Education and Equity in Rural China: A critical introduction for the rural education field.

  • Philip Roberts
  • Emily Hannum University of Pennsylvania


The aim of this paper is to introduce issues pertinent to rural education in China to the rural education field and encourage the field to engage with scholarship on this topic. While there is a significant international body of work on the educational concerns of rural China in the comparative education literature, there is no such attention in the rural education field (outside of China, of course).  A search of the two main international rural education academic journals, the Australian-based ‘Australian and International Journal of Rural Education’ (including its predecessor Education in Rural Australia), and the USA-based ‘Journal of Research in Rural Education’ show no articles dealing with rural education in China. A search of the EBSCO database confirms this lack of attention. Yet, the field of rural education (农村教育, Nongcun Jiaoyu) in China is well-established and very active.