Special Topics

EADM 498.3/892.3 - History and Administration of Education in China

This course traces major trends in Chinese educational development from ancient origins to contemporary systems. The purpose of this course is to increase our understanding of how political and cultural contexts influence the purposes, design, and operations of the public education and school system in China. The content is designed to provide a basis for further in-depth study of concepts and processes in educational settings within the People’s Republic of China and in Canada. The class will be conducted in a combined seminar and school visitation format, and will require students to participate in and lead discussions and activities on a regular and frequent basis. Given the comparative nature of this course, we welcome every opportunity for students to apply what they are reading and thinking about to their work contexts. We ask students to share these insights throughout the class.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for this course for more information.

The Department of Educational Administration welcomes students, friends, and partners to participate in this opportunity.  Please contact Dr David Burgess for more details at eadm.inquiries@usask.ca

Frequently Asked Questions about EADM 498.3/892.3

Any undergraduate student in the College of Education may take EADM 498.3 for credit toward their program as an elective. If you take this course, you are not disqualified from taking the graduate level EADM 892.3 offering in the future.

Any graduate student in the College of Graduate Studies and Research (including all students within any of Educational Administration, Educational Foundations, Educational Psychology and Special Education, and Curriculum Studies) may take EADM 892.3 for credit toward their graduate program as an elective. If you take this course, you are not disqualified from taking another special topics course with the EADM 892.3 designation in the future.
The University of Saskatchewan has oddly listed this course within 2015 Term 2. As a result, registration is now available. The CRN for this course is 31940.
Yes. Under the "Western Deans' Agreement," students from other Universities in western Canada may take this course for credit. Consult your own institution for details.
Yes. Spouses, partners, and friends of students in either the undergraduate or graduate section may travel with the group. These individuals are not required to register in the course, and are not required to pay tuition fees to the University of Saskatchewan. However, all activities of the group should be considered mandatory—including the visiting of schools and attendance at lectures provided by faculty of Tianjin Normal University.

More information about the itinerary will be provided as it becomes available.  In any given year, the scheduling of an offering of this course is linked to the point in March or April when Easter falls.  Occationally, this interrupts the end of academic Term 2.  As an example, given the timing of Easter in 2015, participation required that students seek out alternate arrangements for completion of end of term 2 classes and/or exams. It is most typical that the group will leave Canada on the Thursday immediately before Good Friday (arriving in Beijing on Good Friday) and the main schedule would return an individual to Canada on the evening of the Monday or Tuesday, twelve or thirteen days later.  

NB: For the information of interested participants, the following was the proposed itinerary for the April 2015 offering. Please consider the plan below as tentative and subject to change in any other year.

2015.04.02 (Thursday)

  • Depart Saskatoon for Vancouver
  • Depart Vancouver for Beijing on Air Canada

2015.04.03 (Friday)

  • Arrive in Beijing from Vancouver at about 12:00.
  • Settle in Jinglun Hotel (京伦饭店)
  • Dinner at Quanjude Roasted Duck Restaurant (全聚德烤鸭店)
  • Evening Rest at Hotel

2015.04.04 (Saturday)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit the Summer Palace
  • Lunch near the Summer Palace
  • Afternoon visit Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City
  • Dinner at Fangshan Restaurant (Tian’anmen) – a traditional royal style restaurant
  • Evening attend China National Acrobat Troupe at the Chaoyang Theatre

2015.04.05 (Sunday)

2015.04.06 (Monday)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit Temple of Heaven
  • Travel to Tianjin by High Speed Train
  • Settle in Jinbin International Hotel (天津晋滨国际大酒店)
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon lectures to introduce an overview of the education system in China and the school curriculum in Tianjin.
  • Dinner near Culture Street Market
  • Evening view Tianjin sights from Haihe River Night Cruise

2015.04.07 (Tuesday)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit schools in Tianjin
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon lecture overview of examination system and University entrance and degree programming in teacher preparation and graduate studies
  • Dinner
  • Evening rest

2015.04.08 (Wednesday)

2015.04.09 (Thursday)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit rural school outside of Tianjin
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Tianjin Normal University main campus
  • Dinner 
  • Rest at Hotel

2015.04.10 (Friday)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit schools in Tianjin
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon depart for Xi'an by air
  • Afternoon settle in Grand New World Hotel Xi'an (古都新世界大酒店)
  • Walking tour of Ancient City Wall
  • Dinner
  • Evening visit Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

2015.04.11 (Saturday)

2015.04.12 (Sunday)

