Creative Education
Vol.07 No.09(2016), Article ID:67837,18 pages

Studies on some Problems about Yang Fangling’s Talent Education Thought*

―One of Education Reflection of the Modern Chongqing Private Schools

Xinxian Zhao1, Yongli Tao2

1Bayu Culture-Celebrity Research Institute, Chongqing University of Education, Chongqing, China

2Law School, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing, China

Copyright © 2016 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 31 May 2016; accepted 26 June 2016; published 29 June 2016


This article tries to research the actual contribution of President Yang Fangling from the phenomenon of the Chongqing Private Friends High School which fostered many talented people during the Late Period of Nanjing National Government (1938-1949): School-running nature change from general church school to famous private school with the tradition of church school, application of teaching management system of the president’s educational ideas, specific measures and effects to improve the quality of education into the national education system. The article should pay more attention to the research on Yang Fangling’s elite education thought.


Yang Fangling, Talent Education Thoughts, Modern, Famous Chongqing Private Schools, Education Reflection

1. Problem of the Study

Zeng Qinghua entered Friends Primary School in 1940 and graduated from Friends Senior High School in the summer of 1948. He recalled his alma mater which gave him a lifelong impression: “Friends in our memories is Yang Fangling’s Friends with his personal charm and stamp, which is a style, unrepeatable, and permanent with our youth” (Yang, 2004) . Yang Fangling is president of Friends High School which is famous private school in modern Chongqing. The impression of alumnus’ Alma mater from a special perspective illustrates the ability, level, effect and characteristics of the president’s management. It is hard to say clearly why Friends High School can develop from a domestic unknown church school of friends of society to brand-name private schools in the Provisional Capital Chongqing without discussing the president’s educational ideas and practice.

Sichuan friends of society recommended Yang Fangling for president of Friends High School in 1925, when he was 31 years old. By the end of 1949 he resigned voluntarily, which he had managed the school for 25 years. “The development of church middle schools in the early period of the Republic of China (1922-1927)” article, by historical data, lists domestic famous church middle school in the first ten years of the Republic of China: Peking Academy, Nanjing Qiushi Middle School, Wuchang Boone School, Changsha Yali Middle School, Shanghai Qingxin Middle School, Suzhou Taowu Middle School, Quanzhou Peiguang Middle School, Yongfu Gezhi Middle School, Shantou Jiaoshi Middle School, Guangzhou Pui Ching Middle School (Wang, 2009) . Then the Chongqing Friends High School, which was born in the second year the opening of Chongqing port (1892), was the first church school “foreign school” created by Huaxi missionary society which British friends of society set up. The British Missionary presided over 33 years (1892-1925). Although the British friends of society Friends High School was a minor celebrity in Chongqing, it was once stop school-running for half a year, even almost did not go down for era, society and school interior reasons.

At the beginning of president of Friends High School, Yang Fangling was very sensitive to the domestic situation in response to government regulations, and immediately applied for formal registration so that Friends High School became a “legal” local private high school recognized by the government. This was the first event that President Yang did in favor of school development. He graduated from Friends High School with honors in 1915, being sent to the St. John’s University in Shanghai majoring in education by friends of society; and he graduated in 1919, being sent to University of Birmingham, UK majoring in education to pursue further studies by friends of society again. In 1923, because of unrest caused by “the Anti-Christian Movement” in China, he agreed to emergency arrangement from friends of society, interrupted his education, returned to Friends High School as the academic director and English teacher. Yang Fangling was constrained by church school life in high school period and buried himself in his book so to be not very clear to important affairs of state; after “baptism” of the campus culture of the St. John’s University and University of Birmingham, UK, he completely knew around 1925 church schools of China faced with rapid change in the grim school-running situation in 1914-1925:

1) In 1914-1918, many belligerents involved to the First World War and their enthusiasm for founding church middle school in China was reduced, so that the expansion of domestic church schools slowed significantly and some churches missions even stopped school-running.

2) In 1917, the National Government began to adjust the church school policy. In 1918, the Ministry of Education stipulated Christian school to register for school-running: school’s name “do not refer to the church or the names of the church”, religious “subject ceremony” do not be forced, “non-christian students are allowed” and treated in the same way.

3) On 1919 March 29, “the Ministry of Education Bulletin” No. 6 in the Government Gazette (No. 1131) explicitly demanded: “all foreigners in China set up special schools, not for the purpose of spreading religion”. Because of the government education system “indulgence” in the 10 years after the Boxer Movement, church middle schools had a good position, but then it was obviously shaken.

4) After the May Fourth Movement of 1919, communities fiercely attacked the Christian church, calling for a thorough separation of religion and education. Cai Yuanpei, the President of Peking University, strongly advocated “aesthetic education instead of religion”, emphasized that education has its own rules and should be borne by educator, “not by political parties and church factions”. It caused a wide range of echoes at home.

5) In October 1925, national educational association federation adopted “banning outsiders from school-run- ning in China”, and “no-spreading of religion in schools”. Under national education sovereignty movement expanding across the country, church middle school sought local government’s “empowerment”, according to the national policy on restructuring of private schools, which was a long way to school-running as a social undertakings.

With excellent school-running condition, Friends High School successfully registered “Chongqing Private Friends High School” in 1925. In accordance with the provisions of the policy, “junior high school changes to three years, the flag of the Republic of China supplants the British flag, ‘The Bible’ moral course is canceled, Sunday services is voluntary” (Yang, 2004) . After that, schooling thought of President Yang Fangling was based on the first 30 years of education tradition of Friends Church School, to stick to personal educational ideas, and tried to reveal the characteristics of private Friends High School on the guiding ideology of education, school management, curriculum setting, teaching staff construction, campus culture construction etc., steadily improved the quality of teaching, school reputation. The following historical data are supplement:

In 1928, Friends High School founded primary school department in order to improve the quality of students; in the autumn of the same year, Liu Xiang, who was the local “chief executive” and the commander of Chongqing garrison of national revolutionary army garrison 21st army, personally gave Friends High School the plaque of “the crown of Ba Jiang school” which was a praise to Yang Fangling’s achievement of education management.

In the summer of 1939, the results of Chongqing Friends Junior Middle School stand first in the province on the 11th Sichuan Province examination (Sichuan secondary school graduation examination was conducted twice a year from the summer of 1934 to 1945; examination subjects included Chinese, foreign language, mathematics, physics and chemistry, history and geography).

At the beginning of the new century, the education of modern church school and private school become an overwhelming focus in domestic education research circles. In order to different academic purposes, different researchers put the history of Chongqing Friends High School into their research field such as the modern Chinese church school history, the modern Chongqing church school history, the modern Chinese private school history, the modern Chongqing private school history, Chongqing education history from different academic perspectives. But there is almost nothing, or passing of the 25 years of special historical contribution of President Yang Fangling, why seem deep and complex. This article tries to research the actual contribution of President Yang Fangling from the phenomenon of the Chongqing Private Friends High School which fostered many talented people during the Late Period of Nanjing National Government (1938-1949): school-running nature change from general church school to famous private school with the tradition of church school, application of teaching management system of the president’s educational ideas, specific measures and effects to improve the quality of education into the national education system, to pay more attention to the research on Yang Fangling’s elite education thought.

2. Chongqing Private Friends High School: “Church School” or “Private School”?

In all problems existing in studies of the modern Chinese private school education history, the historical concepts of “church school” and “private school” are simply being used as daily life terminologies usually, which is where two specific written language lead to confusion in connotation and ambiguity. One direct example is that Chongqing Private Friends High School, which came from church school and was approved for registration by the National Government in 1925, was still regarded as “church-controlled” private school in 1951 when President Yang Fangling had 25 years of school management. There was nothing change that Church schools “take sides”. How did the historical misunderstanding happen?

2.1. Church School in the Modern Chinese Education History and Friends High School as Church School

As a special concept in the world education history, the entry for church school in Ci Hai published by Shanghai in 1979, remains leading knowledge of church school on a national consciousness level during the first 30 years (1949-1979) of the founding of the nation. There are two meanings:

First is a school established and controlled by Catholic or Christian (Protestant) church. It first appears in medieval Europe, and has Cathedral School, monastery school and parish school. The medieval universities are run by church. Now many elementary, secondary and higher schools are still under church control in some countries.

Second is that after the Opium War Britain and the United States and other countries established universities, primary and secondary schools through church in Chinese. After the founding of the People’s Republic, the nation took over foreign subsidy schools and recovered the sovereignty of Education in 1951.

The first meaning focuses on definition of world education history and emphasizes the essence of authority operation “controlled by church” in church school; The second meaning seems to be only based on the modern Chinese revolution history. Besides monopoly of school-running power “controlled by church”, “foreign subsidy” is arbitrarily viewed as a economic fact of imperialist culture aggression and historical evidence of loss of national modern education sovereignty, and is regarded as the second authoritative evidence of church school’s “reactionary” nature. This is limitation of the times of Ci Hai (1979) compilation shortly after the cultural revolution.

In the modern Chinese private school education history, as school-running subject, church school’s granting pow and operating procedure is very complex. From specific and special school-running experience of “the school”, it is difficult to clearly outline. There are views on the nature of modern Chinese church school “controlled by church”:

“Church schools are that Catholic or Christian religious groups in the United States, Britain, France and other countries set up education in China. Church schools are the result of a certain historical stage, and after the Opium War they are established by protection of unfair treaties” (Ren, 2006) . There are mainly three organization kinds of the modern Chinese church schools: a missionary society establishing independent school, several missionary society establishing joint school, English and America missionary society school. The concept of church school does not arise with school “controlled by church”. In the early 19th century, the schools established by missionary were called “foreign-style school”, and then were collectively referred to as church school to differentiate with “official foreign-style school”. In order to sermonize or train religious professionals, church schools “controlled by church” are established, but many of church schools have “the nature of relief and charity” in their beginning stage. In the late 19th century, European and American missionaries established a wide range of “church schools controlled by church” under the aegis of unfair treaties, none of which operated with the Chinese government’s approval. According to statistics, by 1899 the number of national church schools have increased to more than 2000, the number of students was more than 40000, high schools accounted for 10 per cent. Chongqing Friends High School, which was established by British friends of society in 1892, was included in the statistics. Yang Fangling was born in Ba County, Chongqing in 1894. He started school in old-style private school in Ba County and then went to Friends High School to obtain secondary education, Where he got special training of Sichuan friends of society because of excellent academic performance. It could not be separated from the nature of church school “controlled by church”. Although “controlled by church” can be completely seen in school-running fund, personnel system, curriculum, teaching Management etc., the deep influence of “controlled by church” still is the stipulation and implementation of church school’s school-running objectives (educational purposes).

Generally, the so-called educational purposes is “the general requirement which is to train educatee into person society or group need, which belongs to the start point and final goal of educational work”, and also is “the basis of identifying education contents, choosing teaching method, examining and evaluating teaching effect”. Church middle school “controlled by church” is designed to make students enjoy some certain social position through training and education of morality, religion, knowledge, occupation etc. Its direct training aim is teacher, primary professional and technical personnel, missionary, or to get into college (Ren, 2006) .

For example, church middle school’s educational purposes, which are summarized by missionary, are as follow: 1) making Christian men and women aged 12 or 14 receive education, to give them an useful, independent, unusual position; so every school not only provide vocational training, but also teach a general knowledge of the world; 2) demonstrating the doctrines of Christianity about religion, preaching salvation, improving society, serving country and so on; 3) It is especially important to convene and train worker, teacher, preacher most extensively concerned with the success of Christianity; 4) make a few special people get into college or receive vocational training (Li C. C., 1987) . From the standpoint of Western Centralization, American Missionary C.W. Matler interpreted religious function confirmed by church middle school’s educational purposes: “In the way (church school’s religious education), it is to leave a deep and lasting impression on student’s mind and character, to make his knowledge holy, to ensure that they play a role for the benefit of truth... As student’s classics knowledge increase, it is to make them compare the excellent moral and spiritual teachings in the Gospels and knowledge they gained. Mathematics teaches people how to think. Science expands people’s understanding of God, nature and human being. During the entire period of students’ education, to cultivate teachers’ spiritual life and working hard is useful to evoke students’ soul and shape students’ character. Private teaching and Public preaching waken and guide students’ conscience. Activity and venturesome spirit with the characteristics of the West replace Chinese bluntness and conservatism, at least in a small way. Next-generation key personnel of Chinese Christian Church will no doubt be cultivated by our church middle school” (Chen, 1993) .

President Yang Fangling, a devout Christian, is recommended for admission to the St. John’s University in Shanghai, University of Birmingham, UK by friends of society, during which time he interrupt studying abroad and living in England to return home. As the member of Sichuan friends of society, he teaches at “Chongqing Wenfeng Tower Friends High School”. It’s true that he becomes one of “Next-generation key personnel of Chinese Christian Church”. This is a fact, but can only prove actual forming process and reality of President Yang Fangling’s Christian faith. A person’s religious belief does not mean that he launches education. There are many of outstanding Christian educators in modern China, and Tao Xingzhi is an excellent representative in this aspect. Therefore, what’s critical is not whether president is a follower of religion, or has religious belief but whether he respects educational law, government’s education policy, and devotes to cultivating talents for the country frequently.

In 1921, the Ministry of Education of Beijing National Government Decree No.138 stipulated method of church secondary school case-filing. There were six main components: 1) name of school shall use word of private; 2) high school shall act on High School’s Rule; 3) church secondary school shall conform to subjects and curriculum standards in secondary school. In case of necessary changing, it shall state reason, and report to the province education department and attain approval from the ministry of education, but Chinese, the country’s history and geography shall not be changed; 4) subject content and teaching methods shall not be of preaching character; 5) whether students on campus believe in religion or not, they shall be equal treatment; 6) violation of the above all result in canceling registration (Wang, 1997) . As national education policies, “case-filing procedures” integrate church schools into the Chinese private school system so as to make them “no longer independent of the Chinese education system”. So church schools become indispensable complement to the modern Chinese education system. The six rules on case-filing of church middle school make nature of school-running from “church dominating” to national education career needed by national development. In 1925, Yang Fangling took over the president of Friends High School, and he embarked on official “case-filing” of private schools. At least these suggest that he is a wise man, and more of a enterprising president, who wants to do good education according to the national policy.

2.2. Modern Chinese Private School and Chongqing Friends High School’s Educational Nature

“Private school means a civilian-run school beyond government, which is founded by social groups and individuals with legal personality, and complies with national legislation and implements degree or non-degree teaching” (Li Y. F., 2006) . The delineation of private school concept seems clear, but the complex history process of its connotation is “evaporated” because of generalization. There is only private education but no private school term in the history of ancient Chinese education. Private education appeared in the spring and autumn period. Confucius established school building in Qufu with teaching poetry and music, which is an example of early ancient private education. After, school-running solely by government gradually became school- running by near neighbour minority nationality. School-running form of old-style private school and academy of past dynasties also belong to private education. In the Qing Dynasty Yongzheng, old-style private school and academy were on the road to governmental school-running under imperial court intervening. In the late Qing Dynasty, the Qing cunt implemented the new policy, abolished the Imperial Examination, established modern school system, and private school began to grow vigorously with an urgent need of era development of social education.

Guangxu Twenty-eight years (1902), the Qing count decreed the Imperial Rule of School, which divided state general education into elementary, secondary and higher education, divided school into industrial school, normal school etc., devised a comprehensive nation “school system”, was called “Renyin education system” in the history, because of the year 1902, Renyin. It created policy conditions for private school education. To look up the National Government’s major policies of private school after 1912, it was voluminous, only collecting and listing texts as follows:

The Ministry of Education of Wuhan National Government decreed High School’s Rule on September 28, 1912, while article 6 of private high school was finally described as “the private high school established by individual or private legal person in accordance with regulations of High School’s Rule”;

In 1917, the Ministry of Education of Beijing National Government issued Announcement No.8, which firstly included school established by foreigner as a part of our private school.

On November 16, 1925, the Ministry of Education of Beijing National Government Notice No.16 was published, which “solution to allowing schools built by foreign donations” requested these schools following all school laws from the Ministry of Education. Since then, church schools have accepted unified planning of schooling system.

In 1928, the University Institute of Nanjing National Government issued Private School Rules 11 articles, Private School Board Rules 13 articles, which clearly regulated that “all schools established by individual or group are private school, including these schools established by foreigner or church”, “private school’s president shall be held by Chinese”, and emphasized “president held by Chinese” should approve case-filing (Li & Wang, 2000) .

On August 29, 1929, the Ministry of Education of Nanjing National Government announced Private School Regulations 29 articles, which defined private school in the same as Private School Rules issued by the University Institute in 1928;

In 1932, Nanjing National Government announced Middle School Act, which article 4 regulated that “middle school established by province, city or county is province, city or county middle school, middle school co-est- ablished by two or more counties is xx county integrated middle school, middle school established by individual or group is private middle school”; (Yang Sixin, 2010) .

On October 19, 1933, the Ministry of Education of Nanjing National Government announced Private School Regulations Amendment 5 chapters 38 articles, which definition of private middle school still used the statement of Private School Rules in 1928.

On November 5, 1943 and May 7, 1947, the Ministry of Education of Nanjing National Government successively made twice modification of Private School Regulations Amendment of 1933, so it was gradual perfect of modern Chinese private school’s management system and policy measures.

