A School in Every Village

Educational Reform in a Northeast China County, 1904-31

Elizabeth R. VanderVen

  • $37.95s paperback (9780774821773) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2013
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 240 pp., 2 maps, notes, bibliog., index, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

In the early 1900s, the Qing dynasty implemented a nationwide school system to shore up its power. Although the Communists, contemporary observers, and more recent scholarship have all depicted rural society as feudal and backward and these educational reforms a failure, Elizabeth VanderVen draws on untapped archival materials to show that villagers and local officials capably integrated foreign ideas and models into a system that was at once traditional and modern, Chinese and Western. Her portrait of education reform both challenges received notions about the modernity-tradition binary in Chinese history, and addresses topics central to debates on modern China, including state making and the impact of global ideas on local society.
Elizabeth R. VanderVen is an historian of modern andlate imperial China. She was on the faculty of the History Departmentat Rutgers University, Camden.

"It is a pleasure to read such a well-organized, thoroughly documented, and clearly presented study. VanderVen helps bring to life the village schools of Haicheng County in Northeast China after the imperial Qing fell and the new republic was born. Her book will stand up to the best in our field."
-Ronald Suleski, author of Civil Government in Warlord China: Tradition, Modernization and Manchuria

"This is the first study to utilize local county-level archives to examine the origins and development of modern schooling in China. As such, it affords previously unseen local perspective on the subject, which effectively challenges much of the conventional wisdom on how 'modern' schooling took root in China's villages. Subsequent scholarship on this subject will have to respond to the arguments presented in VanderVen's compelling book."
-Glen Peterson, author of Overseas Chinese in the People's Republic of China


1 The Setting: Northeast China, Fengtian Province, andHaicheng County

2 Educational Transformation: Abolishing and Reformingthe Sishu

3 Administering the New Educational System: EducationalPromotion Bureaus

4 Funding the New Community Schools

5 Establishing Girls' Schools in HaichengCounty

6 Old and New in the Village Community Schools



Glossary of Chinese Terms and Place Names