2015.04.13 (Monday)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning return to Beijing by air for departure to Vancouver later that day on Air Canada
Three additional days in Beijing are optional following the official trip and will not be included within the cost package.
Participants should think of fees in terms of four "baskets."  First, all participants are required to pay for their own airfare to and from Beijing.  Second, all participants are required to pay the program fee, which covers all accommodations, meals, inland transportation, and entry fees to all exhibits and events from the moment one steps off the aircraft in Beijing until returned to Beijing airport at the end of the tour. This cost in 2015 is $2600 (double occupancy) and $3100 (single occupancy).  Third, all participants are responsible for their own spending money for souvenirs and other incidentals.  Fourth, only students are required to pay tuition to the University of Saskatchewan.
The preferred Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Beijing is AC029 (Thursday before Good Friday), and from Beijing to Vancouver is AC030 (Monday or Tuesday, twelve or thirteen days later). If you are planning to take advantage of the extra three days in Beijing, the recommended departure flight to Vancouver is also AC030 but departing three days later. If you elect to fly on another airline, you will need to ensure that you arrive in Beijing in advance of the preferred Air Canada flight—to ensure transfer to the hotel from the airport—otherwise, you will be responsible for your own transportation to the hotel in Beijing.  Air Canada flights may be booked by a travel agent or on Air Canada's website.
All program fees are required by March 1, of the year in which the tour takes place.  Only cheques in this amount, cut in the name of "University of Saskatchewan" and received by the Department Secretary in Educational Administration, will be accepted.  Receipts will be made available.  After March 1, a $500 deposit is non-refundable.
Yes. All Canadians traveling to China require a valid passport with an expiry date not less than six months after arrival date in China (i.e., the expiry date in your passport must be no earlier than October 2 in the year of travel to China—if it is, you will be required to apply for and have a new passport issued by the Government of Canada).  All Canadian citizens require a travel visa to enter China, issued by Chinese Consular Officials before arrival in Beijing.  The process can appear convoluted, and specific details with respect to the organization of travel visas will be provided.
Yes.  Students may make their way to Beijing or other parts of China (or the world) from Beijing on the final day of the tour.  Please make arrangements such that you will depart Beijing with time to spare following our arrival from Xi'an on the final day.
Yes.  Dr Burgess often remains in Beijing for three extra days following the class/tour.  If you are interested in tagging along, please contact him and more information about hotel bookings and other possible opportunities/events/places to visit.
Scholarship funding may be available to students interested in this opportunity.  Please consult this website for more information.

The Saskatoon Health Region provides information for travellers regarding vaccinations.  Please consider that SHR recommends vaccination for travel to China for the following: Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B.  More information may be found at their website.

Additionally, toilet paper and soap are rarely available in public washrooms (including those used by patrons of public buildings).  Consider bringing small packages of tissue and hand sanitizer—this may also be purchased at a pharmacy in China.

Hotels rarely have facecloths available in the rooms.  Consider bringing a facecloth of your own.  Complementary shampoo, soap, and bottled water is available in hotel rooms.  Tap water is occasionally potable, but it is recommended that you use the bottled water provided to drink and brush your teeth.

The weather in Beijing and Tianjin will be similar at this time of year to the weather in Saskatoon.  Consider bringing clothing appropriate for early spring -- some of our time will be outdoors.  You may want to bring rain protection.  Average temperatures in Beijing and Tianjin in April (listed in the order of low then high) are 7°C - 20°C; for Xi'an they are 9°C - 21°C.
Feel comfortable wearing regular day wear for tour days and times.  For times when we meet for lectures or to visit schools, please consider dressing semi-formal.  There will be a few more-formal dinners—please bring at least one ensemble to accommodate this.  Please bring a good pair of walking shoes.
Electricity is at 220 volts/50 hz.  This means that you need to check your devices for their limits.  Feel free bringing your electrical products (if they have a manufacturer's "brick" converter) and laptops.  Others have successfully plugged "two prong" North American cords into the walls in China.  We should have internet access throughout the trip.  The speed of connection may vary—"skyping" is possible from China.  Due to Chinese law, some websites are either not easily accessible or outright banned.

The Chinese currency is officially called the yuan (元), but almost everyone in China colloquially calls it the kuai (块). The counterfeiting of 50 and 100 bills is a major problem.  If you exchange travellers cheques at a bank, you will want to ask the teller to check for counterfeit bills. If you are selective about the banks you use, the risk of receiving a counterfeit bill is next to zero. Most Chinese ATMs will allow you to withdraw from your account in a Canadian bank.  Your bank in Canada may charge a fee—so may the ATM in China.  Rarely is there a requirement to visit a bank office—but each past experience has been very straightforward and positive.  Visa and bank-issued ATM cards may only be used at banks or street ATMs, VISA is rarely accepted in shops, and certainly not by street or kiosk vendors.  If you want to bring US$ in cash to exchange, you can expect that the bills will be rubbed and examined many times over, perhaps by many people, before the exchange is made.  Do not expect shops to accept non-Chinese currency.  Travellers cheques are also exchanged at hotels.

ATM cards occasionally require 4- and occasionally require 6-digit pin numbers.  It is recommended that a four digit pin number be used; if the Chinese ATM requires six digits, simply add two zeros to the end of your four digit pin at the time of use in China.

The exchange rate for CAN$1.00 is about 5 to 6.

All of China is in the same timezone (UTC +8).  When it is noon in China, it is 10:00 pm the night before in Saskatoon.
Please be aware that facilities in China do not always meet stadards found in Canada.  Commentary about the quality of toilets, for example, made in the presence of our Chinese hosts is neither appropriate nor helpful.  Please remember that our Chinese hosts work very hard to help you in any way they can; sometimes comments made in jest about facilities or personal needs do not translate as such and superfelous efforts or unnecessary embarrasment/anxiety results.