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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Chunjiao Jiang and Pengcheng Mao

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Si-shu, a traditional form of local, private education grounded in classical instruction, responded to the rapid modernization…

Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Si-shu, a traditional form of local, private education grounded in classical instruction, responded to the rapid modernization of education during the late Qing dynasty and early Republic of China and to explain why these schools, once extraordinarily adaptable, finally disappeared.

Design/methodology/approach:

The authors have examined both primary and secondary sources, including government reports, education yearbooks, professional annals, public archives, and published research to analyze the social, political and institutional changes that reshaped Si-shu in the context of China's late-19th- and early-20th-century educational modernization.

Findings:

Si-shu went through four stages of institutional change during the last century. First, they faced increased competition from new-style (westernized) schools during the late Qing dynasty. Second, they engaged in a process of intense self-reform, particularly after the Xinhai Revolution of 1911. Third, they were marginalized by the new educational systems of the Republic of China, especially the Renxu School System of 1922 and the Wuchen School System of 1928. Finally, after the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, they were considered remnants of feudal culture and forcibly replaced by modern schools.

Originality/value:

This paper brings hitherto unexplored Chinese sources to an English-speaking audience in an effort to shed new light on the history of traditional Chinese education. The fate of Si-shu was part of the larger modernization of Chinese education – a development that had both advantages and disadvantages.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Kang Zhao

Some studies have claimed that Chinese thinker Hu Shi (or Hu Shih) received and responded to John Dewey's educational ideas only at a theoretical level and did little for…

Abstract

Purpose

Some studies have claimed that Chinese thinker Hu Shi (or Hu Shih) received and responded to John Dewey's educational ideas only at a theoretical level and did little for education at a practical level. This paper reexamines Hu's reception of Dewey's ideas with a focus on how he used those ideas to solve China's educational and social problems during the late 1910s and 1920s.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws upon what Schriewer (2012) has called “theories of reception.” Rather than focusing on the international dissemination of ideas and knowledge, this approach emphasizes the reception of foreign ideas from the perspective and needs of the receiver, interpreter and/or reader who apprehends such ideas within a particular socio–cultural context.

Findings

This paper finds that Hu not only received — and examined — Dewey's educational ideas in a systematic way, but also used them pragmatically to reform China's systems of education as part of the New Culture Movement after 1919.

Originality/value

This research offers a new understanding of Hu's reception of Dewey's educational ideas. It shows that Hu was not merely a “thinker” in the field of education but also a “doer” who sought to apply Dewey's ideas in practice. This new view allows us to reevaluate Hu's role in the modernization of Chinese education.

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2021

Adam Nelson and Wang Huimin

Abstract

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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