Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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School System
(3,743 words)

1. The School System before 1949

In late imperial China, before the first modernizing reforms, basic education was provided by local society rather than by the state. Boys started their training at home under a private tutor, or in a school.

Sponsored by their family, lineage, or local community. Students advanced, at their own individual pace, through a standard set of elementary readers such as the Sanzijing(Three Character Classic), the Qianziwen (Thousand Character Text), and the Baijiax…

Cite this page
Thøgersen, Stig and Henze, Jürgen, “School System”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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