Skip to content Skip to navigation

Academic Events

Academic Report | “Xingzhi Education Forum” Opens in the School of Education Science of Nanjing Normal University

“Xingzhi Education Forum" Opens in the School of Education Science of Nanjing Normal University

The origin of the education discipline in Nanjing Normal University can be traced back to the pedagogy course offered at the beginning of the establishment of Sanjiang Normal School in 1902. In 1918, Nanjing Higher Normal College set up a specialty in education, with Tao Xingzhi as its director. In 1919, Nanjing Higher Normal College implemented the elective course system, and the specialized courses of education were divided into two departments: education and psychology. In 1984, Nanjing Normal College was renamed Nanjing Normal University, setting up an Education Department and a scientific research institute of pedagogical sciences, which together constituted the School of Education Science in 1996. In order to carry forward the century-old tradition of Nanjing Higher Normal College and its education discipline as well as the spirit of Xingzhi education, the School of Education Science of Nanjing Normal University (NNU) organized the “Xingzhi Education Forum” in the spring of 2021, aiming to provide a platform for academic exchange and to form a brand of academic activities. On March 20, “Xingzhi Education Forum: Face to Face with the Chief Editor”, the first activity of this forum, was held in Room 404, Tian Jiabing South Building, Suiyuan Campus, NNU. It was hosted by Cheng Tianjun, Dean of the School of Education Science, Director of the Editorial Department of the Journal of Nanjing Normal University, and Executive Editor of the Journal of Nanjing Normal University (Social Science Edition). Representatives of young and middle-aged teachers, masters, and doctoral students from the “post-70s”, “post-80s” and “post-90s” participated in this exchange activity.

From March 25th to 27th, Yin Hongbiao, Professor of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Professor of Southwest University, was invited as the speaker of “Xingzhi Education Forum”, who gave a series of lectures on “Xingzhi Education Forum: Research Methods” in the 602 Lecture Hall of Tian Jiabing South Building. The lecture topics are “The Methodological Debates: QUAN, QUAL, & MMR”, “Qualitative Research: Why and What” and “Quantitative Research: Characteristics and Applications”. The series of lectures were hosted by Dean Cheng Tianjun, Vice Dean Chen Xuejun, and Professor Yang Yue of the School of Education Science. Feng Jianjun, Yi Xiaoming, Sun Caiping, Yao Jijun, Zhang Yongying, Wang Lingyan, Qiao Xuefeng, Chen Qiaoyun, Hua Wei, Ye Xiaoling and other teachers as well as more than 100 master and doctoral students, postdocs, and visiting scholars of the college, participated in the meeting, occupying all the seats.


(Lecturer: Professor Yin Hongbiao)


The first lecture titled “The Methodological Debates: QUAN, QUAL, & MMR” was given by Professor Yin Hongbiao at 9 a.m. on March 25th and presided over by Professor Chen Xuejun, Vice Dean of the School of Education Science. Professor Chen briefly introduced the academic experience and achievements of Professor Yin to the teachers and students and expressed his gratitude and expectation to Professor Yin as the speaker of Xingzhi Education Forum.



Combining with the international cutting-edge research and starting from the international academic debate on promoting the scientific nature of educational research in recent years, Professor Yin sorted out the historical development of the debate between positive science and humanities in the 19th century, the debate between new positivism and social phenomenology in the first half of the 20th century and post-positivism in the second half of the 20th century. He further presented the basis, origin, and development of the research method debate from the epistemological level, and then made a historical-comparative analysis of the characteristics of qualitative research and quantitative research, and introduced the development and shortcomings of the current mixed research.



Subsequently, Professor Yin and the teachers and students present had in-depth interaction and exchange on the technical issues in the research methods, the practical significance of the debate on methodology, etc, creating a warm atmosphere.

The second lecture with the theme of “Qualitative Research: Why and What” was held at 9 a.m. on March 26th, which was chaired by Professor Chen Xuejun, Vice Dean of the School of Education Science.


(Host: Professor Chen Xuejun)


The lecture started with the three research purports of Habermas, in which Professor Yin took life stories as examples and vividly illustrated Habermas’s three worlds (objective world, social world, and subjective world) and their operating and maintaining modes of action. Subsequently, citing the idiom allusion of blind men feeling an elephant, Professor Yin raised the key question of “whether qualitative research can outline the whole story”, and explained how qualitative research should be carried out from the perspective of the hermeneutics cycle. Finally, Professor Yin summarized the qualitative research process with the “3R Road”, namely “Review, Research, and Re-Conceptualize”.



Finally, Professor Yin patiently answered the research puzzles raised by teachers and students present and shared the valuable experience accumulated in the practice of qualitative research over the years, such as the writing of interview outline, the guide words and techniques of interview, and the experience of on-site response, etc. Once again, the teachers and students present were impressed by Professor Yin’s explanation of profound theories in simple language.

The third lecture with the theme of “Quantitative Research: Characteristics and Applications” was held at 9:00 am on March 27th, chaired by Professor Yang Yue from the School of Education Science.


(Host: Professor Yang Yue)


Starting from the traditional scientific needs of quantitative research, Professor Yin combined with Habermas’ theory and took curriculum research as an example to elaborate the problems that should be paid attention to in the process of empirical research. At the same time, he put forward specific suggestions on the use and learning of quantitative research tools. After clarifying the characteristics of quantitative research, Professor Yin took the teacher education in mainland China as an example and explained the application of quantitative research methods with his own research experience, and repeatedly emphasized the importance of theory and logic. Finally, Professor Yin contends that the cultural background of the subjects is an indispensable factor for researchers to analyze quantitative data.



Afterward, Professor Yin and the teachers and students present had in-depth communication and lively interaction on the theoretical, operational, and technical issues of quantitative research.



At the end of the third lecture, Professor Cheng Tianjun, Dean of the School of Education Science of Nanjing Normal University, gave a speech of thanks on behalf of the school. First of all, he regretted and apologized for the delay in hosting and listening to Professor Yin Hongbiao’s wonderful lectures due to other official duties. Then he gave a passionate speech answering the four questions “why is Xingzhi Education Forum”, “why is Professor Yin Hongbiao lecturing”, “why is research method” and “why are there three lectures”. He explained the idea of the Xingzhi education forum and its opening, expressed his admiration for Professor Yin's knowledge, achievements, and dedication, as well as his ardent hope for the students to learn from Professor Yin and do practical research, striving to become great scholars like him! Finally, Professor Cheng Tianjun proposed that all the teachers and students applaud Professor Yin Hongbiao's “three lectures on research methods” for 30 seconds. Thus, the report was successfully concluded in prolonged applause.



Contributing: School of Education Science

Article: Jin Bokun

Li Xiaoxuan

Photos: Chen Yi

Zou Junqiao

Xia Shenghua

WeChat Editing: Gong Botao