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Tianjun Cheng Professor

Academic Area: 
  • Sociology of Education
  • Principle of Education
Research Interests: 
  • Sociology of Education
  • Political Sociology of Schooling
  • Ritual and Education
  • Educational Policy Studies
  • Historical Sociology of Education Reform/Change

Educational Background

  • Visiting Scholar, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013-2014)
  • Ph.D., Sociology of Education, Nanjing Normal University (2007)
  • M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, Hunan Normal University (2004)

Research Projects

  1. 2015-2018    Theoretical Construction and Practial Exploration of ‘New’ Edcuation Equality - Project of Excellent Innovation Teams of Philosophy and Social Sciences at Colleges & Universities in Jiangsu, by Jiangsu Province Department of Education.
  2. 2013-2015    A Study on Policy Support for Education Reform & Development - New Century Excellent Talents Supporting Plan of Ministry of Education, China
  3. 2013-2014    Project of Jiangsu Province Government Scholarship for Overseas Studies
  4. 2012-2015    ‘New’ Policy Studies on  Education Reform - ‘Qing-Lan’ Project of Jiangsu Province, by Jiangsu Province Department of Education
  5. 2012-2015    ‘100 Youth Leading Talents Project, by Nanjing Normal University
  6. 2011-2015    100 Years of Chinese Sociology of Education: Process, Progress, and Prospect - Project of Special Funds for Authors of National Excellent Dissertations Award, by Ministry of Education, China
  7. 2010-2013    Research on the Disciplinary Development of Chinese Sociology of Education - Jiangsu Province Social Science Fund Project, by Jiangsu Province Social Science Funds

Journal Articles (selected)

