Transition of moral education in China: Towards regulated individualism

Kwok Wah CHEUNG, Suyan PAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


With specific reference to moral education policies enacted by the state of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) between the 1980s and 2005, this article develops the concept of “regulated individualism” to understand how the PRC state copes with the tension between the newly acquired personal autonomy and the bottom line of the socialist collectivism. It demonstrates that regulated individualism can be indicated along four dimensions: the persistence of national education policy in a socialist direction, the creation of legitimacy for the reform of moral education, the broadening scope of moral education, the diversification of methods for moral education and the conditional adjustment of the state-defined individual-collective relationship. This article concludes by discussing the new pattern of individual-collective relationship that differs from traditional collectivism in Mao’s China, conditional autonomy for educational institution, teachers, and students, and the gradual but conditional liberalization in moral education in the context of China’s ongoing economic and educational reforms. Copyright © 2006 citizED.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-50
JournalCitizenship Teaching & Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


Cheung, K. W., & Pan, S. (2006). Transition of moral education in China: Towards regulated individualism. Citizenship Teaching & Learning, 2(2), 37-50.


Dive into the research topics of 'Transition of moral education in China: Towards regulated individualism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.