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The reception and use of John Dewey's educational ideas by Hu Shi in the Early Republic of China

The reception and use of John Dewey's educational ideas by Hu Shi in the Early Republic of China Some studies have claimed that Chinese thinker Hu Shi (or Hu Shih) received and responded to John Dewey's educational ideas only at a theoretical level and did little for education at a practical level. This paper reexamines Hu's reception of Dewey's ideas with a focus on how he used those ideas to solve China's educational and social problems during the late 1910s and 1920s.Design/methodology/approachThis paper draws upon what Schriewer (2012) has called “theories of reception.” Rather than focusing on the international dissemination of ideas and knowledge, this approach emphasizes the reception of foreign ideas from the perspective and needs of the receiver, interpreter and/or reader who apprehends such ideas within a particular socio–cultural context.FindingsThis paper finds that Hu not only received — and examined — Dewey's educational ideas in a systematic way, but also used them pragmatically to reform China's systems of education as part of the New Culture Movement after 1919.Originality/valueThis research offers a new understanding of Hu's reception of Dewey's educational ideas. It shows that Hu was not merely a “thinker” in the field of education but also a “doer” who sought to apply Dewey's ideas in practice. This new view allows us to reevaluate Hu's role in the modernization of Chinese education. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

The reception and use of John Dewey's educational ideas by Hu Shi in the Early Republic of China

History of Education Review , Volume 50 (1): 15 – May 13, 2021

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/her-11-2019-0045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Some studies have claimed that Chinese thinker Hu Shi (or Hu Shih) received and responded to John Dewey's educational ideas only at a theoretical level and did little for education at a practical level. This paper reexamines Hu's reception of Dewey's ideas with a focus on how he used those ideas to solve China's educational and social problems during the late 1910s and 1920s.Design/methodology/approachThis paper draws upon what Schriewer (2012) has called “theories of reception.” Rather than focusing on the international dissemination of ideas and knowledge, this approach emphasizes the reception of foreign ideas from the perspective and needs of the receiver, interpreter and/or reader who apprehends such ideas within a particular socio–cultural context.FindingsThis paper finds that Hu not only received — and examined — Dewey's educational ideas in a systematic way, but also used them pragmatically to reform China's systems of education as part of the New Culture Movement after 1919.Originality/valueThis research offers a new understanding of Hu's reception of Dewey's educational ideas. It shows that Hu was not merely a “thinker” in the field of education but also a “doer” who sought to apply Dewey's ideas in practice. This new view allows us to reevaluate Hu's role in the modernization of Chinese education.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: May 13, 2021

Keywords: Hu Shi (or Hu Shih); John Dewey; Educational ideas; China; New Culture Movement; Educational reform; Democratic education; Democracy; Reception theory

References