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Higher Education

Higher Education

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Higher Education

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  1. Higher Education • Goals: • championed and promoted Confucian values • trained Confucian scholars and made them ruling elites, • and strengthened imperial power. • Two forms of institutional Education: • Religious • Secular

  2. Religious: • Temples or monasteries taught Buddhist and Daoist texts • Recitation of sutras was primary task • understanding sutras through exegesis was secondary • Secular: • Public schools: capital and provinces (prefectures) • Confucian and Daoist classics • Private: village schools • Instructors’ choices, but primarily Confucian texts

  3. Public Schools • National schools: Run by central government: • Two types of capital colleges • First type of capital college: • the Colleges for Sons of State 國子學 • Grand Learning 太學 • Four Gates 四門學 Confucius and His Disciples

  4. Thesecapitalcollegeswerefor sonswhosefathersheldofficesfromranks(grades)1-3,4-5,and6-7respectively • FourGateslateropenedforsonsofofficialsof8thand9thgrades(ranks) • Andlateropenedfortalentedcommoners • Youngmenbetweentheages14-19wereaccepted • Thestateprovidedstipendandhousing • TheytaughtConfucian and Daoist classics, medicinal texts • Curricula stressed lectures, memorization, andexaminations

  5. Second type of capitalcolleges:Schools for specializedfields • Laws(律 學):TangCode,statutes • Math(算 學) :textmathtextbookstomasterin14years • Calligraphy(書 學):threestylesandtwodictionariestobecompletedin6years • Otherspecialschoolsinthecapital • Astronomy • Calendrical science, • Divination • Ritual

  6. Hand-copied Buddhist Scripture, Tang Dynasty

  7. Provincial schools • ProvincialSchools:prefectualandcountyschools • Seniorofficialsselectedstudentsbetween18and25foradmissiontotheseschools • ConfucianandDaoistclassicswerethemajorcurriculum • Requirementsincludedthestudyofmarriageandfuneralrites • Themastersgaveanexameverytendays • Onmaterialscoveredduringtheweek

  8. Formatofexams • Onefill-inquestionforevery1,000wordsoftextmemorized • Studentshadtosupplyfrommemoryapassageofwhichtheyreceivedonlythebeginningsentence • Oneinterpretivequestionforevery2,000wordsoftextcoveredinlectures • Ayear-endexamconsistingof 10oralquestionswasgiventodeterminewhetherastudentcouldpasstheclass • Astudentwouldbedismissedandsenthomeifhefailedthatexamthreeyearsinaroworhadbeeninschoolfornineyearsincapable ofgraduating

  9. Paths to Official Career • One could become an official through these channels: • Recommended by schools • Recommend by village head of gentry, if the candidate was not in school • Recommended oneself without going through the authorities and could sign up for special imperial examinations

  10. Benefits of official career • provided one with opportunities to secure power and wealth, • Could hold a high office in Chang’an, • Could become a prestigious ranking official

  11. Hand-copied Buddhist Scritpture, Tang Dynasty

  12. Schools and Students • Tang government encountered difficulties running public schools • Couldn’t supply enough qualified teachers • Couldn’t support teachers and students financially • students numbered from 63,570 to130,000 in two different time periods • Performanceofstudentsincapitalcollegeswaslessthandesirable • Somehiredsubstitutestotaketheirexams • Manywereshiftless:theygambled,dranktoomuch,quarreled,andshowednorespectforauthority…. • They became moreandmoreslackinclasswork,vilifiedteachers,andthrashedtheminthestreets…

  13. Public schools lost its appeal • Youths from privileged families had priority to enroll in schools • Good teachers went to private schools • Students from schools outperformed by those from private schools in the civil services examinations • Schools discontinued in later Tang

  14. The Civil Service Examinations • A meritocratic system aimed to embody Confucian ideal of selecting men of talent and ability to help rule the state …. • Talented men, after passing examinations, became public officials • Major examinations: • Law, math, history, classical masters, advanced scholars, elevated warriors…

  15. Most Important Examinations • Classical masters (Mingjing): 3 tests • 1st test: On classical knowledge • Major (large) classics: Rites, Spring & Autumn Annals • Middle classics: Poetry, Rites of Zhou, • Lesser classics: Changes, History • Other classics: Filial Piety, the Analects • 2nd test: On commentaries on classics • 3rd test: On policy discussion/essays—3 questions (A 3/3; B 2/3) • Advanced scholars (Jinshi): 3 tests • On classical knowledge major, middle, lesser classics • On belles lettres: poetry in shi and fu forms • On policy discussion/essays—5 questions (A 5/5; B 4/5)

  16. “Classical Master” emphasized memorization: candidate passed the first text if he could answer 5 out of 10 fill-in questions

  17. Jinshi (Chin-shih) Examination • Advanced Scholars: • 10 fill-in questions on one major (large) classics with a commentary, five essays on policy discussion, and compositions of poetry and prose-poems • Degree holders were more respected and prestigious than scholars passing other examinations • Became the most reliable route to upward mobility within government • Influences: • Poets highly admired; ability to write poetry and prose much emphasized

  18. Before and After the Examinations • Before: Scroll presentation • Candidate presented his works in scrolls to examiners • In spring, candidates congregated in the capital to take the examinations

  19. After: Successful candidates • Given a reception by examiners • Toured the scenic parts of the capital • Waiting for “selection examination” to receive appointments “The Night Revels of Han Xizai”

  20. --20 to 30 passed exams and received appointments per year --Degree holders and examiners formed a permanent “master-disciple” bond of union and fellowship

  21. Buddhist Art

  22. Tang Art Song reproduction of Tang painting, “Songzi Tianwang,” Originally doneby Wu Daozi, now preserved in Japan

  23. Wei Yan, “A Hundred Horses,” Tang, National Palace Museum in Beijing

  24. Han Gan, “Night-shinning White,” High Tang, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

  25. Han Gan, “Herding Horse,” High Tang, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY