Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2013, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 370-383.doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-1016-8

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

China’s geographical regionalization in Chinese secondary school curriculum(1902–2012)

HE Yaqiong, WANG Min   

  1. School of Geography,Beijing Normal University,Beijing 100875,China
  • Received:2012-10-24 Revised:2012-11-29 Online:2013-02-20 Published:2013-02-20


As geographic literacy training is an essential content for Chinese citizens' literacy education,national geographical education is one of the indispensable key aspects of that training.Because of China's vast land area and the significance of the regional differences,it is difficult for students to receive a solid education regarding China's geography.In 1902,the government established the geography curriculum and began to incorporate the concept of geographical regionalization to facilitate the teaching of China's geography by publishing the first syllabi,which was modified later and put into use in 1904.Since 1904,numerous geography textbooks have attempted to find an appropriate way to present China's geographical regionalization,as it is important for secondary students to have a clear understanding and appreciation for the different regional characteristics.Accordingly,the geographical regionalization content is divided into four main phases:1902 to 1927;1928 to 1948;1949 to 1986; and 1986 to the present.During these phases,the content related to China's geographical regionalization in secondary middle school geography textbooks has been gradually simplified and has adopted a more scientific foundation,thus leading to the present time where there are now four geographical regional areas.From this historical study,we find that while China's geographical regionalization has gradually matured,there are still some problems. For example,dividing the study into four regions to describe the panorama of China is too simplified,and the learning therefore becomes too scattered and haphazard,particularly given the new curriculum reform.

Key words: geographical regionalization, secondary school geography curriculum, geography textbook, historical study