Wandering in the shadow of egalitarianism and equity: a historical analysis of gifted education in China

  • Tian Fu Capital Normal University
Keywords: gifted education, China, egalitarianism, educational equity


Today there is no need to argue about the importance of gifted and talented children to the development of a nation. In China, an official report in 2010 estimated there were roughly 20 million gifted children, but gifted education has seldom gained sufficient attention. The objections to gifted education always suppress any supportive suggestions in drafting educational policy agenda. Started with a historical analysis of the gifted education programs and policies in China since 1978, this study aims at discovering the main reasons for the gifted education not being well accepted in China from the social and cultural perspectives, concluding that the long-lasting ideology of egalitarianism, the overwhelming pursuit of educational equity of the public and the dominant ideology of socialism significantly hinder the potential discussion of gifted education. Driven by such beliefs, the concept of giftedness and gifted education, the relationship between egalitarianism and elitism and between equity and equality, are often severely misunderstood. Finally, IΓÇÖll propose how gifted education should be framed in the future educational reform scheme.

Author Biography

Tian Fu, Capital Normal University
Assistant Professor, Department of Education Studies, Elementary Education College