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Title: Teacher-directed and learner-engaged: Exploring a Confucian conception of education
Authors: Tan, Charlene H. P. (Charlene Hwee Phio)
Keywords: Teacher-directed
Ancient China
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Tan, C. (2015). Teacher-directed and learner-engaged: Exploring a Confucian conception of education. Ethics and Education, 10(3), 302-312.
Abstract: Against a backdrop of an international trend to shift from a teacher-centred to a learner-centred education, this article explores a Confucian conception of education. Focussing on an ancient Chinese text Xueji (Record of Learning), the essay examines its educational ideals and practices based on the principles of ‘choice’, ‘doing’ and ‘power relationship’. It is argued that the educational model in the Xueji does not fit the description of a learner-centred education as commonly understood in the Western literature. Rather, the Xueji advocates a ‘teacher-directed and learner-engaged’ approach by giving the teacher control over the curriculum and authority over the learners. At the same time, the learners are encouraged to participate actively in the learning process so as to obtain deep understanding and moral self-cultivation. In proposing a conception that is not exactly learner-centred, the Xueji challenges the assumption that ‘good’ education must necessarily be learner-centred.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Ethics and Education. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 1744-9642 (print)
1744-9650 (online)
Other Identifiers: 10.1080/17449642.2015.1101229
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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