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Overview of School of Education Science, Nanjing Normal University

School of Education Science, Nanjing Normal University enjoys long history, solid academic foundation, distinctive disciplinary characteristics and glorious culture. Its origin can be traced back to 1902, when educational programs were established in Sanjiang Normal College. During the following decades, it evolved as Nanjing Advanced Normal School. In May 1918, the faculty of teacher education was established and one of the most renowned educators, Mr. Tao Xingzhi, was the director of the faculty at that time. In August 1919, Mr Chen Heqin went back from abroad and worked as a lecturer in Nanjing Advanced Normal School. In July 1952, due to the nationwide restructuring of colleges and universities by the Ministry of Education, the school was renamed Nanjing Normal College, where faculty of education and faculty of early childhood education were established. Ever since 1982, the following programs have been added to school education and preschool education, namely early childhood teacher education program, school in-service teacher education program, institutional administration program and primary school teacher training and preschool teacher training programs. In 1984, Nanjing Normal College was renamed Nanjing Normal University, where Faculty of Education and Institute for Education Science were established. In 1985, Faculty of Audio-Visual Education was established (renamed Faculty of Education Technology). In June 1996, Faculty of Education and Institute for Education Science were integrated to the present School of Education Science, Nanjing Normal University. During the disciplinary restructuring in 2005, Faculty of Education Technology was added to School of Education Science.

Over the years, the school has been home to a large group of renowned intellectuals and scholars. Renowned educators Tao Xingzhi, Chen Heqin, Meng Xiancheng, Luo Tingguang and Gao Juefu worked as lecturers at the school. Ever since China’s reform and opening-up, renowned educators Lu Jie and Banhua, as well as a group of distinguished scholars and experts have promoted the academic development, to name a few: Zhu Xiaoman, Wu Kangning, Yang Qiliang and Hu Jianhua. Currently, the Dean of School of Education Science is Professor Gu Jianjun and the Honorary Dean is Professor Lu Jie. The number of faculty and staff totals 133, including 44 professors and 37 associate professors.

The school is composed of 5 faculties, namely, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Preschool Education, Faculty of Education Technology, Faculty of Primary Education, Faculty of Education Administration and Policy Making, as well as various academic institutes and research centers, namely, Institute for Education Science, Institute for Education Theory, Institute for Early Childhood Education, Institute for Curriculum and Pedagogy, Institute for Higher Education, Institute for Technology Education, Institute for School Leadership and Administration, Institute for Primary Education, Institute for Information Education, Institute for Education Information Technology, Institute for Visual Culture, Research Centre for Homeroom Teacher, Research Centre for Aesthetic Education, Centre for Professional Development and Research Centre for Education Assessment and Development. 

The school offers Post-doctoral program (since 1996) and first-level Doctoral’s program (2000)in education, and 12 second-level Doctor’s programs, including educational principle, curriculum and pedagogy, pre-school education, history of education, comparative education, higher education, adult education, professional technology education, education technology, moral education, aesthetic education, school leadership and administration, as well as Doctor of Education program (since 2009). Furthermore, the school offers 13 Master’s program including educational principle and curriculum and pedagogy. It also offers Master of Education in the following five disciplines, namely education administration, preschool education, primary education, science and technology education, modern education technology. The school offers Bachelor’s programs in the following five disciplines, namely, preschool education, primary education, education technology, pedagogy and education administration. The school has 501 undergraduates, 115 doctoral students, 457 full-time postgraduates and 132 part-time postgraduates.

There are 2 disciplines accorded national key discipline status, one discipline accorded national key (fostering) discipline status, first-level discipline accorded national key (fostering) discipline status, discipline accorded key (fostering) discipline status by Jiangsu Province. Due to the outstanding academic strength, the school has Institute for Moral Education, a leading research institute of Humanities and Social Sciences by the Ministry of Education, Research Centre for Elementary Curriculum Development by the Ministry of Education, Research and Training Centre for Teaching Instrument and Equipment, Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (UNESCO, Nanjing), Research Centre for Education Sociology at Nanjing Normal University and Centre for Collaborative Innovation in talent nurturing for elementary education. In addition, various academic bodies are attached to the school, such as China Association of Preschool Education, Professional Committee of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Professional Committee of Health Education, Professional Committee of Moral Education in China Education Society, Professional Committee of Education Sociology in China Education Society. 

Based on the idea of "Cultivating innovative personnel with international vision and competitiveness”, the school has won two National Excellent Courses, one National Bilingual Model Courses, two National Excellent Courses for On-line Learning and two National Excellent Courses for Curriculum Resource Sharing. In 1997, the school was among the first group of institution authorized to confer Master of Education; In 2009, the school was authorized to confer Doctor of Education. In the same year, primary education was awarded National Characteristic Discipline. In 2012, pedagogy was awarded Jiangsu Provincial key discipline. In 2014, the school was awarded a Project Funded by the Excellent Preschool Teacher Preparation Program of the Ministry of Education. In 2015, the school was awarded Top-notch Academic Programs Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions. Two doctoral theses were awarded National Hundred Outstanding Doctoral Theses. A number of postgraduate students went abroad to Harvard University, Yale University and Cambridge University, as well as “Project 985” home universities for doctoral study. 

Guided by the principle of “brand strategy in personnel cultivation”, “collaborative innovation strategy”, “school-to-filed collaboration strategy” and “international outreach strategy”, the school has been optimizing the research team to be the one with multiple levels, multiple perspectives and multiple disciplines. It strives to build an advanced academic research platform for producing knowledge in science education, as well as a mechanism of social radiation which is “based on Jiangsu Province and transferrable to the whole nation”. In the past years, the school has won four First Prizes and ten Second Prizes in Provincial Outstanding Research Achievement. Three research projects were listed as the national key projects in Humanities and Social Sciences by the Ministry of Education.

The school also attaches great importance to exchanges with the outside world. It has established good and solid academic links with universities and research institutes in the U.S, Canada, the U.K, Germany, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.

At present, our staff and students are carrying forward the celebrated tradition of “promoting people’s welfare, being people oriented, being dedicated to education and following the authentic principles” founded by Tao Xingzhi and Chen Heqin. We are making joint effort to make our school research oriented with advanced academic standard and distinctive disciplinary strength, as well as the one with both national and global reputation and influence.

(The data in the above text are updated in June 2016)