Education in Ancient China (The Three Character Classic)


The ancient Chinese always had a thing about education—kids were expected to go to school (if it was within the family’s means) and to invest a good amount of time and effort in studying.

The Three Character Classic alludes to how important education was in ancient Chinese culture. “If the child does not learn, this is not as it should be. If he does not learn while young, what will he be like when old?” Education was not just an asset, but a mandatory part of a child’s development.

In particular, education and schooling were considered essential for grooming a child’s values and moral character. “If a man does not learn, he will not know the virtues of honesty and righteousness.”

Why did the ancient Chinese think this way? To understand, one must realise that ancient Chinese education was rather different from our education system today.

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