Affective Education in China's Guangzhou: A Case Study
While affective domain is believed globally to be one of the main areas of human experience and development, affective education is interpreted differently in different countries, and its manifestation varies from region to region. It is argued that affective education is culturally contextualized. The present paper reports a qualitative case study attempting to investigate how affective education is conceptualized and implemented in contemporary China. A middle school in Guangzhou-the biggest city in South China was chosen as the case school. The study was conducted via semi-structured interviews (both individual and group), analysis of textbooks and school documents, and on-site observations. Findings show that perceived aims and content of affective education were closely related to character formation, traditional Chinese values and political ideology. Affective education was also interpreted as a response to rapid social changes in modern China. These findings highlight the influences of Chinese cultural values and political ideology on the conceptualization and interpretation of affective education. Our findings suggest that affective education from the Chinese perspective is 'value-oriented' rather than 'affect-oriented' and it serves as the means to promote the well being of the collective rather than that of the individual.
Keywords: Affect, Affective Education, Guangzhou, China
Kai Yuen Cheng
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong
Eadaoin K. P. Hui
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong