History of education in China
|History of China|
|Xia Dynasty c. 2100–c. 1600 BCE|
|Shang Dynasty c. 1600–c. 1046 BCE|
|Zhou Dynasty c. 1045–256 BCE|
|Spring and Autumn period|
|Warring States period|
|Qin Dynasty 221 BCE–206 BCE|
|Han Dynasty 206 BCE–220 CE|
|Three Kingdoms 220–280|
|Wei, Shu and Wu|
|Jin Dynasty 265–420|
|Western Jin||16 Kingdoms
|Southern and Northern Dynasties
|Sui Dynasty 581–618|
|Tang Dynasty 618–907|
|(Second Zhou 690–705)|
|5 Dynasties and
|Northern Song||W. Xia|
|Yuan Dynasty 1271–1368|
|Ming Dynasty 1368–1644|
|Qing Dynasty 1644–1911|
|Republic of China 1912–1949|
China on Taiwan
The history of education in China began with the birth of Chinese civilization. The nobles often set up the educational establishments for their offsprings. Establishment of the civil service examinations (advocated in the Warring States period, originated in Han, founded in Tang) was instrumental in transition from the aristocratic to meritocratic government.
Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties
The schools to teach the youth nobles were divided into "lower" and upper. The government founded five national schools to educate Six Arts of junior nobles.
Hundred Schools of Thought
At that time, numerous different schools enrolled the students. The most famous one was the Confucianism and its leader Confucius was seen as the founder of education for the masses. One of his sayings was "Provide education for all people without discrimination". Another was "Teach according to the student's ability".
The different schools were often organized into political entities to gain social influence. The most strict system of education belonged to Mohists. Rival scholars were invited to courts; governmental sponsorship led to the development of the first Chinese academies. Importance of education and respect to the teachers was stressed in the Annals of Lü Buwei.
In the 200's BC, Qin Shi Huang favored Legalism (Chinese philosophy),and regarded others as either dangerous to his rule or useless,so he carried out burning of books and burying of scholars. He suppressed all non-state official ideas. Similar to ancient Greece and Rome, the patriarchal nature of Qin society meant that women were usually not educated and stayed home to do housework.
Emperor Wu of Han favored Confucianism and made it as the national educational doctrine. In 124 bc, The Origins of Statecraft in China, was set up to turn out civil servant for the state, which taught the Five Classics of Confucianism. The traditional Chinese attitude towards education followed Mencius's advice that "Those who labor with their minds govern others; those who labor with their strength are governed by others." Students selected by the magistrates from the provinces could study for a chance to gain a government post upon mastering a classic. By 25 CE, the Taixue had an enrollment of 30,000 students, 7,000 faculty, 240 buildings, and 1,850 rooms. Confucian scholars set up their private schools as well.
Meanwhile art school Pear Garden appeared in early 8th century, and in 1178 national military school was set up.
Early modern period
Imperial examination began at 605, which required the competitors to pass their local cutting score before the final examination in the capital. So the private school prevailed. White Deer Grotto Academy and Donglin Academy were their models.
Education in the Qing Dynasty was dominated by provincial academies, which did not charge tuition and gave stipends to preselected students. They were dedicated to the pursuit of independent study in the classics and literature, rather than preparation for governance, as in the imperial academies. Professors rarely lectured students, instead offering advice and criticizing research.
The near total neglect of engineering, mathematics, and other applied science education by the state contributed to a vast gap in military power between China and the European empires, as shown by the Opium Wars, Sino–French War, etc. In response, the Qing embarked on a self-strengthening movement, founding the Tongwen Guan in 1861, which hired foreign faculty to teach European languages, mathematics, astronomy and chemistry. In 1898, Peking University was founded, with a curriculum designed on the Japanese system. In 1905, the imperial examination was abolished.
The New Culture Movement of 1919 was a reaction against the Chinese government's emphasis on technical knowledge, and resulted in a new enthusiasm for theoretical knowledge, but with a focus on Western philosophy rather than Confucianism. Education was mostly decentralized in this period, since China was politically disunited, with Chinese warlords and foreign imperialists, especially the Japanese, occupying significant chunks of Chinese territory.
Regardless of the difficulties China met, several universities were recognized for keeping academic and education excellence during this time period. The so-called Famous four universities were especially well documented during war period, namely the National Central University, the Wuhan University, the Zhejiang University, and the National Southwestern Associated University.
After the 1949 Chinese Revolution, the Communist authorities condemned excessive study of the humanities and social sciences, considering them wasteful and deleterious to China's industrialization. The Chinese Academy of Sciences was set up the same year that the Communists came into power. Education was reformed on the Soviet model, and small engineering departments were amalgamated into giant polytechnic institutes, such as Tsinghua University and Tianjin University. Education became highly specialized, with students studying subjects like "railway bridge construction".
- Imperial examination
- Guozijian (Imperial Academies)
- Academies (China)
- Hanlin Academy
- Hsu, Immanuel (July–September 1964). The Reorganisation of Higher Education in Communist China, 1949-61 (19). The China Quarterly. pp. 128–160.
- "武大校史之信步杂谈". Retrieved 2012-03-21.
References and further reading
- General Studies
- Suzanne Pepper, Radicalism and Education Reform in 20th-Century China: The Search for an Ideal Development Model (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996). History of social and political reform using schools.
- John F. Cleverley, The Schooling of China: Tradition and Modernity in Chinese Education (North Sydney, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin; 2nd, 1991)
- Traditional China
- Benjamin A. Elman,Alexander Woodside, eds., Education and Society in Late Imperial China, 1600-1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). Scholarly articles.
- Thomas H. C. Lee, Education in Traditional China: A History (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2000) Google Books  ISBN 9004103635.
- Evelyn Sakakida Rawski, Education and Popular Literacy in Ch'ing China (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979). Shows that rates of literacy in the Qing dynasty were far higher than had been thought.
- Modernization and Westernization, 1860-1949
- Charles W. Hayford, "Literacy Movements in Modern China," in Harvey Graff and Robert Arnove, ed., Literacy Movements in Historical Perspective (New York; London, 1987), 147-171
- Ruth Hayhoe Marianne Bastid, China's Education and the Industrialized World: Studies in Cultural Transfer (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1987).
- Ruth Hayhoe, Education and Modernization: The Chinese Experience (Oxford; New York: Pergamon Press; 1st, 1992)
- Jessie Gregory Lutz, China and the Christian Colleges, 1850-1950 (Ithaca,: Cornell University Press, 1971). The growth and influence of thirteen colleges founded by Protestant missionaries.
- Suzanne Pepper, Radicalism and Education Reform in 20th-Century China: The Search for an Ideal Development Model (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996)
- James Riordan, Robin Jones. Sport and Physical Education in China (London ; New York: E & FN Spon, 1999).
- Educational Exchange
- Cheng Li, Bridging Minds across the Pacific: U.S.-China Educational Exchanges, 1978-2003 (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2005)
- Hongshan Li, U.S. - China Educational Exchange: State, Society, and Intercultural Relations, 1905-1950 (Piscataway: Rutgers University Press, 2007).
- Edward J.M. Rhoads, Stepping Forth into the World the Chinese Educational Mission to the United States, 1872-81. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Univ Pr, 2011). In depth study of the Chinese Educational Mission led by Yung Wing.
- The People’s Republic, 1949-
- Howard Gardner, To Open Minds: Chinese Clues to the Dilemma of Contemporary American Education (New York: Basic Books, 1989). The observations of a leading American educationist who visited China in the 1980s and ascribed the effectiveness of Chinese education to underlying cultural attitudes and political choices.
- Emily Hannum and Albert Par, eds.,. Education and Reform in China. London ; New York: Routledge, Critical Asian Scholarship, 2007. xx, 282 p.p. ISBN 0415770955 Google Book . Comprehensive collection of articles on finance and access under reform; schools, teachers, literacy, and educational quality under market reforms after the death of Mao in 1976.
- Shi Ming Hu Eli Seifman, eds. Toward a New World Outlook: A Documentary History of Education in the People's Republic of China, 1949-1976 (New York: AMS Press, 1976)
- Xiufang Wang. Education in China since 1976. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2003. ISBN 0786413948 9780786413942. Google Book 
- Xiulan Zhang, ed.,. China's Education Development and Policy, 1978-2008. Leiden; Boston: Brill, Social Scientific Studies in Reform Era China, 2011. xix, 480 pp. ISBN 9789004188150 Google Book  Translations of articles by specialists in the PRC on policy making; early childhood education; basic education; special education; vocational education; ethnic minority education; private education.
- Ruth Hayhoe, China's Universities and the Open Door (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1989)
- Julia Kwong, Chinese Education in Transition: Prelude to the Cultural Revolution (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1979)
- Heidi A. Ross, China Learns English: Language Teaching and Social Change in the People's Republic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993)
- Jonathan Unger, Education under Mao: Class and Competition in Canton Schools, 1960-1980 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982)
- Jing Lin, Education in Post-Mao China (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1993)