Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Gerald M. Mager

Second Advisor

Patricia P. Tinto


Chinese education, Curriculum reform;, mathematics education, reform implementation

Subject Categories



Based on a four-month fieldwork in two local schools, Pioneer School and Merits School, in China, the study explores how local schools and parents responded to the Chinese New Mathematics Curriculum Reform. The study found that the schools responded to the reform out of school people's practical concerns as well the established school cultures. Meanwhile, schools' implementation decisions were mediated by the interpretation powers of local educational authorities. Merits School arrived at the two-faces strategy to implement the reform. Pioneer School managed to maintain a balance between promoting reform pedagogies and employing examination-oriented approaches. Both schools marginally involved parents in the implementation of the reform. This study suggests that to achieve successful reformers need to place equal emphasis on the transformation of teachers as well as local policymakers. Future studies may employ quantitative research methods and investigate in larger scale how schools in China enact the reform to date.


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