Chengxu Wang (1912 - )

Wang Chengxu

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Wang Chengxu has been Professor of Education at the College of Education, Zhejiang University, China from 1947 to date. Born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu in 1912, he is one of the leading figures in comparative education in the country. Wang is a cornerstone in the establishment and development of comparative education in China, having served as a bridge between foreign education and Chinese education. Among his numerous authored/edited books and journal articles are two important Chinese textbooks that are key references in comparative education in China. The first is a volume co-edited with Zhu Bo and Gu Mingyuan entitled Comparative Education (1982). It was the first post-1949 textbook published during the renaissance of comparative education in the country. The second is the History of Comparative Education (1999). Another major contribution of Wang Chengxu is his translation to Chinese of influential Western educational volumes, including John Dewey's Democracy and Education (1915), Burton Clark's The Higher Education System (1983), as well as classics in comparative education such as Isaac Kandel's The New Era in Education (1955) and Edmund King'sOther Schools and Ours (1979). Wang has also served on journal editorial boards, includingInterchange: A Quarterly Review of Education (Kluwer Academic Publishers) and Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group).

Wang's significant contribution to comparative education was to bridge China and the Anglophone world. His life work tried to forge a deep connection between "the understanding of Chinese educational history and that of Europe, which could lead to lasting and effective reform" (Hayhoe, 2006, p.75) . This is embodied in the significant three-volume work that Wang co-edited with Zhang Ruifan, which rooted comparative education in the history of education world wide, aiming to "start with feet firmly on Chinese soil and look out to educational developments around the world" (Zhang & Wang, 1997, p.3).

During the 60-year period of his academic career (1947 to 2007), Wang has supervised approximately 30 doctoral students and 10 masteral students. Among them, several have become important actors in China's educational reform. In 1993, Professor Wang was conferred the title of Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Education, London University. In 2003, he became a Fellow of APEID-UNESCO (Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development) in recognition of his life-time accomplishment in education innovation in Asia and the Pacific.

Educational Background

B.Ed., National Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China (1936)

Teachers Diploma, Institute of Education, University of London (1940)

M.A. Education, Institute of Education, University of London (1941)

Luce Foundation Visiting Scholar, College of Education, University of Southern California (1985-86).

Professional Background

Lecturer,University of Nottingham, U.K. (1942)

Professor, College of Education, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou. (1947 to present)

Professor of Education, Acting Head of Education Department (1947-52)

Professor of Education, Head of Education Department and Vice-Provost, Zhejiang Teachers College (1952-57)

Professor of Education, Hangzhou University (1958-98)

Director, Centre of Comparative Education of Education Department; Director and Director, Institute of Higher Education, Hangzhou University (1982-98)

Professor of Education, College of Education, New Zhejiang University (1998 to present)

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

Advisory Committee of Regional Cooperation in Education in Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO, Chinese Member (1980-92).

China Society of History of Education, Council Member (1982-).

Chinese Comparative Education Society, Advisor (1979-).

Higher Education Conference of UNESCO in Asia and the Pacific, Chinese Member (1981).

Zhejiang Higher Education Society, Honorary President (1998-).

Selected Publications

Wang, C.; Zhu, B. & Gu, M. (eds.) (1982): Comparative Education. Beijing: People's Education Press.

Wang, C. (1983): A Study Report on Comparative Education in the U.K. and France. Ministry of Education, China.

Wang, C. (ed.) (1985): Foreign Education Section Educational Board, The Chinese Education Encyclopaedia. Beijing: The Encyclopaedia Press.

Wang, C. (1994): 'Some Problems in the Teaching of Comparative Education in China: Perspective from the Development of Comparative Education Discipline Abroad'. In China Comparative Education Society (CCES) (ed.), International Education Prospect and Retrospect: An Anthology on Comparative Education in China. Beijing: People's Education Press, pp.1-9.

Wang, C. (transl.) (1994): Higher Education System (Burton Clark, 1983). Hangzhou: Hangzhou University Press.

Zhang, R. & Wang, C. (eds.) (1997): An Outline of Comparative Chinese and Western History of Education (3 vols.: Ancient, Modern and Contemporary). Jinan: Shandong Education Press.

Wang, C. (1999): History of Comparative Education. Beijing: People's Education Press.

Wang, C. (2000): British Education. Changchun: Jilin Education Press.

Wang, C. (2000): 'IEA and Comparative Education Research'. In Comparative Education Society-Chinese Taipei (ed.), Theory and Practice of Comparative Education. Taipei: Taiwan Publishing House, pp.17-34.

Wang, C. (transl.) (2001): Higher Education Cannot Escape History (Clark Kerr, 1994). In the Translated book series on Western Higher Education (12 Volumes). Zhejiang: Zhejiang Education Press.

Wang, C. (transl.) (2001): Places of enquiry (Burton Clark,1995). In the Translated book series on Western Higher Education (12 Volumes). Zhejiang: Zhejiang Education Press.

Wang, C. (transl.) (2001): The Research Foundations of Graduate Education (Burton Clark, 1993). In the Translated book series onWestern Higher Education (12 Volumes). Zhejiang: Zhejiang Education Press.

Wang, C. (transl.) (2001): Other schools and ours: comparative studies for today (Edmund J. King, 1979). Beijing: People's Education Press.

Wang, C. (transl.) (2001): The new era in education: a comparative study (Isaac L. Kandel, 1955). Beijing: People's Education Press.


Created: 3/17/2008

Updated: 3/17/2008

Contributed By: Fu Shuqiong, Zhejiang University