19     Growing Up in China                  


Primary Resources 


Document 19.1

“My Chinese High School” by Zhang Chengyan, 2006

Document 19.2

"Schools and Students in China," a slide show, 2004-2012

Document 19.3

Eye exercise diagram, translated and prepared by Livia Kohn and Kirk Goetchius 

Document 19.4

Excerpts from “The Fight for Education” by Tang Yuankai, in Beijing Review, February 2, 2006

Document 19.5

Essays by Dandelion School students, Beijing 2007, 2012

Document 19.6

American students’ impressions of their stay at the Dandelion School, 2007, 2011

Document 19.7

Excerpts from “Youth Under Pressure” by Zhang Xueying, in China Today, June 2006

Document 19.8

Excerpts from “Growing Expenses” by Lu Rucai, in China Today, June 2006



Supplementary Resources


Item 19.A

Activity chart for Activity 4 



A Closer Look


Dandelion Middle School



Activity Websites


Activity 3

Education for Migrant Children

Yu Jianrong on closing of migrant schools


Activity 4

Education in China


Activity 5

“Battling Gaokao


Suggested Resources 




Fong, Vanessa. Only Hope: Coming of Age Under China’s One-Child Policy. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.

This book by an anthropologist is the first in-depth study of the experiences of the first generation of children born under China’s One-Child Policy.


Ma Yan. The Diary of Ma Yan: The Daily Life of a Chinese Schoolgirl. Ed. Pierre Haski. Trans. Lisa Appignanesi. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.

Written by a young teenager from Zhangjiashu village in Ningxia Province. Ma Yan’s diary covers September through December 2000 and July through December 2001. 




Battling Gaokao, China Daily

A website about National University Entrance Exams. It includes statistics, photos, and articles about gaokao preparations.


China Education and Research Network

A government-supported project that includes statistics, reports, history, laws, and news about China’s education system.


China Prep, Wide Angle, PBS

A companion website to the documentary China Prep with articles, interviews, and further resources about education in China.


Chinese Education: How Do Things Work?

An article from The Open University providing insight into the Chinese education system.


Chengdu Youths Discuss Life in China, NPR

Eight Chinese young adults talk about their hopes and what they want people to know about their country.


Rural Education Action Project

A center at Stanford University dedicated to closing the education gap between urban and rural China. The site includes video documentaries, slideshows, reports, and information about education in China. 




Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China (2010)

Four teens from Hangzhou, China, describe their lives and perspectives about what it means to be a teenager in China in the twenty-first century.


China Prep: Shaping the Next Generation of Chinese Leadership (57 mins; 2009)

This documentary follows five Chinese students in their final year at an elite public high school.


Not One Less (106 mins; 1999)

This film tells the true story of Wei Minzhi, a fourteen-year-old girl who is ordered to a remote impoverished village in Hebei Province to work as the substitute teacher.


One Day in Ping Wei (30 mins, 2004)

New Year in Ping Wei (30 mins; 2005)

Return to Ping Wei (30 mins; 2007)

Filmed entirely on location in Ping Wei, a small village on the banks of the Huai He River within the city limits of Huainan. Follow Liu Yen Twin from age ten to fourteen as she goes to school, celebrates Chinese New Year with her family, and participates in the village’s spring harvest. 



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