Educational Inequity and Skill Formation Differences Experienced by Floating Rural Students in the Process of Urbanization: A Case Study from a School Perspective
2. Research Strategy
2.1. Selection of Research Cases
2.2. Data Collection and Analysis
3. Case Presentation and Analysis
3.1. Input: Source of Students and Enrollment at P Middle School
“Our school’s children are all workers’ children, so their families are relatively poor. More than half of the families are poor, and approximately one-third of the families need support in terms of school fees. In terms of parenting methods, guidance, and accompanying children, most children may be lacking.”(Teachers)
“The students we enroll are not very good at their level. Although some children learned English in primary school, when they are in junior high school, they are not very good at writing 26 letters.”(Teachers)
“In recent years, Beijing has begun to concentrate on cleaning up illegal houses, and the number of people renting in Daxing District has decreased. Some families may have left Beijing to go to Hebei. This has actually had a very significant impact on the changes in enrollment numbers in recent years.”(Teachers)
3.2. “Destiny and Pursuit”: P Middle School’s survival strategies
3.2.1. Learning Mechanisms
“I think that is what makes P Middle School so attractive and special. In other words, when we want to volunteer, we will first consider whether the recipient group truly needs help. Therefore, when volunteers choose, they will consider coming to us. There is also a caring community from University A that has established a connection with us for many years, which is a good continuation. Such organizations are rare, and perseverance is invaluable to everyone. Therefore, we welcome such clubs and schools.”(Teachers)
3.2.2. Capability Systems
“We also go to some continuing education schools, but we still do not learn in the same way as public education. Public education actually has a system to accumulate credits. However, we’re just trying to learn. In fact, to be precise, we are not fully integrated into their system by the state.”(Teachers)
“We are in a special industry. We are in a nonprofit organization. The most important thing is that teachers should recognize our school philosophy, be patient and invest energy in education, and be willing to take care of and educate these floating rural students. However, in fact, we are also in the process of finding resources and possibilities. Because teachers have to teach children well, they must also continue to learn.”(Teachers)
3.2.3. Dynamic Mechanisms
“For example, we now have approximately 600,000 yuan a year for heating, and it is actually very difficult to find someone to raise funds. However, for public education, this is a small move in financial allocation. Private education is all self-help with expenses like heating and electricity. Therefore, the pressure on school is truly high.”(A school Leader)
“I think government support is certainly better. Just now we were talking about the chalk in the classroom running out. We might be better off if we did not need to go outside to find resources ourselves. However, we also do not require the government to do everything in one step, which is impossible, and we also want to rely on the help of social forces. Our school is actually picking up the gaps and catching up the education of those children who still have many needs and are not fully covered by the policy. Of course, I also hope to work with the government to do a good job in education.”(A school Leader)
3.2.4. Strategic Paths
“Only those who truly approach the school will realize this problem: what should the child do after elementary school, he does not want to go back and become a left-behind child. Therefore, people in society who care about children’s healthy growth are like this, hoping that there are schools like us to provide children with an opportunity to participate in quality education, so that these children can still have the opportunity to stay with their parents.”(A school Leader)
3.3. Output: Where to Go after Graduation?
“The proportion of students going to key high schools is not very high. They can go to other provinces to find high schools or vocational schools based on their Beijing high school examination results. Although Hebei Province enrolls students from Beijing to participate in the high school examination, Hebei Province still prioritizes enrolling its own students; unless it has the capacity to enroll more students, it can then recruit students from Beijing. Therefore, in fact, there are actually only one or two key high schools in Hebei province that our students can go to, and they are relatively few. Most good high schools actually do not admit them.”(A school Leader)
4.1. “Good Intentions” but “Insufficient Strength”: Who Will Pay for the Educational Dream of Floating Rural Students?
