Educational philosophy – East, West, and beyond: A reading and discussion of Xueji

Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (5):442-451 (2017)
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Abstract

This article analyzes Xueji and discusses some of the myths and facts in Western perceptions of Chinese educational practice. It also looks at the similarities and contrasts between Eastern and Western conceptions of teaching and learning. A careful study of Xueji will help in understanding some common Western misunderstandings and misperceptions of Chinese pedagogic practices, in particular, the views that Chinese educational practices and ideas are authoritarian, encourage obedience to authority over individual inquiry, promote memorization over comprehension, and are non-individualized to the point of encouraging uniformity over diversity. A better understanding of the classical Chinese approach to learning and teaching will foster a deeper understanding of the nature of pedagogic practices. Such an understanding will enable us to make a better assessment of the similarities and differences between Chinese and Western conceptions of learning and teaching with a view to sharing ideas from both cultural and philosophical perspectives. Throughout the discussion, this article will seek insights for teaching and learning today in a global context.

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