Confucianism and contemporary education phenomena

Wai-Ying WONG, Ngai Ying WONG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


There was a trend in academia to attribute particular social phenomena such as economic takeoff in eastern Asian countries in the 1980s to the cultural tradition of those regions. Among the diverse cultural traditions in different countries as well as within one geographic area, Confucianism was identified as the main, if not the sole, cause of the phenomena. Apart from economy, education is another field in which this kind of interpretation was employed. It was claimed that the outstanding performance of Asian learners was a result of Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) and there were numerous studies of CHC learners. The salient characteristics of learning in the CHC, as described by some scholars, was social-achievement orientation, emphasizing diligence, attribution of success to effort, a competitive spirit, and a strong belief in the maxim “practice makes perfect.”. All of these characteristics were said to have contributed to the outstanding performance of learners. However, since this kind of statement is not only about empirical facts whose verification depends on mere observation, some conceptual analysis should be introduced and assumptions should be examined in order to argue for the above-mentioned claims. The aim of this paper is to make clarifications concerning the concept of Chinese culture in general and Confucianism in particular. Besides, it will scrutinize how, if it does, Confucian culture affects certain cultural phenomena in the realm of education. Copyright © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndigenous culture, education and globalization: Critical perspectives from Asia, Part II
EditorsJun XING, Pak-sheung NG
Place of Publication Heidelberg
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
ISBN (Print)9783662481585, 9783662481592
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Wong, W.-Y., & Wong, N.-Y. (2016). Confucianism and contemporary education phenomena. In J. Xing, & P.-s. Ng (Eds.), Indigenous culture, education and globalization: Critical perspectives from Asia, Part II (pp. 227-243). Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Confucianism
  • CHC
  • Education
  • Chinese learner
  • Asian learner
  • Cultural spirit
  • Cultural phenomena


Dive into the research topics of 'Confucianism and contemporary education phenomena'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.