Dissertation > Culture, science,education, sports > Education > Teaching theory > Teaching, research and reform

Pursue the teaching concept of life

Author ZhengHe
Tutor YangQiLiang
School Nanjing Normal University
Course Curriculum and Pedagogy
Keywords the Pre-Qin period Confucianism Life pursuing Teaching thought Life connotation
CLC G420
Type PhD thesis
Year 2008
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Education (Teaching) has an original connection with life. The teaching history of the Confucianism in Pre-Qin Dynasty is the history of the teaching pursuing the life. So, the teaching thoughts of the Confucianism in Pre-Qin Dynasty imply an abundant of life connotation.Confucius "Sheng" and "Ming" thought reflects the pursuit of the inner spiritual value and also it cares about the meaning of life along with the freedom and restrictions of life during this process. They all constitute the basic style of Confucius life thought—the surmounting of "Dao", which has a manifestation of "the contradictions and tension between natural aspect and spirit aspect of life" and "the contradictions and tension between limitations and ultimate meaning of life". Therefore, in Confucius teaching thought, "gentleman personality" embodies the life connotation of Confucius thought about teaching target.The individual life is completed by relentless pursuit of the spirit life, and the realistic life is fulfilled by continuous surmounting of spirit life. Confucius thought about the teaching process has an obvious preference of "nature", that is, Confucius was always trying to apply the natural law to the growth of individual life. Therefore, "Follow the natural principle" is the main characteristics of Confucius thought about the teaching process.The understanding of "Tian" in Mengzi’s morals and his theories of Mind-nature lay academic foundation for the thought that "virtues" is the principle of nature and humans. The gradual improvement of "virtues" theory in the Zhou I contributes to Mengzi’s theories of Mind-nature, too. In the end, Mengzi’s thought is based on "virtues", which focused on honesty with concrete contents of Kindness, Justice, Etiquette, and Wisdom.Therefore, in Mengzi’s teaching thought, "sage personality" reflects that the final implementation of Mengzi’s teaching target is on the request of the quality of "Cheng". Regardless of a sage or an ordinary person, this request can be fulfilled. The only dissimilarity lies in how to fulfill it. A sage is from "Cheng" to "awareness" while an ordinary person is from "awareness" to "Cheng". In Mengzi’s thought about teaching process, he admitted that the importance of environment, which had a big effect on a person’s development. Mengzi regarded "kind heart" as the premise and origin of his thought, so education (teaching) appeared in a way of "adjustment", that is, the function of education (teaching) on a person’s development is based on the direction, level, and state of a person’s "heart". Fundamentally, "inner pursuit", "or "the pursuit of ease " is the basic characteristic of Mengzi’s teaching thought.Because of Xunzi’s theories of "Manifest Destiny" and "Original Evil", the center of his philosophy is turned into the subjective "Wei" and the rite. That means Xunzi cared much about the transient practice of life and emphasized the supervision of transient regulations. Therefore, in Xunzi’s teaching thought, "gentleman sage" idea reflects that his emphasis on realistic social function of personality, which not only lies in personal fascination by the earnest practice of moral ideal, but also is fulfilled by undertaking and completing the social historical missions self-consciously. And in his thought about teaching process, the strong functions of environment and education releases completely on a person’s development. The process of shaping individuals by education (teaching) is the one that is opposite to a person’s nature and sense. This process is a kind of "shining externally", which is totally different from Mengzi’s "forming internally".To sum up, the evolvement of life thought--"Dao- Virtues -Rite" indicates that there are two basic themes in the process of the derivation of the Confucianism life teaching thought in the Pre-Qin period, that is, the internal unification of surmounting and regulating; the interaction between heteronomy and self-discipline.What’s more, the rational factors of Confucianism teaching thought during the Pre- Qin’ period have their use for reference to the contemporary teaching. And the fundamental spirit of Confucianism teaching thought during the Pre- Qin’ period is the headspring of contemporary teaching. And the process of the derivation of the Confucianism teaching though during the Pre-Qin period also has a significant illumination to the methodology of our contemporary teaching practice.

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