An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Xiaoxue jizhu 小學集注

Jan 3, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Xiaoxue 小學 "Elementary learning" is a textbook for primary school written by the Southern Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200) and finished in 1187. He took the example of other textbooks like the Sanzijing 三字經, Qianziwen 千字文 and Baijiaxing 百家姓 and collected important ides from the Confucian Classics and the histories to compile a book, by which young pupils would be able to learn the way of the wise men of antiquity.

In the first part of the book, the learning of human relationships, self-cultivation and reliance on antiquity was to be internalised. In the second part, the book explains excellent speech and good deeds in the Confucian sense. Except directly lecturing, the Xiaoxue also provides the readers with aphorisms, stories and poems, as well as with knowledge about persons in history. The book was not very widespread because it was too academic and the language too sophisticated.

There is a collection of comments written by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Chen Xuan 陳選 (1429-1486), the Xiaoxue jizhu 小學集注, which were published as imperially sanctioned book. It is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Ming 黎明 (1993). "Xiaoxue 小學", in Zhongguo xiaoxue jiaoxue baike quanshu 中國小學教學百科全書, Vol. Yuwen 語文 (Shenyang: Shenyang chubanshe), 90.