In response to the nation’s economic and agricultural system reform, Chinese agricultural schools have begun the transformation from academic institutions to vocational and technical education. Significant efforts have been made to reform the curricula, as it is the key element needed for the formation of the new educational system. Prior to the nation’s reform starting in 1978, the curriculum in agricultural schools was theoretical information based and the instruction was teacher-centered. Students usually had little involvement in teaching and learning. In addition, the value of practical “hands-on” experiences in agricultural education had been neglected. During the past decade new ideas and approaches in curriculum development and instruction have been gradually incorporated into the agricultural vocational education through new policy initiatives and a pilot project launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations during 1994-1998. The decentralization is one major feature of these changes.


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