Ideopolitical shifts and changes in moral education policy in China

Wing On LEE, Chi Hang HO

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75 Citations (Scopus)


Moral education is always closely associated with politics in China, and the term 'moral education' is often interchangeable with such other terms as ideological and political education. Officially, moral education is seen as an important tool in upholding the socialist nature of the school and society. This paper examines the changing political and ideological orientations in China, and their implications for policy change in moral education since 1978. The paper reports on a case study on The new three character classic movement in Guangdong province, a focal point of opening up. This demonstrates some changes in the orientations of the moral education curriculum, including the growing concern about individual well-being and the moral quality of citizens that would fit with a society that is fast changing under the reform and opening-up policy, and being integrated into the world. It is argued that there is a clear reorientation for moral education to be disassociated from politics, and replaced by an emphasis on personal moral quality, as well as individual well-being, such as psychological health. Copyright © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-431
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


Lee, W. O., & Ho, C. H. (2005). Ideopolitical shifts and changes in moral education policy in China. Journal of Moral Education, 34(4), 413-431.


  • Moral education
  • Political science
  • Ideology
  • Education -- Curricula
  • Ethics
  • Instructional systems


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