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Viewpoints from Senior Leadership in Junior High School in China: The Conflicts between Double Reduction Policy and Neoliberal Education

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DOI: 10.23977/ICEESR2023.035


Dawei Zheng

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Dawei Zheng


After China’s national reform and opening in the 1980s, the number of students enrolled in Chinese compulsory education has steadily increased. The double reduction policy has significantly impacted how people view education. People’s perception of education. The Chinese government approved establishing the country's first private school to address the rapidly expanding student population during the 1980s and 1990s. This opened neoliberalism and private capital to infiltrate the Chinese educational system. The current neoliberal operation of private and shadow education has had a significant negative impact on educational equity in China. Many studies have been conducted about neoliberalism in the Chinese context and the double reduction policy. However, the former studies are mostly based on students, parents, and teachers, and principals' viewpoints have rarely been taken. Therefore, this research focuses on the voices of private school principals in compulsory education to explore their perception of the double reduction policy and neoliberal education in the Chinese context. The result demonstrates that private school leaders have a positive attitude toward the double reduction policy and are very confident in facing the following challenges caused by the policy. However, private school principals illustrate their negative perceptions of neoliberal education since its nature of marketization and privatization harms Chinese education equity.


Double reduction policy; Neoliberal education; Junior high school; China

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