This book examines minban teacher policies and their implementation in China between 1949 and 2000, when rural areas were in severe shortage of qualified teachers. During this period of time, minban teachers made great contributions to education, doing the same work as state-employed school teachers while receiving much lower salaries due to non-official status.

With solid fieldwork on oral history of minban teachers and policy actors and deep examination of a wealth of policy documents in private and governmental archives, the author records the life history of minban teachers, the process of minban teacher policies, and the interaction between policies and individual strategies in M county (pseudonym), located in northern Jiangsu province of China. The book reveals many interesting and sometimes surprising findings about the characteristics of educational policy implementation in China.

While China’s minban teacher policies have come to an end, rural education continues to be a major concern of policymakers and researchers alike. The book is an important piece of scholarship for the readers interested in rural education in China, and in how state, society, and culture interact to influence teacher policies and management in the Chinese context.