Keywords:Cai Yuanpei, aesthetic education, China, humanism, social harmony
Cai Yuanpei is widely understood to have been a traditionally educated Chinese scholar who then turned his attention to Western philosophy. He is known to have played a central role in the development of Republican educational philosophies and institutions, with a legacy that continues to inform education in China. Studies tend to interpret Cai Yuanpei’s approach to aesthetic education in light of his educational experience in Germany, regarding him as a Kantian scholar. However, the Confucian roots of his aesthetic education seldom draw scholarly attention. To fill the gap, this article examines Cai’s vision of aesthetic education based on both his academic background in the East and his knowledge of Western philosophy and maps out his influence on and legacy in aesthetic education in China. It argues that Cai’s vision of aesthetic education has influenced modern Chinese education in three main ways: by bridging the gap between moral education and aesthetic education to nurture citizenship, by encouraging aesthetic education for whole-person development, and by adopting an interdisciplinary approach to school aesthetic education. The article concludes by reflecting on the enduring value of Cai’s vision of aesthetic education to modern Chinese education.
Cai, Y. P. (1983). Cai Yuanpei meixue wenxuan [On aesthetics]. Beijing University Press.
Cao, Q. H. (2018). Caiyuanpei de meiyu lantu jiqi dui guoli meishu xuexiao chuangban de tuidong [Cai Yuanpei's vison of aesthetic education and the establishment of national art school]. Meishu, 1, 8-13.
Danner, H. (1994). Bildung: A basic term of German education. Educational Sciences, 9.
Dello-Iacovo, B. (2009). Curriculum reform and ‘quality education’ in China: An overview. International journal of educational development, 29(3), 241-249.
Duiker, W. J. (1971). Ts' ai Yuan-p'ei and the Confucian Heritage. Modern Asian Studies, 5(3), 207-226.
Duiker, W. J. (1972). The aesthetics philosophy of Ts' ai Yuan-p'ei. Philosophy East and West, 22(4), 385-401.
Feng, L., & Newton, D. (2012). Some implications for moral education of the Confucian principle of harmony: learning from sustainability education practice in China. Journal of Moral Education, 41(3), 341-351.
Li, J., & Xue, E. (2020). Shaping the aesthetic education in China: Policies and concerns. In J. Li & E. Xue (Eds.), Exploring education policy in a globalized world: Concepts, contexts, and practices (pp. 127-153). Springer.
Li, L. M., & Hasan, A. N. (2013). Aesthetic education in China. International Journal of Social Science and Education, 4(1), 305-309.
Liu, J. G. (2019). Caiyuanpei de meiyu lilun dao zhonghua meiyu jingshen [From Cai Yuanpei's aesthetic theory to Chinese aesthetic spirit]. Meishu yanjiu, 4, 5-7.
Ministry of Education (2011). National standards for visual arts. Beijing Normal University Press.
Ministry of Education (2015a). Summary of important events of national education policy in fifty years. http://old.moe.gov.cn/publicfiles/business/htmlfiles/moe/moe_163/200408/3444.html
Ministry of Education (2015b). The guiding of the development of IT education during the 13th Five Year Plan. http://www.moe.gov.cn/srcsite/A16/s3342/201509/t20150907_206045.html
Mullis, E. C. (2005). Carrying the Jade Tablet: A Consideration of Confucian Artistry. Contemporary Aesthetics, 3(1), 13-20.
Peng, F. (2018). Chongsi yi meiyu dai zongjiao [Rethinking replacing religion with aesthetic education]. Meishu, 2, 8-11.
Schiller, F. (2004). On the aesthetic education of man (R. Snell, Trans,). Courier Corporation.
State Council (2015). Comprehensively strengthening and improving aesthetic education in schools. http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/201509/28/content_10196.htm
State Council (2020). On strengthening and improving school aesthetic education in the new era. http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2020-10/15/content_5551609.htm
Tu, W. M. (1989) A revised and enlarged edition of centrality and commonality: An essay on Chung-yung. State University of New York Press.
Wang, B. (2020). Aesthetics, morality, and the modern community: Wang Guowei, Cai Yuanpei, and Lu Xun. Critical Inquiry, 46(3), 496-514.
Yang, J. C. & Li, Q. B. (2019). Zhongguo meiyu yanjiu 2018 niandu baogao [2018 annual report of Chinese Aesthetic Education Research]. Meiyu xuekan, 1(1), 38-45.
You, Z., Rud, A. G., & Hu, Y. (2018). The philosophy of Chinese moral education: A history. Springer.
Zarrow, P. (2019). A question of civil religion: Three case studies in the intellectual history of" May Fourth". Twentieth-Century China, 44(2), 150-160.
Zuo, J. F. (2018). Cai Yuanpei’s thought of aesthetic education and orthodox Confucianism. Journal of Northwest University, 3, 137-142.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Ning LUO
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Declaration on copyright
- The author/s will keep their copyright and right of reproduction of their own manuscript, with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, but give the journal a permanent right to 1) present the manuscript to the public in the original form in which it was digitally published and 2) to be registered and cited as the first publication of the manuscript.
- The author itself must manage its financial reproduction rights in relation to any third-parties.
- The journal does not provide any financial or other remuneration for contributions submitted.
- Readers of the journal may print the manuscripts presented under the same conditions that apply to reproduction of a physical copy. This means that mass reproduction of physical copies or production of copies for commercial purposes is not permitted without the agreement of the author/s.