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Liberalism and nationalism at a crossroads: The Guomindang'S educational policies, 1927–1930

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Chapter Summary

To answer the following questions: Were the early twentieth-century Chinese educational reforms nothing but a struggle between liberalism and nationalism? Did the replacement of Cai Yuanpei with Dai Jitao represent a major shift in the Guomindang’s educational policies? Did the abolition of the University Council signify the beginning of the Guomindang’s “partification of education”?, this chapter examines the Guomindang educational debates from 1927 to 1930—the critical years when the Nationalist government established its control over the country. In particular, it focuses on the educational views of Cai and Dai. Often seen as diametrically opposite in their views on education, Cai and Dai actually had a lot in common in their quest to modernize the Chinese educational system. If indeed both Cai and Dai were shaped by the social environment of their times, they differed in using education as a tool of social cohesion.

Keywords: Chinese educational reforms; early twentieth-century; Guomindang educational debates; Guomindang’s educational policies; liberalism; nationalism; Nationalist government; social cohesion; University Council



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