Chinese Philosophy on Teaching and Learning

Xueji in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Xu Di & Hunter McEwan

Subjects: Asian Studies, Asian Religion And Philosophy, Philosophy, Education, Confucianism
Series: SUNY series in Asian Studies Development
Paperback : 9781438459707, 180 pages, January 2017
Hardcover : 9781438459714, 180 pages, April 2016

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Table of contents


Xu Di, Hunter McEwan, and Yang Liuxin

Section One: Translation

On Teaching and Learning (Xueji 學記)
Translated by Xu Di, Yang Liuxin, Hunter McEwan, and Roger T. Ames

Section Two: Essays

1. On Teaching and Learning (Xueji 學記): Setting the Root in Confucian Education
Roger T. Ames

2. The Teaching and Learning Principles of Xueji (學記) in the Educational Practice of the World Today
Xu Di
3. Conduct, Method, and Care of the Soul: A Comparison of Pedagogies in Confucian and Western Thought
Hunter McEwan

4. The Ideas of “Educating” and “Learning” in Confucian Thought
Chen Lai

5. The Classical Image of Confucian Teachers from the Analects and Xueji Yang Liuxin and Yang Jing
Translated by Xu Di
6. Confucius on the Concept of Study: What Can We Learn from Him?
Qin Wei Hong

7. Uniting Content Learning and Character Development with Self-Reflection: Xueji’s Implications for Reenvisioning Science Education
Mary Chang

8. Pedagogies of a President: Obama as a Twenty-First-Century Junzi
Gay Garland Reed

List of Contributors

A translation and discussion of the central Confucian text on education, Xueji (On Teaching and Learning), influential in China from the Han dynasty to the present day.


Written over two and a half millennia ago, the Xueji (On Teaching and Learning) is one of the oldest and most comprehensive works on educational philosophy and teaching methods, as well as a consideration of the appropriate roles of teachers and students. The Xueji was included in the Liji (On Ritual), one of the Five Classics that became the heart of the educational system during China's imperial era, and it contains the ritual protocols adopted by the Imperial Academy during the Han dynasty. Chinese Philosophy on Teaching and Learning provides a new translation of the Xueji along with essays exploring this work from both Western and Chinese perspectives. Contributors examine the roots of educational thought in classical Chinese philosophy, outline similarities and differences with ideas rooted in classical Greek thought, and explore what the Xueji can offer educators today.

Xu Di is Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the author of A Comparison of the Educational Ideas and Practices of John Dewey and Mao Zedong in China. Hunter McEwan is Professor of Education at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the coeditor (with Kieran Egan) of Narrative in Teaching, Learning, and Research.


"…this book has certainly placed itself in line with the latest research within the field of comparative philosophy of education, but it has also served to extend the methods by which non-Western philosophy can be studied in the West in order to enlarge upon its theoretical and practical implications … Chinese Philosophy on Teaching and Learning re-reads the ancient Chinese texts and raises important ideas about Chinese education at a time when we most need it. " — Educational Theory

"As the world of education awakens to the vitality and importance of China's educational traditions, no text could be of greater interest than the Xueji—China's most ancient text on learning and teaching. This translation, with interpretation and discussion from noted philosophers and educators in China and America, will be an invaluable resource for courses in educational foundations, comparative education, and the history of education. " — Ruth Hayhoe, University of Toronto