Live Broadcast Classroom: A Feasible Solution for Chinese Rural Weak Education

Live Broadcast Classroom: A Feasible Solution for Chinese Rural Weak Education

Yuxia Zhou (Nanjing University, Jiangsu, China) and Ying Xiong (Yunnan Normal University, Yunnan, China)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2017070103

Abstract

Inequity between urban and rural education prevalently exists in China. A Lack of qualified teachers is the main reason for disadvantaged education in rural areas. In order to solve this problem, Live Broadcast Classroom was adopted for use in grade 5 English classes. 90 students and 3 teachers of 3 classes from two primary schools in Yunnan Province were selected as participants. As for methodology, quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Results showed it was feasible to use Live Broadcast Classroom in solving the inequity problem in micro-level education (i.e., classroom): the gap between students' scores and attitudes towards English between urban and rural classes was narrowed. Challenges still exist and some suggestions are put forward in the end.
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Introduction

Background

Education inequity is an urgent issue all over the world. A considerable number of empirical studies have shown that education inequity will enlarge the income gap in a society, impairing economic development in turn (Lopez, Thomas, & Wang, 1998) and eventually depreciate overall achievements in a society (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2010).

In China, education inequity mainly exists between rural and urban areas. Although the full implementation of the compulsory education policy has made most of children get access to education, contradictions still exist between the demand and the supply of quality education. To promote the equity of education has become the priority in the compulsory education in China according to “further deepen reform and make balance of compulsory education”, a policy of the State Council (Liu, 2012).

Literature Review

Education inequity exists widely in China due to the lack of qualified teachers in rural areas. Technology and network may bring about new solution, of which Live Broadcast Classroom (hereafter referred to as LBC) is able to provide fast, convenient and live classroom activities performed by quality teachers in urban schools to the classrooms in remote rural schools. The following section will review the literature of education inequity and LBC.

Definition of Education Equity

Education equity was first coined by American philosopher John Rawls. Rawls argued that equal opportunity in an education system has three principles: first, providing equal education support for those who are qualified for education; second, providing ultimate education for everyone; third, providing special education support for disadvantaged groups (Rawls, 1971). Based on these three principles, Farrell further put forward three main equity forms to school education, including opportunity equity, input equity and result equity (Rawls, 1971; Farrell, 1999). Besides, Farrell and other scholars pointed out that education equity has several different dimensions, for example, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender and geographic location (Farrell, 1999; Farrell, 1997; Coleman, 1966; Husén, 1974).

As for the categories of education equity, there are three levels: the macro level, medium level and micro level. Macro equity is mainly reflected in policy and education institutions associated with education rights, opportunity, scale, and structure. Education equity at the medium level includes equity among different areas, schools, and groups, such as school equipment and areas. At the micro level, education equity lies in the equity of curriculum, instruction and evaluation, which influence students’ performance in a classroom (Zhai, 2008). The first two levels of equity involve the educational policy and resource allocation, which are able to influence and be embodied by the micro level equity in a specific classroom.

In general, these different levels of equity are able to cover whole educational processes: input equity such as education opportunity and resource allocation, process equity in teaching and learning, as well as the output equity of students’ learning performance and enrollment.

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