Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny    35 / 22 ℃  City Forecast

Home>>Life & Culture

Education in Zhou & Han Dynasties

(People's Daily Online)

09:35, July 05, 2012

Private School Thriving in the Spring and Autumn Period

In the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC - 476BC), private schools prevailed and many scholars of different schools of thought spread their teaching in this way.

Confucius, the great educator, devoted all his life to the private school system and instructed most students. It is said that over three thousand disciples followed him, among whom there were 72 sages who went on to broaden the acceptance of the philosophy set out by their master - Confucianism: a philosophy embracing benevolence in living, diligence in learning, and so on.

Besides that, other schools such as Taoism, also taught widely and this led afterwards to 'a hundred schools of thought' in the Warring States Period. During the succeeding years, private schools continued to exist although there were times when state education became fashionable.

Recommendation through Observation in the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220)

In 136 BC during the reign of Emperor Wudi (156 BC - 87 BC), the government introduced a system which was named 'taixue'. Usually the students were provided with a free diet and mainly studied the classical Confucian books. Following examinations, those with good marks would directly be given official titles.

In the Han Dynasty there had been no system for testing a person's ability, and the most prevalent method was merely through observation. Officials would see who was intelligent and recommend individuals to their superior. This obviously restricted the source of talented people and did little to provide any kind of equality for the population as a whole. Such a system could only lead to nepotism and corruption and the need for a different means of selection had to be sought.

The Nine Grades of Rank in the Regime System (or Jiupin zhongzheng system), employed the following method: in each state and county there was official acting as 'Zhongzheng' with authority to decide how people were ranked in the local precincts according to ability. By ranking candidates for official positions in this way, the government was able to make a choice of the best people for various posts.

Although it had no relationship originally with family background, the 'Zhongzheng' was himself invariably a member of the upper classes and he would often show partiality to families of dignitaries and other upper class people. Thus the disadvantages gradually became apparent and the system was abolished before long.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:陈乐乐、叶欣)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. 5,300-year-old rare potter figure unearthed

  2. Memory in black and white: Old China

  3. Enjoy waves of Sanniang gulf in China's Guangxi

  4. "Bull fight" event performed in E China

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. China steps up moves in South China Sea
  2. New rules lay foundation for migrant law
  3. Economy on thin ice with suppressed interest rates
  4. China faces long-term regional annoyances
  5. Japan’s space law shift rattles regional nerves
  6. Experts call for an end to dispute over islands
  7. Border conflict laid aside as giants draw closer
  8. Take wait-and-see approach to US sanctions
  9. Money not a panacea for small business problems
  10. 'Global effort needed to fight corruption'

What's happening in China

Three Gorges Dam at full capacity as last generator starts operation

  1. Shandong natives take most seats in reshuffle
  2. MNCs face challenges in China
  3. China's social security funds safe
  4. Chinese girls outperform boys in school
  5. Update of drug list to give doctors more choices

China Features

  1. China will retain a high economic growth
  2. Why Chinese people love luxury goods?
  3. Official puts on airs in prison
  4. Beautiful scenery of Inner Mongolia Grassland
  5. Sharpshooter with excellent skills

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai