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Ancient Education System

Since ancient times, China has had a tradition of respecting and honoring teachers and their profession. Traditions of Chinese education played a significant role not only in the development of the Chinese civilization, but also in the development of the world civilization. During 770BC-476BC, known as the spring and autumn periods, many scholars spread their thoughts through the private schools which prevailed at the time. Confucius, a great educator, devoted his life to the private school system and instructed

many students. Taoism also taught widely and eventually led to a hundred schools of thought in the Warring States Period. In 136 BC during the reign of Emperor Wudi (156-87 BC), a system named "taixue" was introduced, where a student was educated by the state, mainly in Confucianism. During the Han dynasty, observation was the main method of scholastic assessment, due to lack of a testing system. The Regime system (or Jiupin zhongzheng system) was then developed, consisting nine grades of rank.

This depended on an official in each state and county acting as "zhongzheng" and having the authority to assign ranks. This system of ranks enabled the government to make informed choices, and selecting the most suitable candidate for the most suitable posts. Although family background was not an official requirement, the "zhongzheng" himself was often from a privileged background and would often show bias to those of similar breeding. The disadvantages of this regime therefore soon became apparent, and the system was abolished.

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Who attended school in Ancient China? Was it based on their social status?