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Chronicle of Major Educational Policies of China (1997-1999)IV
A Record of Educational Policies
Li Haisheng

A Record of Educational Policies ¨C A Review of Recommendations Brought Forward by International Bureau of Education (UN)

 Located in Geneva of Switzerland, the International Bureau of Education was a private organization when it was established in 1925, which, however, after many nations signed the constitution on conducting international cooperation in education in July of 1929, gradually became an independent inter-governmental organization with Jean Piaget as its first director. An agreement signed in 1947 nudged the International Bureau of Education and UNESCO towards rewarding cooperation, among which stood out the International Conference on Education convened jointly by the two organizations. In 1968, the two organizations signed a new agreement on making the International Bureau of Education a part of UNESCO from 1969. The International Bureau of Education, however, still enjoys high autonomy in academic studies as well as functions after becoming a part of UNESCO.

 One of the major tasks fulfilled by the International Bureau of Education was to convene the International Conference on Education which, starting from 1934 when the 3rd Conference was held, started the practice of offering recommendations to ministries of education of participating nations for consideration. Initially, 3 suggestions were brought forward in the conference held in early years and the number of suggestions was then reduced to 2 in the conference conducted in the following years. After 1970, only 1 suggestion was adopted by the conference. However, starting from 1994, the 44th and 45th International Conference on Education brought forward the Declaration instead of Recommendation to exhibit participating nations¡¯ commitment to as well as determination of pressing ahead with the educational development. The below is the list of recommendations ever adopted since the International Bureau of Education was established, from which we could, apart from gaining a clear understanding that the history of educational reform was nothing but a record of changes and development in educational policies, keep track of the educational development as well as the evolution of educational ideologies.

 Checklist of IBE Recommendations 

No.1: compulsory education and an older age for finishing schools (1934)

 No.2: enrollment of secondary schools (1934)

 No.3: expense reduction in public education (1934)

 No.4: professional training for primary school teachers (1935)

 No.5: professional training for middle school teachers (1935)

 No.6: public education committee (1935)

 No.7: organizations for special schools (1936)

 No.8: organizations for education in rural areas (1936)

 No.9: legislation of schoolhouse building (1936)

 No.10: school superintendence (1937)

 No.11: modern language education (1937)

 No.12: psychological education in the training of primary and middle school teachers (1937)

 No.13: standards of salaries for primary school teachers (1938)

 No.14: classical language education (1938)

 No.15: compilation, use and selection of textbooks (1938)

 No.16: standards of salaries for middle school teachers (1939)

 No.17: organizations for preschool education (1939)

 No.18: geography education in middle schools (1939)

 No.19: equal opportunities for secondary education (1946)

 No. 20: hygienic education in primary and middle schools (1946)

 No.21: free supply of school facilities (1947)

 No.22: physical education in middle schools (1947)

 No.23: calligraphy education (1948)

 No. 24: cultivation of international understanding spirit and education of knowledge about international organizations (1948)

 No. 25: development of psychological services in education (1949)

 No. 26: geography education as a tool for cultivating a spirit of international understanding (1949)

 No.27: education of natural sciences in primary schools (1949)

 No.28: reading education (1949)

 No.29: international exchanges among teachers (1950)

 No.30: handicraft art education in middle schools (1950)

 No.31: elementary course of mathematics in primary schools (1950)

 No.32: compulsory education as well as a extended period of the education (1951)

 No.33: school dining and school uniform (1951)

 No.34: education for women (1952)

 No.35: education of natural sciences in middle schools (1952)

 No.36: training of primary school teachers (1953)

 No.37: the status of primary school teachers (1953)

 No.38: training of middle school teachers (1954)

 No.39: the status of middle school teachers (1954)

 No. 40: educational finance (1955)

 No. 41: arts education in primary and middle schools (1955)

 No. 42: school superintendence (1956)

 No. 43: mathematics education in middle schools (1956)

 No. 44: expansion of schoolhouses (1957)

 No. 45: training of agents in charge of training primary school teachers (1957)

 No. 46: preparation and offering of courses in primary schools (1958)

 No. 47: educational facilities in rural areas (1958)

 No. 48: preparation, selection and use of textbooks in primary schools (1959)

 No.49: measures for increasing facilities for employment and training of scientific and technical agents (1959)

 No. 50: preparation and offering of courses in common secondary schools (1960)

 No.51: organizations for special education of retarded children (1960)

 No.52: primary schools with just one teacher (1961)

 No.53: organizations for preschool education (1961)

 No.54: educational planning (1962)

 No.55: on-the-job training of primary school teachers (1962)

 No.56: organizations in charge of educational and vocational supervision (1963)

 No.57: efforts to overcome problems caused by inadequacy of primary school teachers (1963)

 No.58: literacy program and adult education (1965)

 No.59: modern foreign language education in middle schools (1965)

 No.60: educational research organizations (1966)

 No.61: foreign teachers (1966)

 No.62: shortage of middle school teachers (1967)

 No.63: health education in primary schools (1967)

 No.64: international understanding education as part of curriculum and school life (1968)

 No.65: research on campus surroundings (1968)

 No.66: improvement of the educational system¡¯s efficiency by reducing waste at various levels of education (1970)

 No.67: students¡¯ surroundings as well as their chance of success in schools (1971)

 No.68: the relations among education, training and employment and the purpose, content and structure of secondary education in particular (1973)

 No.69: the changes in homework assigned by teachers as well as their impact upon the program preparation and on-the-job training (1975)

 No.70: international standard classification of education (1975)

 No.71: issues of information at national and international levels brought forward due to the improvement upon the educational system (1977)

 No.72: improving the organization and administration of educational system as means of enhancing its efficiency to expand the right of education (1979)

 No.73: interaction of education and productive labor (1981)

 No.74: approaching the promotion and reform of elementary education from proper elementary education of science and technology (1984)

 No.75: improving the purpose, structure, content and methods of secondary education (1986)

 No.76: diversification of postsecondary education aimed at adapting to the demands of employment (1989)

 No.77: literacy program: policies, strategies and plans of actions taken in 1990s (1990)

 No.78: the contribution of education to cultural development (1992)

 No.79: the summarization and the prospects of international understanding education (1994)

 No.80: strengthening the role played by teaches in education in a world featured by dramatic changes (1996)


The author is a professor of Research Institute of International Comparative Education of East China Normal University.

  • Chronicle of Major Educational Policies of China (1997-1999)I
  • Chronicle of Major Educational Policies of China (1997-1999)II
  • Chronicle of Major Educational Policies of China (1997-1999)III

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