Cross-cultural curriculum design in China: reflections on human rights education

Rhona Smith

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This paper will focus on applying a framework of human rights education theory within higher education theories of curriculum development to a discussion of the presenter’s experiences gained during tenure as a visiting professor in a major Chinese university. Part of the (co-funded by the Chinese university and the overseas partner institution) post required the introduction and then standardisation of both syllabi and curriculum within the Law School’s masters’ programme, something which engendered cross-cultural confusion (see generally Yeh 2008). Drawing on theories of curriculum design and teaching and learning (eg Tyler 1949; Mager 1975; Biggs 2009; Entwhistle 2009), this paper will reflect on the experiences of this period. Ultimately satisfactory curriculum and syllabi were finalised and implemented. The programme is continuing to evolve and is becoming regarded as a flagship human rights master’s programme within China, something of an achievement in a country sceptical of human rights education (eg Bjornstol 2009; Oud 2006).
Original languageEnglish
JournalATINER's Conference Paper Series
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2012
EventAthens Institute for Education and Research - Athens
Duration: 3 Aug 2012 → …


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