An Analysis of Holistic Education Models in Mainland China’s Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study of College English Curriculum

Yilin Cao, Shangrong Li, Beifei Shen


Over the last four decades, the field of education in mainland China has seen sustained and stable growth. However, the very essence of education has undergone significant changes. In the era spanning from the 1980s to the mid-1990s, the primary aim of education was to serve economic construction and modern development, with a clear emphasis on utilitarian and instrumental characteristics. By the late 1990s, there was a shift towards advocating for quality education that prioritizes the comprehensive development of individuals, gradually embracing the concept of holistic education across the Chinese mainland. College English courses, mandatory for all non-English major undergraduates at Chinese universities, stand as a pivotal component of general education. Amidst the extensive backdrop of educational reform and development in mainland China, college English curriculum have experienced profound changes. The “College English Curriculum Guidelines (2020)” recently released by the Ministry of Education highlights that college English courses possess both instrumental and humanistic dimensions. The instrumental aspect is demonstrated through enhancing students’ comprehensive abilities in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and translating English, while its humanistic core is rooted in a people-oriented approach that celebrates human values and emphasizes the cultivation of comprehensive qualities and overall development. This paper aims to explore the practical model of implementing holistic education within college English curriculum, adhering to the specific requirements of the 2020 guidelines, across four dimensions: curriculum system, instructional approaches, educational resources, and faculty strength.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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