Philosophy and political education is the study of vital questions about the government, justice, state, politics, liberty, and implementation of legal code by the authority. It is ethics functional in a group of people that discusses how society should be set up and, most importantly, how an individual should act within the society. Throughout history, philosophy and political education have played a central role in the civic community, China's governance, and culture. As China keeps growing, it grapples on developing and modernizing its philosophy and political education while retaining intellectual traditions and values. China has a rich tradition of philosophical with education philosophy as the main feature of traditional Chinese philosophy. One of the first apprehensions of great thinkers such as Zhu Xi, Confucius, and Laozi was the virtue cultivation through education and other cultural means (Shenghong & Dan, 2004). As a discipline in China, the philosophy of education was recognized 100 years ago and later developed rapidly as a taught subject and area of academic research since Chinese scholars who studied abroad brought new ideas and ways of thinking, prompting Western philosophy (Shenghong & Dan, 2004). Chinese political and philosophy of education has transformed, characterized by developments over the years. The primordial Chinese thinkers were neither inflexible traditionalists nor placid evangelists. Instead, they were fascinating and radical thinkers (Hung, 2016).
- What are the political and philosophy education developments from historical to modern perspectives?
- How has the past influenced today's trends in China?
- Why some philosophical and political education developments worked well, but others failed.
- This research seeks to establish the trajectory development of political and philosophy education.
- The research will assess how the past has influenced today's trends in china.
- This research seeks to identify the philosophy and political education transformations that worked well, which failed and why.
Statement of Problem
The concept of Chinese philosophy and political education is indeed elusive and subtle. China has been at the forefront in the application of Philosophical and political thoughts in school since the country is conservative and has maintained traditional philosophical thoughts even in the modern perspective. However, little has been studied on the application of these philosophical and political thoughts in education. Few studies focus on the status of the contemporary view of China's culture basing arguments on philosophy and political ideas by the intellectuals in Ancient China.
Researchers have immensely contributed to the literature by investigating. For instance, Butucea (2015) states that traditional education in China was socially well-thought-out with its primary aim of cultivating rulers and their officials. The knowledge dates back to the warring states, spring and autumn periods, where primary philosophical and political schools such as Confucianism, Taoism, and legalism in ancient China occurred during the warring states (Zhang, 2018). Seung-Koo Jang (2015) identifies Guanzi as one of the earliest developments in philosophy and political education in China. It dates back from the 4th century and presents theoretical writings on political governance in China. Guanzi stipulates that the success of a government can only be attained by following people's wishes. Therefore, Guanzi contributes to the development of philosophy and political education in China by offering versions of governance techniques that are nurturing people and setting standards.
Qiyong (2018) pointed Mohoism as one of the critical political and philosophical education development in contemporary China. This school of thought was initiated by Mozi and promoted universal love with collective benefits for all. Mozi further pointed out that tradition is not consistent, and thus, people need an extra traditional guide to identify acceptable and non-acceptable traditions. Mencius was also part of the contemporary Chinese political and philosophy education, which emphasized the personal code of conduct. A leader should rule passionately, provide, educate, and guide the people he rules, and thus Mencius opposes coercive governance and advocates for human management.
Kim (2020) ascertains Confucianism as the center of philosophy and political education I China from the Han dynasty to the Qing dynasty. Its goal was to serve politics and cultivate individuals for office. Confucianism was vital in nurturing talented individuals who could occupy public offices and instill social order. According to Wang (2018), thinkers in the Han dynasty sought to comprehend and systematize the inheritance from the classical era.
From the modern perspective, Chinese philosophy and political education started integrating elements of Western philosophy in its pursuit of modernization. Since the beginning of the 20th century, China underwent robust transformation through the reconstruction of its cultural, social, economic, and political systems (Dikotter, 2016). John Dewey's philosophies were first introduced, followed by Marxism thoughts (Zhang & Sheese, 2017). Mao Zedong successfully incorporated the Chinese Marxist philosophy, Stalinism, and Marxism (Fanxi, 2020). During the 20th century when China experienced a crisis of cultural self –confidence due to its shattered traditions, many intellectuals advised various solutions for the country’s survival with Zhang Zhidong (1837-1909) encouraging the importation of Western technical and economic knowledge and skills to meet China's practical needs while preserving its traditions. This led to the adoption of Zhang Zhidong's thoughts (Zhang, 2018). Deng Xiaoping thought is regarded as the new stage of Marxist philosophy since it guides ideology in building socialism and Chinese characteristics (Galián, 2019). It lies in the deliverance of the human spirit by emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts (Ouyang, 2001).
Significance of the Study
This study will contribute to creating knowledge and elaborating on the nature of philosophy and political education in China and identifying the contributions of these developments in China's economic, social, and political systems.
Qualitative Research Design
The qualitative research design is primarily a research technique used by the researchers to study human behaviors to explore certain circumstances and trends (Hennink, Hutter, & Bailey, 2020). Qualitative research design is an interactive approach whereby the researchers interact with people either directly indirectly or directly (Patten & Newhart, 2017). In this research, data will be collected through interviews. Qualitative research is an easy-to-plan and flexible technique of analysis that is appropriate on a small scale and large scale (Tracy, 2019).
The target population for the study will include the philosophy professors in the Chinese Universities. The total target population for the study will be 20 respondents from leading educational institutions and ministry.
Questionnaires and Secondary Data
This research will use both primary and secondary data. The surveys will include simple questions systematically assembled in two different parts and will be used to gather data from the participants. Part one will give the respondents demographic information, while part two will consist of simple closed-ended questions. Secondary data will be collected through viable sources such as books, journals, newspapers, magazines, any other relevant secondary reference.
Butucea, M. (2015). Some Daoist ideas–Background for Contemporary Teaching and Education in China. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180, 1569-1573.
Dikötter, F. (2016). The silent revolution: Decollectivization from Below during the Cultural Revolution. The China Quarterly, 227, 796-811.
Fanxi, W. (2020). Sources and Components of Mao Zedong thought. Mao Zedong Thought, 66-85.
Galián, L. (2019). From Marxism to anti-authoritarianism. Communist Parties in the Middle East, 268-281
Hennink, M., Hutter, I., & Bailey, A. (2020). Qualitative research methods. SAGE Publications Limited. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=_InCDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Hennink,+M.,+Hutter,+I.,+%26+Bailey,+A.+(2020).+Qualitative+research+methods.+SAGE+Publications+Limited.+&ots=3teSoTs4kx&sig=aENfx312-ERVRyjYI77WWVARZkc
Hung, R. (2016, July 08). Kaleidoscopic View of Chinese Philosophy of Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2016.1204728Kim, R. (2020). Confucian Moral Psychology and well-being. Confucianism and the Philosophy of Well-Being, 26-48
Shenghong, J., & Dan, J. W. (2004). The Contemporary Development of the Philosophy of Education in Mainland China and Taiwan. Comparative Education, 40(4), 571-581.
Ouyang, K. (2001). Contemporary Development of Marxist philosophy in China. Socialism and Democracy, 15(2), 85-96.
Patten, M. L., & Newhart, M. (2017). Understanding research methods: An overview of the essentials. Taylor & Francis. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315213033
Qiyong, G. U. O. (2018). Studies on Contemporary Chinese Philosophy (1949–2009). Brill. https://brill.com/view/title/25185
Tracy, S. J. (2019). Qualitative research methods: Collection of evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ipOgDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP17&dq=qualitative+research+design+benefits&ots=WuC3m_bxEl&sig=DsXkBP6d8dQgrBR7ir9plpXdOkA
Wang, L. (2018). Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) as an experience of contingency. In Landscapes of the Chinese Soul (pp. 35-56). Routledge.
Zhang, D. (2018). Philosophical Influences on Education in China: Different Schools of Thought on Self-Cultivation. Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 2(3).
Zhang, G. X., & Sheese, R. (2017). 100 of John Dewey and education in China. Journal of Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 16(4), 400-408.
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