ERIC Number: ED340628
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Theoretical Foundations of Chinese Educational and Intellectual Thought: An Occidental Interpretation.
Smith, Douglas C.
This essay, prepared with the western reader in mind, attempts to provide a general introduction to the foundations of Chinese intellectual and educational thought and to the unique characteristics that helped form Chinese civilization. Specifically, four factors that influence current Chinese society, and that also interplay with two millennia of Chinese education and culture are examined. These factors are: (1) linguistic patterns; (2) Confucianism; (3) the examination system; and (4) family life. The Chinese written language is not alphabetical and relies on thousands of characters or ideographs for the expression of ideas. It is contended that this form of language, which has endured almost unchanged for 2,000 years, is reflective of Chinese civilization and a leading reason behind the Chinese educational legacy. It also is argued that Confucianism, with it's emphasis on human relationships and values and how they may be properly preserved, permeates the Chinese people and their institutions. The civil service examination, which is open, fair, and competitive, has existed for nearly 1,500 years. It has precluded nepotism and favoritism in the appointment of government and state officials and is pointed to as a leading factor in China's peaceful history. Finally, Chinese family life, with its emphasis on orderliness and tradition, is pointed to as playing a major role in the lives of the people and their educational institutions. A 28-item bibliography is included. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; Taiwan