© 2015

Teacher Mediated Agency in Educational Reform in China

  • Offers insights on teacher agency as a factor in reforming the English as a Foreign Language curriculum in China

  • Provides a theoretical framework for analyzing teacher agency from a developmental perspective

  • Argues that curriculum reform in China needs to shift from top-down policies to bottom-up implementation


Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 3)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Hongzhi Yang
    Pages 1-12
  3. Hongzhi Yang
    Pages 43-84
  4. Hongzhi Yang
    Pages 85-117
  5. Hongzhi Yang
    Pages 187-204
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 205-213

About this book


This book examines teacher agency in implementing English as a Foreign Language (EFL) curriculum reform in the Chinese university context. It theorizes the concept of teacher agency from a sociocultural theory perspective and draws on a study conducted in a conservative and less developed area in China. The book uses Engeström's activity theory and Vygotsky's concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) to understand the nature and extent of teacher agency in adapting one’s teaching with respect to beliefs, knowledge, and instructional practices. The study concludes that curriculum reform in China needs to shift from reliance on 'top-down' policies to 'bottom-up' implementation that mobilizes local understandings and practices. One of the implications of this study is that transformative teacher education programs aimed at developing teacher pedagogical agency require that teachers have ongoing opportunities to design, develop, and evaluate curriculum-based mediational means.


Engeström activity theory English curriculum reform in China Vygotsky concept of ZDP curriculum-based mediation empowering teachers in pedagogical innovation teacher agency, beliefs, knowledge, instructional practices teacher roles in curriculum reform top-down policies, bottom-up implementation zone of proximal development

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Teacher Mediated Agency in Educational Reform in China
  • Authors Hongzhi Yang
  • Series Title English Language Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title English Language Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-15924-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-34964-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-15925-6
  • Series ISSN 2213-6967
  • Series E-ISSN 2213-6975
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 213
  • Number of Illustrations 14 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Language Education
    Curriculum Studies
    Sociology of Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site