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Yenan principles in Chinese education Muszynski, Alice Catherine


The educational system in China today has its roots in the Yenan period (1937-1945). This thesis surveys that period with the purpose of discovering how the principles underlying education came to be formed. It then goes on to describe how those principles were implemented in the 1940's. The chief concept around which the educational system came to be based was the 'mass line’. During the 1950's and early 1960's, education as envisaged in the Yenan years had to compete with another system - one modelled upon that of the Soviet Union. The thesis explores this struggle between what was essentially 'two lines' in education. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which erupted full-scale in 1966, was, as far as the educational sphere was concerned, a reaffirmation of the principles developed in the Yenan era. The thesis concludes with this movement, describing the more important of the educational policies and how they were to be implemented. Although specific policies and their implementation might differ from those of the Yenan years, the principles are still the same, especially that of the 'mass line'. It is suggested that the model of education developed in China since the Yenan era is one that is relevant for other countries of the Third World, although implementation may be impossible without social revolution. This thesis is based on research in the library, and was limited to English-language translations and secondary sources.

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