A textbook example of changes in China – Joseph Kahn

From the International Herald Tribune:

When high school students in Shanghai crack their this fall, they may be in for a surprise. The new standard world text drops wars, dynasties and Communist revolutions in favor of colorful tutorials on economics, technology, social customs and globalization.

Socialism has been reduced to a single, short chapter in the senior high school history course. Chinese communism prior to economic reform in 1979 is covered in a sentence. The text mentions Mao only once, in a chapter on etiquette.

Nearly overnight, the country’s most prosperous schools have shelved the Marxist template that dominated standard history texts since the 1950s. The changes passed high-level scrutiny, the authors say, and are part of a broader effort to promote a more stable, less violent view of Chinese history that serves today’s economic and political goals.

Supporters say the overhaul enlivens mandatory history courses for junior and senior high school students and better prepares them for life in the real world. [Full Text]

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