Homeschooling among Urban Chinese Protestants: A Descriptive Study

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
Shuqin Yang Associate Professor, Department of Management, Vocational College, Shanghai University of Engineering Science Shanghai, China, 200030

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As individualized education increases in popularity, homeschooling likewise garners more attention from Chinese middle-class families. Over the past decade, the number of families choosing homeschooling has increased annually. However, most homeschooling Chinese Protestants wish to focus on the cultivation of beliefs, character, and values in the education of their children. In their eyes, homeschooling provides the best way to transmit cultural heritage.

Homeschooling brings with it many challenges and difficulties in the daily lives of Chinese Protestants: cross-pressure from traditional Chinese culture systems, opposition from parents and other family members, conflicts with mainstream educational institutions, and power struggles with Chinese secular authorities. Moreover, educational resources, guides, and materials for Chinese homeschooling families are scarce, thus leaving homeschooling families to grope in the dark. The biggest deterrent to them is the disqualification of their children from taking college entrance examinations because homeschooled children lack the requisite status to enroll as official students. Thus, the role conflicts among Chinese, Christian, pariah, and legal deviant statuses pose considerable tensions for parents and children.

This paper offers insight into these issues through qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 50 respondents from urban Chinese Protestant families that had previously been screened through a brief survey instrument.

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