences that are rarely published in the academic world. Conclusions show that the coexistence of the new and old curriculum systems causes the discordance of school cultures, and teachers are suffering silently. Recommendations are made for researchers returning to teachers’ bodily experiences for solutions that can integrate reform ideals and reality.



China, High school, Educational reform, Body, Bodily experience, Teacher, Fictional ethnography, Auto-ethnography