PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (5): 557-568.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.05.004

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A review of research on the distribution of basic education resources in China

Hongyan LIU1,2,3(), Wen CHEN1()   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. College of Geographic and Biologic Information, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2016-10-01 Online:2017-05-20 Published:2017-05-20
  • Supported by:
    Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41130750;Philosophical and Social Science Foundation of the Higher Education Institutions of Jiangsu Province, No.2016SJB840001


Unequal allocation of resources is the core problem in the development of China's basic education system, spatially reflected as uneven distributions. Spatial allocation of basic education resources, which is closely related to people's livelihood, social justice, and healthy urbanization of China, has become the research hotspot of many disciplines such as education, economics, sociology, geography, and urban planning. In order to promote research development and application of the subject, this article reviews the development of Chinese research on the distribution of basic education resources and divides it into three stages: exploration stage, deepening stage, and rapid expansion stage. It summarizes the achievements and analyzes the deficiencies of the four major research contents with regard to basic education resources distribution: the characteristics of layout and change in regions and urban and rural areas; the supply and demand factors that influence distribution, including the distribution of school-age population, technical standards of planning, ability and principles of local government's resource allocation that are controlled by education financing system and education policies; the standards and methods of evaluation for spatial equilibrium based on efficiency and fairness; and the effects on population mobility, residential differentiation, and traffic structure change in urban and rural areas. Over the past decade, Chinese studies on the distribution of basic education resources have made great progress, especially in improving models of accessibility analysis and measuring and evaluating resource distribution. However, some problems still exist. Disciplinary integration is inadequate. The current research on spatial features, whose main function is to serve for layout evaluation, lacks analysis on structure and modes. Mechanism investigation based on local characteristics is insufficient. Above all, interdisciplinary methods and techniques should be used in future studies. Long-term follow-up research and systematic analysis based on case studies, political and economic background and influence, regular patterns of spatial structure and change, and the formation mechanism for spatial change by multi-factor integrated impact should receive more attention in studies on resource distribution of basic education.

Key words: basic education resources, distribution, review, China