Journal of Basic Education


2008.第17卷第2期(Vol. 17 No. 2).pp. 77–96


Changes to Citizenship Education at the Primary Level Under the New Curriculum Reform: Comparison of Social Studies Textbooks

王文嵐(Wenlan WANG)





Using the methods of frequency analysis and textbook analysis, this study compares the changes to citizenship education delivered by two sets of social studies textbooks published before and after the New Curriculum Reform in Mainland China by the People’s Education Press. Results indicate that some salient changes took place both in the relative proportion and content composition of citizenship education. Specifically, the content involving citizenship education increased from 28% to 52.5% in the new textbooks. In the old textbooks, citizenship education focused mainly at the level of national identity, but in the new textbooks, citizenship education expanded to cover aspects like freedom, rights, responsibilities and active engagement. However, in the new textbooks, the interpretation and analysis of the nature of citizenship would need to be treated in much greater depth before a more comprehensive understanding of what it means to be a citizen can be manifested.