Cultural traditions and modern education: Experiences in China

9th webinar of the series ‘Dialogues on education and society’

TypeOpen for all

When

WhereOnline

OrganiserGINTL | JoLII

TopicsWebinar series “Dialogues on education and society”

Welcome to the ninth event of the webinar series “Dialogues on education and society”, co-organised by the GINTL and the Sino-Finnish Education Research Centre (SFERC) of Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (JoLII). In the webinar, the speakers Jyrki Kallio (Finnish Institute of International Affairs, FIIA) and Xiaoyang Wang (Capital Normal University) will share how certain aspects of education were understood in the ancient Confucian texts and tradition. In addition, they will reflect how those understandings are connected to present-day expressions concerning the purpose of education in China. The speakers and chair Baocun Liu (Beijing Normal University) will also reflect what the modern higher education could learn and adopt from the Confucian tradition.

Topics and speakers in this webinar

Rote learning, heuristic education, and what did Confucius say? 

Jyrki Kallio

Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA); University of Lapland

Jyrki Kallio, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and holds the Title of Docent in International Relations and Chinese Studies at the University of Lapland. His research foci include Chinese political culture and foreign policy, and he has a special interest in the instrumentalisation of traditional schools of thought in East Asian politics. He has translated classical Chinese philosophy and prose and received the J.A. Hollo Prize for his work in 2015. His latest monograph, a critical reader on Confucianism, was published in 2022. Previously, he served the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as a diplomat. 

Confucius’ perspective of the aim of higher education and its modern transformation 

Xiaoyang Wang

Institute of Higher Education, College of Education, Capital Normal University

Wang Xiaoyang is currently director and professor at the Institute of Higher Education, College of Education, Capital Normal University. From 2009 to 2019, he served as the director of the Institute of Higher Education at Tsinghua University. He currently also holds positions as the chairman of the Sociology of Education Research Association of the Chinese Sociological Association as well as as the vice-chairman of the University Culture Research Association of the China Association of Higher Education. In 2004, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. He has previously served as an officer in the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in the United States. 

Topic of the presentation

An ancient Chinese university saying reads that “the object of a Higher Education is to bring out the intelligent moral power of our nature; to make a new and better society; and to enable us to abide in the highest excellence.”  This saying clashes with present China’s expression of the aim of higher education. Taken from China’s Higher Education Act, this aim holds that higher education should implement the state’s educational policy, so that the educated can become socialist builders and successors with all-round development in moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic aspects.  

By comparing these ancient and present-day versions of higher education purposes, we can find enormous differences: the present expression is both more society-oriented (or at least -prioritised) and more utilitarian-oriented – the individual is basically seen as an instrument of society.  In order to realise the aim of modernisation of higher education by 2035, China should revitalise its traditional education. This can be done by attaching higher importance to humanism – by being respectful to each student’s dignity and right. Only in this way can society become more civilised and fair in the future. 

Chair of the webinar

Baocun Liu

Institute of International and Comparative Education (IICE) and National Center for Comparative Education, Beijing Normal University

Dr.  Baocun Liu is a professor of comparative education and the director of the Institute of International and Comparative Education (IICE) at Beijing Normal University. He is also the director of the National Center for Comparative Education at Beijing Normal University, the director of the National Center for International Education at Beijing Normal University. He serves as president of  the Comparative Education Society of Asia (CESA), president of  China Comparative Education(CCES), Board Member of World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES), Board Member of Chinese Society of Education, Board Member of Chinese Society of Education Development Strategy, Supervisory Board Member of China Foreign Intelligence Introduction Society, co-editor of the International and  Comparative Education .

Dr. Liu received his PhD in Comparative Education from Beijing Normal University in 2002. With his specialisation and research interests in comparative education, higher education, education policy and management, he has been involved in a wide range of national and international research and consultancy projects, and published more than 260 journal papers and 20 books.

About the webinar series ‘Dialogues on education and society’

The GINTL-JoLII webinar series ‘Dialogues on education and society’ engages leading experts in dialogues on Chinese and Finnish education and society with a comparative broader European and global perspective. The dialogues are in various formats, and they are targeted to researchers, policymakers, education practitioners, and administrators.

The webinar series is jointly organised by the Global Innovation Network of Teaching and Learning (GINTL) and the Sino-Finnish Education Research Centre (SFERC) of the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (JoLII).

Members of our network

We are a network of dedicated scholars and practitioners, who work jointly with our partners to co-create research-based solutions for local needs.

Together, we can spark cycles of learning for better education. 

Project coordinators

GINTL Finnish higher education institutions