Education in search of truth good beauty- Discussing truth good beauty in John Dewey and the Confucian philosophy of education and its status and function in current early childhood education
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The harmony and the unity among truth, good, and beauty is the ideal realm for humans to hope for. Our human being’s highest life purpose in the present is to lead a truthful, good, and beautiful life. Our humankind’s preeminent educational aim is the exploration of and the search for truth, good, and beauty. The Confucian philosophy is the base of the constitution of China’s educational ideals. During an extensive period of experimentation, the Confucian philosophy contributes to the education system comprising educational aim, curriculum, and instruction. The Confucian primary educational aim centers on the concept of jen (benevolent), which is to cultivate the person of jen or exemplary person (human quality of truth, good, and beauty); Its curriculum consists of teaching the Six Arts including li or rites (good), yue or music (beauty), she or archery (truth), yu or charioteering (truth), shu or reading (truth), and *shu or mathematics (truth). The Confucian pedagogy focuses on three major instructions such as connecting knowing and acting, teaching students according to their aptitude, and skillful directing. The Confucian educational aim, curriculum, and methods reflect the characteristics of the educational system in ancient China. John Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy and his educational ideals represent the value system of the Western modern society. Built upon pragmatism, Dewey establishes an educational aim of “educating good citizenship” (human quality of truth, good, and beauty). His major curriculum consists of knowledge (truth), emotion (beauty), and capability (good); and his main teaching methods are learning by doing, learning through inquiry, indirect learning, and integrated subjects. The Deweyan educational philosophy generates a great impact on solving social problems resulting from the social transformation in the Twentieth century Unites States of America. This study, which compares and discusses the educational theory of truth, good, and beauty between John Dewey and the Confucianism, has a practical meaning in terms of further refining and innovating current early childhood education theories.