4.2. “Reconcilable Tension”: A Conflict between Market Preferences and Quality Preferences
4.3. “Not Acclimatized” and “Habits of Division”: “Returning Children” in a Tight Institutional Space
5. Policy Implications
5.1. Ensure the Public Welfare of Compulsory Education in Accordance with the Law and Pay Equal Attention to Financial Support and Accountability
5.2. Effectively Strengthen the Construction of Teachers and the Attractiveness of Teacher Positions in Schools for Floating Rural Students
5.3. Coordinate Social Forces to Help Improve the Quality of Talent Training in Schools for Floating Rural Students
5.4. Pay Attention to the Physical and Mental Health and Education of Returning Children
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
- From the annual reports before 2016, we have learned about the basic information of the school, the sources of students and their situation after graduation, the composition of teachers, and some special activities held by the school. I would like to ask, in recent years, what are the major changes in these four aspects?
- Basic information (new school building’s rising costs, government subsidies)
- Where does your school recruit from? What are the criteria for admission? Do you know the further development of students after graduation? How many of the 80% of students who went on to general high school received higher education?
- As students generally come from migrant families, what specific measures have schools taken to establish a good home-school relationship and participate in students’ education?
- The principal once said that the school has accumulated a few good teachers in the development process; so, I want to ask how you recruited and attracted these teachers. We know that the total number of teachers has not changed very much over the years, how is their turnover and how do you motivate teachers to stay in the school for a long time? (Teachers’ salary structure, bonus performance, vocational training, etc.)
- How much subsidies do the government give to school each year, and has it always been so much? What are they probably used for?
- At present, we can only see the school’s information in 2016 from the internet and find that the school’s funding comes more from donations. You have also mentioned that the demand for funds is relatively large for a new building; so, I want to ask whether the structure of funding has changed in recent years. Can you introduce the source of funding (structural stability)? Affected by the epidemic, will there be a certain gap between this year’s donation and previous years? (Additionally, can you provide annual reports after 2016?)
- Where are you from? How long have you been teaching at P Middle School? Why did you choose to be a teacher at P Middle School?
- In addition to the main teaching content, what special courses did you participate in? (Including life education, subject inquiry, differentiated instruction, and school-based curriculum, etc.) Can you introduce them in detail? How did you prepare? How about the effect and students’ feedback?
- We know that the school will provide teachers with the opportunity to participate in high-quality training. How does the school arrange teacher training, teacher research, and professional title evaluation during tenure? Are there differences among teachers at different stages of their professional development in these aspects, and what efforts have you made?
- We notice that there are many volunteers in the school, and some volunteers participate in fixed courses. Why do volunteers need to be involved in long-term teaching?
- Are there many students in your class receiving financial aid? How much is the subsidy? What is the standard of subsidy?
- Where are you from? How long have you been in Beijing? Where did you go to elementary school? How did you get into P Middle School?
- What do you like most about school? For example, what are you satisfied with and what are you not satisfied with (the overall environment, the curriculum, and the relationship with teachers and students)?
- What has been your biggest change since you came to P Middle School?
- You usually have some extracurricular activities, such as interest groups, classroom extensions, and summer (winter) camps. What extracurricular activities have you participated in, what is the most impressive activity, and are there any additional gains to share? Will it affect your usual learning? (What do you do after dinner?) (What is the meaning of short-term volunteering for students?)
- Have you received a scholarship? (If so, when is it usually sent?) What kinds of students are generally awarded scholarships?
- Do you usually contact your parents as you board at school? Do parents know your performance in school? How long have your parents been in Beijing? What kind of work do they do?
- Why did you choose to volunteer at P Middle School?
- Can you comment on P Middle School? Did you have any special feelings during your volunteer service?
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Cao, X.; Ji, S.; Liu, X. Educational Inequity and Skill Formation Differences Experienced by Floating Rural Students in the Process of Urbanization: A Case Study from a School Perspective. Educ. Sci. 2023, 13, 131. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020131
Cao X, Ji S, Liu X. Educational Inequity and Skill Formation Differences Experienced by Floating Rural Students in the Process of Urbanization: A Case Study from a School Perspective. Education Sciences. 2023; 13(2):131. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020131Chicago/Turabian Style
Cao, Xiaojie, Siduo Ji, and Xinqiao Liu. 2023. "Educational Inequity and Skill Formation Differences Experienced by Floating Rural Students in the Process of Urbanization: A Case Study from a School Perspective" Education Sciences 13, no. 2: 131. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020131