Council on Anthropology and Education
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Jiexiang Zhao (Sun Yat-sen University)
Chinese education has always been used as a rational tool for social status or upward mobility. Contemporary mainstream education is still influenced by traditional culture and ideology and often falls into the strange circle of examination-oriented education, aiming at training the test achievement and neglecting the cultivation of human body, mind, virtue, feeling and emotion. Some disgruntled parents are looking for alternative education, the focusing on body-mind-spirit Waldorf education is one of the most popular alternative education in modern China. Spirituality is irrational, vague, uncertain, unspeakable to many Waldorf parents, but it is the most important nature of Waldorf education different from other alternative education. By studying a Chinese Waldorf school, this paper tries to show that the focus on spirituality in Waldorf education is the reason why it attracts many parents, but also because of the spiritual theory in education, this kind of education is facing the pressure of stigma and external politics in China. At the same time, this kind of alternative education still can not get rid of the shadow of the rational mainstream education in China, and there is still tension between this education and the current education system in China.