University of Oulu

Understanding comparison of vocational education in China and Finland by Chinese educators

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Author: Zhou, Xiangxiang1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : X. Zhou, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-06-04
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Lehtomäki, Elina
Reviewer: Lampinen, Johanna
Lehtomäki, Elina
Finnish PISA success leads to Chinese fascination towards this exotic educational and innovative utopia. Delegations from different parts of China fly to Finland, aiming to find out the secret behind the success of Finnish education. High quality overseas training program for delegations of educators facilitates Chinese educational leaders’ comparison of Finnish education system and reflection on their own ideas, values and practices; therefore boost the potential cooperation between these two countries. However, little is known about the meaningfulness of visiting educational leaders’ learning, delegations’ comparisons and reflections during or after attending the training program, and to which extent these findings are useful to their practice back in China. This study aimed to explore how Chinese educators from Jiangxi province compared vocational education in China and Finland during their study visit. The investigation started with fifteen semi-structured interviews from the second week of their stay in Oulu, Finland. Analysing data was concerned with understanding of the social and cultural factors that produced educators’ way of comparisons. Furthermore, a critical analysis was adopted by the author to examine the assumptions and effects of their comparisons and how this training program provided by Finnish educational institutions served delegation’s way of comparison. To answer the above questions, interview date was presented in three parts: 1) current issues in Chinese vocational education; 2) comparisons made by the delegation; and 3) reflections and suggestions related to Chinese-Finnish collaboration on vocational education; and three gaps were drawn up from discussing with the data: 1) space between what delegation of educators learned and didn’t grasp during their visit; 2) space between advanced concepts and ideas and practical limitations; and 3) space for ethical leadership to solve real-life dilemmas. When vocational education has been recently highlighted in Team Finland’s education export business opportunities to China, it can be assumed that it is essential for Finnish exporters to understand incoming Chinese delegations’ situation, considerations and needs. A future study on following up with this group of delegation after the author get back to China will be a good complement to the current study.
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