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Chinese Education Learnt from Others in the Self-Strengthening Movement

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Chinese Education learnt from others in the Self-Strengthening Movement

The Self-Strengthening Movement was a modernization movement that happened in 1861 to 1895, which mainly focused on the industrial field. In this movement, China had learned a lot of technology and knowledge from the Western countries. Although this famous movement ended in failure, it played an important role in the process of modernization in China. This paper will talk about Chinese education learnt from other countries in the Self-Strengthening Movement. In my research paper, there are four research questions I want to do research. Firstly, what was the reason(s) and purpose(s) for China that they decided to learn something from other countries in its education? I want to figure out the cause of the learning in Chinese education during the Self-Strengthening Movement and the effect that it wanted to achieve. Secondly, what had Chinese education learned in 1862 to 1895? I will do research on the specific things that Chinese education learned in the Self-Strengthening Movement. Thirdly, who made great contribution or played an important role during the learning from others of its education in the Self-Strengthening Movement? And what did they do? Last, what were the effects of Chinese learning in education on the Self-Strengthening Movement and even the whole of China? I will research not only the effects on the Self-Strengthening Movement, but also the effects on the whole China during that time and the further impact.

Through my research, I find that the main purpose of the China to learn from others in education was to have a better learning of the Western technology. Although the elites in China did not really realize the necessity and benefits of learning advanced Western knowledge in the Self-Strengthening Movement, learning from others in Chinse education indeed adopted many advanced Western ideas, educated a lot of new talents, and reformed education system. It made a significant contribution to Chinese education. It was the beginning of the Chinese educational modernization. It has a profound impact on China modernization.


-Background of the Self-Strengthening Movement and Chinese education learnt from others in this period

The Self-Strengthening Movement was started in the late Qing Dynasty. The Self-Strengtheners of the Qing court began the industrial movement in the whole country based on the thought that “learning from foreign merits on technology to restrict foreign”. "Learning from foreign merits to self-strengthen" and "learning from foreign merits for rich" were the early and late movement slogan and the target respectively. The Self-Strengthening Movement lasted for about 35 years from 1861 to 1895. The Self-Strengthening Movement was the first large-scale nationwide western industrial movement in modern China. It occurred in the background of the imperial power of feudalism. The Self-Strengthening Movement introduced a large number of western science, technology, various kinds of western literature, and cultivated a batch of student children. It opened the door of western learning. Besides these, during the Self-Strengthening Movement, China also learnt the modern corporate system, which brought a large number of industrial and chemical enterprises to China. It helped China to take the path of industrial development and modernization. However, at that time, the Self-Strengthening Movement was doomed to failure. Qing Northern Navy annihilated in the Sino-Japanese War, which was a heavy blow to the confidence of the Qing court. The Self-Strengthening Movement finally came to an end.

The Self Strengthening education was a cultural and educational undertaking organized by the Self-Strengtheners to meet the needs of activities of the Self-Strengthening Movement. The Self-Strengthening education was not only related to the diplomatic activities of the Qing government with foreign capitalist countries, but also to the economic activities of all foreign-funded enterprises and all political and military activities. Therefore, the Self-Strengthening Movement involved a relatively extensive. It had trained a large number of professionals in various fields including translation, diplomacy, law, science and technology, business administration, telegraph, mining, smelting, machinery manufacturing, land and water military affairs, etc. In this fields, China learnt a lot from the other countries in its education. Due to the Self-Strengtheners realized the urgent need of training new talents in the practice of the Self-Strengthening Movement, the Self-Strengthening education was gradually being held. It was to adapt to the specific needs of the practice of the Self-Strengthening Movement to carried out. Therefore, although the Self-Strengtheners had some plans on the education, they did not have no long-term plans and strategic goals. The Self-Strengthening education and the learning from others was basically passive.

The reason(s) why China decided to learn something from other countries in its education

Fan Baichuan thought that in order to practice the Self-Strengthening Movement and push the new deals, the Self-Strengtheners need a large group of people who could do things for them and drive by them. They urgently need people who were familiar with foreign languages and modern scientific knowledge. But this part of the talent was lacking. Therefore, the Self-Strengtheners decided to train on their own. They combined the education system of China and West, imitated Western style, set up new schools, and sent students to Europe and the United States.

Duan Jinghui thought that it was military that promoted the development of the Self-Strengthening education. In another word, learning from the West in the field of education stems from the military. Chinese military modernization can be said that originated in the Opium War fiasco. The strong impact of foreign aggression made the lagging exposures of traditional Chinese military undoubtedly, forcing the Qing government to create a strong desire to reform the military and modernize the military in accordance with Western standards. The Self-Strengthening Movement was a self-improvement movement based on the establishment of the military industry. However, due to the serious lack of modern knowledge, the military education in modern China had to resort to the power of Western military education. During the practice of the Self-Strengthening Movement, the Self-Strengtheners gradually realized that training military personnel could not do without the advanced western knowledge and advanced experience. Therefore, on the one



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