The book introduces the Confucian ideal of ‘studying for one’s own sake’, but argues that various intellectual traditions combined to create China’s educational legacy. The book studies the development of schools and the examination system, the interaction between state, society and education, and the vicissitudes of the private academies.
It examines family education, life of intellectuals, and the conventions of intellectual discourse. It also discusses the formation of the tradition of classical learning, and presents the first detailed account of student movements in traditional China, with an extensive bibliography. While a general survey, this book includes various new ideas and inquiries. It concludes with a critical evaluation of China’s rich educational experiences.