This paper reports on an emerging type of international school, which we refer to as the Chinese internationalized school. This school caters to Chinese citizens and aspires to offer a fusion of national and international curricula. The majority of internationalized schools in China are to be found in large metropolitan centers. Accordingly, the literature has focused on relatively affluent urban centers, such as Shanghai, Suzhou, and Beijing. However, in recent years, internationalized schools have started to emerge outside of metropolitan areas in what have been described as tier-3 and 4 cities, which could also be described as non-urban or rural contexts, due to their remote location and proximity from metropolitan centers. This study adds to the scholarship on internationalized schooling in China by focusing on the struggles that schools in a non-urban contexts are likely to face. Focusing on one school, our interviews with 16 teachers and the school’s principal revealed that the school’s remote location made recruiting students and teachers problematic. Moreover, the effects of COVID-19 compounded this issue, with many prospective students abandoning their plans to study abroad and instead choosing to study in a local school offering the Chinese national curriculum. As a result, the school was forced to recruit students who did not possess the necessary English language ability to access the content of the Cambridge curriculum. This created a washback effect, which impacted on students’ academic achievement, their motivation, and the teaching strategies employed by the teachers. The paper concludes by considering what implications the findings might have for teachers and school leaders in internationalized schools in non-urban contexts. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).
CitationPoole, A., Liujinya, Y., & Yue, S. (2022). “We’re away from everything”: Understanding the struggles faced by internationalized schools in non-urban contexts in China. SAGE Open, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1177/21582440221081026
- International schools
- Chinese internationalized schools
- Professional development