Guangdong schools introducing textbooks from Taiwan

Kevin McGeary , October 7, 2013 11:00am

Selected high schools in Guangdong will use textbooks from Taiwan that teach traditional Chinese culture. This is part of a pilot scheme that policymakers hope will help narrow the gap between Taiwan and mainland China in knowledge of the subject, South China Morning Post reports.

Traditional Chinese culture is not pat of the gaokao and the selected institutions will be the first mainland schools to teach Confucian classics systematically. They include the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University; Shenzhen Middle School; Xinfeng County Number One Middle School in Shaoguan, and the Shenzhen High School of Science.

The paper has more:

Nanfang Daily reported recently that a modified version of an introductory course on Chinese traditional culture will be introduced in some Guangdong high schools.

The two-part course, comprising 22 units, will focus on the Four Books of Confucianism: The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, Analects and Mencius.

Zhu Ziping, principal of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, said the school had offered Chinese studies as an elective subject for junior and high school students since the 1990s.

But a lack of systematic textbooks had always been an issue, and students had to supplement their courses by going online to conduct research or find relevant texts.

“This series of textbooks will fill a lot of blanks in [traditional Chinese studies education] on the mainland,” Zhu said.

Professor Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences, welcomed the initiative.

“Taiwan has been outstanding in fostering Chinese studies. This will raise the mainland’s level of education in this subject, and that is a good thing,” he said.

While some private publishers on the mainland have tried producing similar textbooks, they remain untested by large numbers of students and teachers, Chu said.

“Taiwan, on the other hand, is very mature in this regard,” he added.

Dr Zhou Yun of South China University of Technology’s school of political sciences, said the inadequacy of traditional Chinese cultural education on the mainland was “almost pathetic” and the paper suggested the move may be too little too late.

Kevin McGeary

China hand, bawdy balladeer.