Between 1919–1920, while giving a series of speeches in China, John Dewey raised a doubt about Chinese education: Can Chinese education cultivate children with independent consciousness? Based on the sevenyear “Reciprocal Learning in Teacher Education and School Education between Canada and China” project, we have the answer to Dewey’s doubt. In the 1990s, Chinese education could not respond affirmatively to Dewey’s question, but after forty years of reform and development, Chinese education has taken a big step forward in cultivating children with independent consciousness. However, Canada’s school education is, at present, better at cultivating self-determined and independent children in daily life, organically integrating teaching knowledge and cultivating students, and encouraging the structured teaching characterized in the reciprocal learning project as “the forest and the trees.” The teaching framework of different disciplines in Chinese school education has more obvious constraints on education and teaching. Although the current Chinese education, from the grassroots to the government, has begun to try to break the shackles of the “discipline framework” and explore new possibilities, at the present time, it solely uses western concepts and ideological framework to conduct its own practice, especially with respect to Dewey’s experience theory. China needs to contribute its own distinctive educational concept and ideological framework, so it can truly “find a place in the world.”

Available for download on Saturday, June 24, 2023