UN Report features Chen Shuangye’s and Zhang Wei’s work about Telling China's Education Story


On December 1, 2021, the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO) released its latest report called IIEP in action 2021 Report. Published simultaneously in English, French, and Spanish, this is the official report for UNESCO's 193 Member States. It is presented to the biennial General Conference.

This report informed the UNESCO General Conference of the key projects and results of IIEP's work with ministries of education over the past two years. In particular, the projects illustrated how the work related Education 2030 Agenda and UNESCO priorities, as well as recommendations for education planning for all countries of the world.

A research consultancy report on middle-level leadership in schools in Shanghai, China, written by Professors Chen Shuangye and Zhang Wei from the Faculty of Education, was incorporated into the 2021 report. One of the findings from the report was even quoted directly. Their work is also the only direct quote from one of the six research reports to be included in the 2021 report.

This report is the first such case in the history of the United Nations (UN),  exerting far-reaching international impacts on telling China's story and spreading its voice. The entire project includes six cases on the education systems of India, Jordan, Kenya, Rwanda, China (Shanghai), and the UK (Wales).

In December 2020, the two professors were commissioned by the IIEP-UNESCO to undertake a case study of the middle-tier teaching leaders project in Shanghai, China. In the Shanghai report, they elevated the project's original understanding of scattered, flat middle-tier teaching leadership to middle-tier space of teaching leadership, ingeniously creating a new concept and new expression that bridge China and the world.

It is a clear and vivid manifestation of China's education story and the spirit behind it. The two professors' study also concluded two lessons from the Chinese experience that emphasize the relative strengths of the system: first, independent development and concerted efforts rooted in local forces; second, using systematic power to support accelerate development and educational change.


Author:Xu Xincheng

Editor: Li Mengjie


East China Normal University