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9 Village-State Cooperation: Modern Community Schools and Their Funding, Haicheng County, Fengtian, 1905–1931

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Chapter Summary

This chapter draws on archival materials on educational reform in Haicheng county, Fengtian province, in the late Qing and early Republic to examine how rural communities funded and established the new community primary schools and how villagers and the state coped with problems encountered in launching them. In North China, rural communities played an active role in implementing educational reform. They derived school funding from a range of sources, lightened the economic burden on families by offsetting tuition fees, and, when resources were scant, cooperated with other villages to set up schools. While these observations are preliminary, they indicate the strong likelihood that in the early twentieth century, rural communities across China, like those in Haicheng county, enthusiastically participated in educational reform activities, thereby playing an important role in China's modernization.

Keywords: community primary schools; educational reform; Haicheng county; Northeast China; rural communities; tuition fees



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