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The New School Calendar in Haicheng County’s Village Primary Schools, 1905–1919 (新校历:海城县村小 1905–1919 年的变革与意义)

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image of Rural China

Abstract In 1904, the Qing government launched a new school system, abolishing the Civil Examinations the following year. As part of the new educational reforms, both the central and local governments introduced China’s populace to modern educational methods that included a new calendar with notions of time corresponding to modern, Western measurements. This article specifically examines how central reformers, local officials, and villagers from Haicheng County, Fengtian Province implemented the new school calendar. Drawing primarily on local archival sources dealing with school hours, opening dates, and holidays, this article challenges both the long-held notion that the new school system retained too many traditional and Confucian elements, and its antithesis, that the new system too abruptly departed from tradition. Rather, Haicheng’s primary schools effectively integrated the Western week and clock time, with familiar elements of flexible and agricultural time. The interaction of old and new resulted in a mixed system of telling time in different ways for different occasions. The article further discusses how the new calendar contributed to a new temporal system around which people identified with multiple communities. The Lunar calendar, with more flexible concepts of time, represented the agriculturally-based local community, whereas the unprecedented regimentation of the school week and clock time represented a nationally-oriented cosmopolitan community. (This article is in Chinese.) 摘要 1904年,清政府颁布了新的学校制度,次年废除了科举考试。作为新教育改革的一部分,中央和地方政府给中国民众引进了一些现代教育方法,包括根据现代、西方的时间概念而制定的新校历。本文特别考察了中央改革者、地方官员以及来自奉天省海城县的村民是如何运用新校历的。本文主要运用涉及学校上课时间、开学日期和节假日等信息的当地档案资料,挑战了长期以来的两种观点,一种认为新的学校制度保留了太多的传统和儒家因素,另一种观点与之相反,认为新制度过于偏离了传统。本文提出与以上不同的观点:海城的小学校卓有成效地整合了西式星期和时钟时间以及老百姓所熟悉的灵活的农业时间。新旧互动的结果是一种在不同场合以不同方式混合的时间叙述系统。文章还进一步探讨了这一新校历如何促成一种新的时间系统,使人们得以与多重社区生活保持协调一致。农历是一种更加灵活的时间观念,代表了以农业为基础的地方社区,而前所未有的学校星期和时钟时间系统则代表了一个国家导向的全球化社区。


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