  1. Fei Zhou & Tianjun Cheng (forthcoming). Gender Gap of Educational Expectations in Chinese Junior High School Students: An Analysis of the Effects of Parents' Educational Involvement.
  2. Tianjun Cheng & Menghan Lv (forthcoming). ‘De-Administrating’: Policy Support for Implementing & Enlarging the Autonaomy of Running Universities.
  3. Tianjun Cheng (2016). From Sociology of‘Education and Society’ to Sociology of ‘Schooled Society’: Paradigm shift in the Sociology of Education. 3rd BNU Forum on Sociology of Education / 6th BLCU Forum on International Cultural Studies - Insititutions and New Formations of Cuture: Observations and Dialogue, Jun. 24-25, Beijing.
  4. Tianjun Cheng & Yongkang Li (2016). Campus Security: Grim Situation, Crucial Reasons and Policy Support. Educational Research and Experiment, No. 1, Wuhan.
  5. Tianjun Cheng & Dong Chen (2015). Autonomy or Attachment: Province & Ministry Co-construction Universities Stuck in Trouble. Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 36, No. 5, Wuhan.
  6. Tianjun Cheng (2014). 100 Years of Sociology of Education in China, Process, Progress and Prospect: A Brief Analysis Based on the Disciplinary Theory. 67th Annual Conference Proceedings of Japanese Sociology of education, Sep. 9-10, Tokyo.
  7. Tianjun Cheng (2014). From ‘Purism’ to Pragmatism’: A New Direction of Methodology in the Sociology of Education. Educational Research and Experiment, No. 1, Wuhan.
  8. Tianjun Cheng & Yongkang Li (2014). The Campus Security Problems in China and Its Policy References: Taking School Uniforms, School Meals, School Buildings & School Buses as Examples. Educational Research, No. 7, Beijing.
  9. Tianjun Cheng (2014). Joining, Assorting, and Coordinating: The Points of Policy Supports on Educational Reform & Development. Journal of Educational Studies, No. 4, Beijing.
  10. Tianjun Cheng (2014). From ‘Social Turning’ to ‘Social Transformation’: An Introduction to the Modernization of Education and Human. Journal of Educational Science of Hunan Normal University, No. 4, Changsha.
  11. Tianjun Cheng (2014). Taking Education as Politics: From ‘Revolutionary Peking University’ to ‘Party Doctrine Education’. Journal of Nanjing Normal University (Social Science Edition), No. 4, Nanjing.
  12. Tianjun Cheng & Xiaolu Chen (2014). Orders in Disorders: Schooling and Tutoring Moving toward Each Other, A Sociological Analysis of the Outside-School ‘Tutoring Fever’Journal of Educational Studies, No. 1, Beijing.
  13. Tianjun Cheng & Huan Wang (2014). From ‘Text to the Countryside’ to ‘Text up to the city’: The Rise and Fall of Rural Primary Schools in China. Education Research Monthly, No. 8, Nanchang.
  14. Tianjun Cheng (2013). The Value-Free Sociology of Education: A ‘One or All’ Issue of SOE, A Meta-Analysis Based on the Conception of ‘Value Neutrality’. Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 34, No. 6, Wuhan.
  15. Tianjun Cheng (2012). Assuming in the World of Existence: A Review of ‘Living in the World of Assumption’. Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 33, No.11, Wuhan.
  16. Tianjun Cheng (2012). Transformation of Education Reform and Policy Adjustment: Views Based on the Educational Reform Experiences in Mainland China since 1949. Peking University Education Review, Vol. 10, No. 4, Beijing.
  17. Tianjun Cheng (2012). Transformation of Education Reforms: From Those as Political-Economic Reforms to Those as Social-Cultural Ones. Journal of Educational Science of Hunan Normal University, Vol. 11, No. 2, Changsha
  18. Tianjun Cheng (2011). 100 Years of Chinese Sociology of Education: A Summary of Its Disciplinary Theories. Peking University Education Review, Vol. 9, No. 4, Beijing.
  19. Tianjun Cheng (2011). Three Questions for Education Reforms. Educational Research and Experiment, No. 5, Wuhan.
  20. Tianjun Cheng (2010). The Interweavement between Value Neutrality and Value Relevance: An Immanent Anxiety in the Disciplinary Nature of the Sociology of Education. Educational Research, No. 12, Beijing.
  21. Tianjun Cheng (2010). Is Sociology of Education Really the Sociology of ‘Education and Society’? :From‘Teaching Points’ to ‘Teaching Difficulties’Educational Research and Experiment, No. 4, Wuhan.
  22. Tianjun Cheng (2010). Schools Where Teachers Work: Homeland for Teacher ‘Professionalization’Theory and Practice of Education, Vol. 30, No. 12, Taiyuan.
  23. Tianjun Cheng (2010). No Aim in Education? Children-Centered? Suspicions on Two Important Propositions about John Dewey. Studies in Preschool Education, No. 6, 2010, Changsha.
  24. Tianjun Cheng (2010). Symbol of Power & Status: Social Logic of the School-Opening Ceremony. Theory and Practice of Education, Vol. 30, No. 1, Taiyuan.
  25. Tianjun Cheng (2009). Social Logic of Graduation Ceremony: A Ritual of Status Elevation. Educational Research and Experiment, No. 1, Wuhan.
  26. Tianjun Cheng (2009). Representation of History and the State Politics. Journal of Educational Science of Hunan Normal University, Vol. 8, No. 5, Changsha
  27. Tianjun Cheng (2008). Sociology of Classroom (1): Perspectives Review. Theory and Practice of Education, Vol. 28, No. 8, Taiyuan.
  28. Tianjun Cheng (2008). Sociology of Classroom (2): An Alternative Perspective. Theory and Practice of Education, Vol. 28, No. 9, Taiyuan.
  29. Tianjun Cheng (2008). Distinctions between China & West or Differences between Ancient & Current? A Possible Trap Surrounding the‘Localization’Methodology. Educational Research and Experiment, No. 1, Wuhan.
  30. Tianjun Cheng (2007). The Development Achievements and Living Difficulties of the Sociology of Education. Educational Research and Experiment, No. 1, Wuhan.
  31. Tianjun Cheng (2007). The Historical Context and Future Orientation of ‘Quality Education’: On the Evolution of P. R. China’s Educational Aims. Theory and Practice of Education, Vol. 27, No. 2, Taiyuan.
  32. Tianjun Cheng (2007). The End of the View of ‘Theory Determining Practice’: Restating the Relationship between Educational Theory & Practice Based on the Reflexive Sociology. Theory and Practice of Education, Vol. 27, No. 11, Taiyuan.
  33. Tianjun Cheng (2007). Scholastic Fallacy & God’s Words: Another Kind of ‘Originality’ in Some Educational Researches. Education Science Forum, No. 3, Chengdu.
  34. Tianjun Cheng & Kangning Wu (2006). Three Paradoxes in the Current Pedagogical Researches. Educational Research, No. 8, Beijing.
  35. Tianjun Cheng (2006). Instruction/Teaching at the Age of Information: A Sociological Perspective. Educational Research and Experiment, No. 2, Wuhan.
  36. Tianjun Cheng (2006). Separation or/and Complementation: The Relationship of Disciplinary Branches of Educational Sciences. Journal of Hebei Normal University (Educational Science Edition), Vol.8, No. 4, Shijiazhuang.
  37. Tianjun Cheng (2006). Why Students Can’t Pose Questions FreelyGlobal Education, Vol. 35, No. 4, Shanghai.
  38. Tianjun Cheng (2006). Curriculum: ‘Private Event’ or ‘Legal Knowledge’? Curriculum Concept Restated from a Sociological View. Educational Science Research, No. 6, Beijing.
  39. Tianjun Cheng (2005). Infinitely Small Details and Infinitely Great Power: A Sociological Analysis of Schooling Discipline and Its Daily Routines. Contemporary Educational Science, No. 6, Jinan.
  40. Tianjun Cheng & Xinyu Yang (2005). On ‘Sanction’ and Its Practical Function for Classroom Administration: A Perspective of Social Anthropology. Journal of Educational Science of Hunan Normal University,Vol. 8, No. 5, Changsha.
  41. Tianjun Cheng (2005). Teacher’s Social Roles: A Comparison Among Three Theoretical Perspectives. Theory and Practice of Education, Vol. 25, No. 11, Taiyuan.
  42. Tianjun Cheng (2005). On the Implementation Conditions & Strategies of School-Based Teacher Training. Educational Science Research, No. 5, Beijing.
  43. Yaowu Liu & Tianjun Cheng (2004). Further Inquiry into the Rationality of School-Based Teacher Training. Educational Research, No. 8, Beijing.
  44. Tianjun Cheng (2003). How the ‘Poor Students’ Are MadeA Sociological Analysis Based on Teaching Process. Educational Science Research, No. 4, Beijing.


