John Dewey, Liang Shuming, and China's Education Reform

John Dewey, Liang Shuming, and China's Education Reform : Cultivating Individuality

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This book addresses an often-ignored theme in the mission of the current Chinese education reform: cultivating students' individuality as a foundation of learning. Moreover, it tries to revive the Confucian tradition of self-cultivation while building a connection with the western idea of individuality to provide a meaningful resource for the current reform of Chinese more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.67g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739147927
  • 9780739147924
  • 2,109,813

Review quote

This book combines a succinct philosophical stance with practical implications to address China's modern transition and education reform. The author is driven by a quest for inclusive individuality amidst far-reaching social changes. Readers are invited to engage in the dialogue with Dewey, Liang and the author to consider the tensions between Confucian tradition and westernization, and between individualism and community living. As I read the book I was captivated by the author's passionate quest, beginning with the discovery of an absence of the self in her own schooling despite her having met all the demands for high achievement. Despite the speed of social, economic, and cultural changes being widely felt, this book has made a valuable contribution to understanding ongoing continuities...[T]he author presents a salient thesis to highlight the critical difference between a self conducted process of being transformed and a self-transformation process...While the book has opened up many avenues for meaningful intellectual and practical journeying, the conclusion has come back to the vision for China's education reform with a clear critique of the dominant social culture of exclusive success, which undoubtedly carries global significance for the moral development of all educators in our global village. Frontiers of Education in China In 1899 John Dewey declared, 'It is radical conditions which have changed, and only an equally radical change in education suffices.' In this insightful, poignant, and important new book Huajun Zhang responds to Dewey's call in the context of her own radically changing Chinese society, eschewing both the mindless conformity to tradition or the uncritical embrace of the new so common in contemporary educational discourse in favor of a synthesis that might rescue and sustain the continuity of the self in the midst of rapid and profound social change. This is comparative philosophy of education at its finest. -- Jeff Milligan, Florida State University This vivid narrative draws on core ideas from John Dewey and Liang Shuming, China's last Confucian, to develop the concept of an inclusive individuality that can root the self at a time of rapid social change across our globe. Zhang provides a bridge between the educational worlds of China and North America, highlighting profound lessons that can be learned from each side in a dialogue across civilizations. It is an essential read for all those who wish to understand an emerging China. -- Ruth Hayhoe Ph.D, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto This is a unique and timely book about Chinese education, and about education overall. In the drive for competitive edge and "success" in the material world, the true purpose of education, and the true purpose of our living a life, is lost. Education should help us realize who we are, in terms of our authentic unique self, and also in terms of our larger inclusive social self. This process involves intelligence, inner struggles, self-enlightenment, and new pedagogical strategies. This book helps us to ponder educational reforms in China, but also other challenges in education throughout the world. The dialogue between John Dewey and Liang Shuming shows that cultivating our individuality involves many layers: the inner and outer, self and selfless, and self-transformation and social transformation are intricately intertwined. -- Jin Ling, University of Marylandshow more

About Huajun Zhang

Huajun Zhang got her PhD in education at Florida State University. She is currently an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University. She commits herself to educating thoughtful teachers through her teaching and research. She is also working on the practice of philosophy in teacher education more

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Individuality in the Rapidly Changing Chinese Society Chapter 2: The Conception of Individuality in Chinese History: Exploring the Ideal Person for a Modern Society Chapter 3: Initiating a Dialogue with John Dewey and Liang Shuming on Individuality Chapter 4: Cultivating Individuality: A Dialogue with John Dewey and Liang Shuming Chapter 5: Cultivating a Unique but Inclusive Individuality Chapter 6: Cultivating Individuality: Narrative as Pedagogy Chapter 7: Cultivating Individuality: A Vision for China's Education Reformshow more