A Cultural Overview of Education in Sinic Civilization

Authored by: Guofang Li , Ming Fang He

Handbook of Asian Education

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  November  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805864458
eBook ISBN: 9780203816318
Adobe ISBN: 9781136721298


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The Sinic civilization, or Confucian civilization, refers to the shared and related cultures of China and the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, which includes China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, and Vietnam. It also includes the Chinese diaspora, especially in relation to Southeast Asia. In the last few decades, education within Sinic civilization has experienced rapid changes. These changes have engendered some of the most vital, exciting, and revitalizing developments in education in these countries, in the midst of modernization, diversification, and globalization. This development is characterized by a dramatic resurgence of educational reforms, heated debates over educational practices, and ongoing struggles over highly contested educational policies in Sinic societies. This educational development in Sinic civilization is inextricably linked with the processes and impact of diversification of the world landscape which, in turn, further complicates the diversification of cultures, languages, communications, economies, ecological systems, and ways of lives in the East, in the West, and in-between. This diversity and complexity, though creating vitality, excitement, revitalization, and renewal in the field of education, has emerged as one of the most urgent challenges facing twenty-first century educational workers—learners, teachers, educators, parents, community workers, administrators, and policy-makers. Influenced by Confucian ethics, educational workers in Sinic societies have attempted to address diversity and complexity in their educational landscapes by searching for more holistic and eclectic approaches to educational reforms and practices. These efforts are of great significance to our understanding of the educational development in these societies and beyond in the era of diversification and globalization.

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