By asking two groups of students respectively from a rural school and an urban school in Yunnan Province in Southwest region of China, this research provides a mini-empirical picture of disparities between rural and urban education in the background of the imbalancedeco-social development between rural and urban area in People’s Republic of China.
All the variables in the empirical studies are observed in the field visits, interviews and questionnaire surveys administrated in two lower secondary schools (one rural and one urban school). Field visits and interviews to school leaders provide the visible disparities between two schools and disparities between rural and urban students perceived by school leaders. The analysis of the questionnaires which are completed by selected students from two schools is conducted in two stages:Stage one compares rural and urban students’ home background, social capital, parents’expectation for their education and their own educational aspiration. Students’ own perception of disparities between rural and urban students in home environment and schooling is also highlighted in the survey. The findings of the questionnaire survey reveal that urban students have more advantages in most of the factors investigated in the questionnaire compared to their rural counterparts. Rural and urban students also perceived that urban students are more advantaged in their home and school environment than rural students.
In stage two, the correlation between rural and urban students’ educational aspiration and most of the variables of interests in this survey are examined respectively to explore the factors associated with the rural and urban students’ educational aspiration. The factorscorrelated to rural and urban students’ educational aspirations also show some disparities, e.g.gender and mother’s educational attainment are only significantly correlated with rural students’ educational aspiration.
Key Words: rural students, urban students, disparities, inequity, perceptions