The Manual for Secondary-School Teaching published in 1958 by the Shanghai Centre for Education asserts that history should have a very important role in education because it has to ‘establish the place of the proletariat in Chinese children’s consciousness’, ‘show that the people is the motor of history’ and ‘that Marxism is the only means by which the laws of historical development can be grasped’. Children ‘have to absorb the idea that capitalism will inevitably be destroyed and that socialism is superior’. Description ‘must be lively so that the child can feel and resent what his parents had to endure and understand why they fought back’. Children should also be told why history is taught: for, to build socialism, Marx and Lenin based their work on study of the past.

Throughout history, teachers should seek to inculcate four qualities in particular:

Patriotism. It should be emphasized that, though China was oppressed for so long, she managed to create her own culture. The Chinese people have nothing to be ashamed of, and can take pride in having emancipated themselves from the past. It is vital to combat the tendency that some intellectuals have of seeking models in the West rather than in China.

Internationalism. It should not be a hollow, vain concept; the links between various peoples and their common interests should be shown. The concept of internationalism can show what nationalism means, what constitutes ‘a just war’, ‘an oppressed people’, etc.

Socialist morality. This will triumph ‘if we uproot the poisonous weeds left by the West and capitalism; class morality is the true morality, that of the labouring masses.’

Education by work and recognition of the value of labour. The teacher should at each stage of historical development describe the life and work of the masses, ‘for today there is still a certain condescension towards manual labour’.