Dewey’s Roles in Chinese Education
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This thesis constructs a triangular model of the interrelationship between Deweyan Pragmatism(hereinafter referred to as DP), Confucianism and Marxism / Maoism by way of chronological analysis of three historical periods spanning the past nine decades, and discursive comparisons and contrasts between these ideologies. Specifically, this thesis examines the confrontation, denunciation, displacement, reconciliation and co-optation that have transpired between the three ideologies over the past ninety years. On the basis of the triangular push-or-pull model, propositions regarding the parameters and confines of DP application in contemporary Chinese education are put forward in order to extricate the Deweyites who are intent on transplanting DP to China in a wholesale manner out of their current theoretical paradox and methodical dilemma. The conclusion of this thesis is that the optimal roles for DP to play in contemporary Chinese education are supplementary tweaks at the technical level to the existing Confucian system, and DP will be effective only to the extent that the cumulative impact of Deweyan practice is not perceived as a challenge to the Chinese educational establishment.