Legislation and educational change: the struggle for social justice and quality in China's compulsory schooling
Whether a law can bring about change has been an important topic of debate in the literatures of law, sociology and education. With reference to the 2006 revision of compulsory schooling legislation in China, this article examines the functions and limits of the use of law to effect educational change. It explores why and how China continues to rely on instrumental use of the law to bring about change and rectify problems that the previous legislation did not. The article shows that law can be used as a tool for social justice that helps defend children's right to access basic quality education. However, the realization of legislative change requires favourable economic, social and/or cultural conditions, the support of extra-legal means and a concerted effort by all actors in interpreting and enforcing the law.
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