The Research on Historical Changes and Nature of Shexue in Chinese Feudal Society
Shexue was a kind of special, community-run institute of primary education in Chinese feudal society. The study traced back to the origin and nature of Shexue on the basis of large amount of educational data in local chronicles and ascertained that Shexue emerged at the end of Tang dynasty and developed in Sung dynasty, and the Shexue in the two dynasties were private Shexue. It was until Yuan dynasty that SheXue was approved and promoted by government and started to gain the potential to be run by the government. Shexue became a kind of educational institute at the most basic level of society run by the local governments in Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty, but they were quite different from local Guanxue (public schools), Shuyuan (academies) and Sishu (private schools). They were supervised and led by the local governments. As a kind of primary educational institutes supervised and lead by the government, Shexue made great contributions to traditional basic education; meanwhile, Shexue was in line with public system and thus built the foundation for the formation of modern education system.