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Tongmeng xuzhi 童蒙須知

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The Tongmeng xuzhi 童蒙須知 "What Must Be Known About Primary Education", also called Zhuzi tongmeng xuzhi 朱子童蒙須知, is a treatise on education written by the Neo-Confucian master Zhu Xi 朱熹 during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279). It is included in the collectaneum Dongtingyutang kanshu 東聽雨堂刊書. The short book describes how boys learn to behave in different social contexts, how to clothe, how to speak and to walk, to clean the home and order their belongings and how to read and to write. The Tongmeng xuzhi is a basic text for pupils and provides them help in daily life and to prepare for the "greater studies". They have to learn the "three arrivals" (sandao 三到), namely that of the heart, that of the eyes, and that of the mouth. Of all these, the "arrival of the heart" is the most important, because if one cannot concentrate on one's job, the eyes will not perceive the crucial matters of a text, and the mouth will not be able to express the fundamental meaning when reciting a text. The same is valid for writing which has to be learnt with greatest care, and conversation which has to start, for a young boy, in a modest, humble and serene way, with a low voice and without joking.

Sources: Jiaoyu da cidian bianzuan weiyuanhui 教育大辭典編纂委員會 (ed. 1991), Jiaoyu da cidian 教育大辭典, Vol. 8, Zhongguo gudai jiaoyu shi 中國古代教育史 (Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 143. ● Zhang Liangcai 張良才 (1997), "Tongmeng xuzhi 童蒙須知", in Men Gui 門巋, Zhang Yanqin 張燕瑾 (ed.), Zhonghua guocui da cidian 中華國粹大辭典 (Hong Kong: Guoji wenhua chuban gongsi), p. 281.

November 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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