chapter  4
Ten lives in mine
Creating portraits of influential Chinese educators
Pages 13

This chapter describes efforts to depict the life-stories of ten influential Chinese educators. It focuses on research methodology, particularly the demands of carrying out narrative research into the lives and ideas of educators in a culture very different from one's own. It also focuses on research purposes, in the sense that these life-stories are intended to give insight into a civilization, which is likely to have considerable importance for the global community in the coming years. The end of the Cold War has brought in its train a new set of conflicts that have been summed up in Samuel Huntington's haunting phrase 'The Clash of Civilizations'. After the Movement of 1919, which is often called the Chinese Enlightenment, Confucianism came to be regarded as a major obstacle to modernity by both Marxists and liberal modernizers. Pre-eminent sinologist William Theodore de Bary makes the point that both of these views of Confucianism misrepresent the character of Confucian education.