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ERIC Number: ED530286
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb-28
Pages: 240
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-7748-2176-6
A School in Every Village: Educational Reform in a Northeast China County, 1904-31. Contemporary Chinese Studies Series
VanderVen, Elizabeth R.
University of British Columbia Press
In the early 1900s, the Qing dynasty implemented a series of institutional reforms to shore up its power. The most important were a nationwide school system and the abolition of the centuries-old civil examinations. "A School in Every Village" recounts how villagers and local state officials in Haicheng County enacted orders to establish rural primary schools from 1904 to 1931. In the process, it also addresses topics central to scholarly debates on modern China, including modernization, state making, gender, and the impact of Western ideas on local society. Elizabeth VanderVen draws on untapped archival materials to overturn received notions about the modernity-tradition binary in Chinese history and about the Chinese state as an unwelcome operator in local society. What emerges is a dynamic portrait of interaction and cooperation among state officials, local officials, and villagers, who played a vital role in establishing schools, for both boys and girls, in their communities. Although the Communists, contemporary observers, and more recent scholarship have all depicted rural society as feudal and backward and the educational reforms of the early twentieth century a failure, VanderVen's provocative study reveals that local communities were capable of integrating foreign ideas and models into a system that was at once traditional and modern, Chinese and Western.
University of British Columbia Press. 2029 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada. Tel: 877-377-9378; Tel: 604-822-5959; Fax: 604-822-6083; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China