Like many countries around the world, China has been implementing policies aimed at improving parent-school relationships. However, unlike many developed countries, the historical context of family-school relationships has been limited and parents typically do not participate in the school context. Until now, there has been little research conducted in rural China on parental involvement in their children’s education.

This book investigates the nature of parental involvement in primary children’s education in rural China by using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. It outlines the layered strategies of how rural parents are involved in their children’s schooling, showing that rural parents strongly desire educational success for their children and view education as a means to their children gaining social mobility. It demonstrates that few rural parents engage in visible forms of parental involvement in their children’s schools, such as attending parent-teacher meetings. Rather, they are more likely to engage strategies to support their children’s education which are largely invisible to schools. It adds to the growing body of parental involvement research that suggests that culture, location, and socio-economic status influence different forms of parental involvement, and highlights nuances in invisible forms of parental involvement.

Providing insights into how poor rural parents envision their role with their children, schools, and the larger society, and how these relationships can affect the social mobility of students and families, this book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Asian education, comparative and international education, and Chinese society.

chapter |10 pages


chapter 1|16 pages

Parental involvement and social class in China

Conceptual and theoretical framework

chapter 2|20 pages

What it means to be “rural”

chapter 3|15 pages

Parental hopes and desires

chapter 4|13 pages

Student’s role in their own success

chapter 5|16 pages

Active rural parents’ hidden work

Creating a good learning environment

chapter 6|12 pages

Information network

Support of family and friends

chapter 7|12 pages

Migration for education

chapter |8 pages