  1. Tianjun Cheng (forthcoming). 100 Years of Chinese Sociology of Education: Process, Progress, and Prospect. Beijing: People's Publishing House.
  2. Tianjun Cheng (2008). The Birth of ‘the Communist Successors’: Towards a Political Sociology of Schooling. Nanjing: Nanjing Normal University Press.
  3. Tianjun Cheng & Kangning Wu (2008). Report on the Development of Philosophy and Social Sciences in Chinese Colleges and Universities (1978-2008), Pedagogy. Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press. 

Honors and Awards

  • 2016    Elected to the 1st Level of ‘Project 333’, by Jiangsu Province
  • 2015    Awarded Chang Jiang Scholars Distinguished Professor, by Ministry of Education, China
  • 2012    Awarded New Century Excellent Talent, by Ministry of Education, China
  • 2011    Won the First Prize of 11th Excellent Achievements of Philosophy & Social Sciences in Jiangsu Province - The Birth of ‘the Communist Successors’: Towards a Political Sociology of Schooling (monograph), by Jiangsu Province Government
  • 2010    Won National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award of China - The Birth of ‘the Communist Successors’: A Study on Political Rituals in Schooling (doctoral dissertation), by Ministry of Education and Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council, China

Academic Titles

  • Chang Jiang Scholars Distinguished Professor, China
  • Vice President, Chinese Association for Sociology of Education
  • Director, Center for Sociology of Education at Nanjing Normal University
  • Professor of Sociology of Education, School of Education, Nanjing Normal University


109 School of Education, Nanjing Normal University

122 Ninghai Road, Nanjing 210097, Jiangsu Provice, China