Based on modern policy documents of the National Government, the entry for private school in Ci Hai (1979) doesn’t present a comprehensive review of forming process of the national education policy history, but it grasps connotation of “private” from “private school”, and the characteristics of modern Chinese history identified by government and policy: “private school is against public school. The old China required that ‘all schools established by individual or group are private school, including these schools established by foreigner or church’. After the liberation, most of Chinese schools are established by government, and part of them are established by the people” (Ci, 1979) . School “established by individual” is the developmental source of personal school-run- ning characteristic of modern private school such as Nankai school founded by Zhang Boling. Self-conscious- ness responsibility of president raises educational thought up to a high level of thought which is needed by research of educational history of modern private school. Although existence and development of private school were affected and restricted by government policy and social instability, it depended mainly on private school’s own effort, particularly president’s contribution in the period of Republic of China.

The historical data show that the churn had care for the policy of private school running by the National Government. In 1925, West China Ministry of Education declared: Church schools in west China fully implemented the curriculum set by Ministry of Education of the National Government. In the end of the year, West China ministry of education made a resolution that since the fall of 1926, all the church schools began to implement the new system, if conditions did not permit, they could implement it in 1927. Every church school in Chongqing dealt with registration and legislation procedure, reorganized the school administrative personnel structure, set up a school board, etc. within over ten year, of which purpose was to be able to make school continuously run. In 1925-1937, there were seven church schools in Chongqing, including Qiujing Middle School, Friends High School, Huaying Junior Middle school (predecessor of Huaying Junior Middle School), Shude Girls’ Middle School, Wede Girls’ Middle School, Private Renji Senior Nurse School and Qiming Primary School that completed the legistlation program, and integrated to the national education system dominated by Chinese education administrative agencies. Friends High School and Qiujing Middle School were the two modern Chongqing church schools who the earliest completed the legislation, with local and social influence in terms of church and government. Yang Fangling gained the good reputation on the aspect of school running in Nanjing National Government period, starting from the legislation of private schools in 1925. When President Yang operated the school at the beginning, he first applied for local legislation and clearly declared the existence of national sovereignty consciousness of Chongqing Friends High School and respect for national policy. Chongqing archives keeps the original data of “Original Chongqing Friends High School”: at the end of 1949, southwest stratocracy committee put forward the policy of “protecting school”, “maintaining current situation and continue running school” for to the actual situation that there were “fewer public school, but more private schools”, “general conditions are poor with low education quality”. In 1950, Chongqing municipal bureau of culture and education managed the public high school including private church schools, with the discriminated method: implementing the seizure and taking over the reactionary middle schools such as Zhongzheng, Zhiqing, Changjiang, Hangwei, etc. with reactionary political background and church schools with Catholic background, such as Tixin School, Xiangbo, etc., that were closed; and the schools with fund difficulty initially stopped running. The other schools were maintained or merged, such as Qiujing middle school, Friends High School, Wede girls’ middle school, etc. and the church schools with “long history, large scale, good quality education, and the reputation” were maintained. Friends High School was changed from the church school to the private school, and the education aim had a fundamental shift, although the “tag” of church schools were still stick firmly in the early period of National Government, “imperialist church school” made the president wronged, the school evaluation of “long history, large scale, good quality education, and the reputation” actually affirms the Yang Fangling’s outstanding contribution to the development of education of Chongqing on the policy level. It is a pity that there is no academic paper in academic circles to further explore it and restore the true nature of modern education of Chongqing since president Yang was rehabilitate in 1985.

After the church schools were transformed into private schools by legislation, under the condition that China education sovereignty are implemented forcefully, the influence of the church turned to be less eventually, but for the president dominating the transformation process and the realization of individual moral concept, he needed to pay all educational practice. The alumnus Tong Minglun, in his memoirs, described his own impression of President Yang Fangling: “President Yang put his energies into teaching, in the classroom, he earnestly and tirelessly taught. For all classes, and every teacher’s absence, he would go to teach English in person, and did not make the students waste an hour. For morning meeting, doing gymnastics, morning and evening self- study, etc., he was on patrol, busy from getting up to light being out, with concern for all things. He can be regarded with many responsibilities of the president, teacher, class adviser, assistant, and was earnest for all lectures and activities with no reward. He educated people to have contribution spirit, which is really touching and admirable” (Yang, 2004) .

The outstanding president who was dedicated to school running cannot made more efforts for the personal writings to leave works for others to admire and learn. But the various problems on school management emerging endlessly every day should be timely and reasonably solved, and in the meantime that President Yang was skilled in dealing with school affairs, he also had the to make the short words along with the deep thinking of culture: or inscription and remarks, words, or even poems to be shown to the later generations, allowing us to peep at the president’s managing thought. In the activity of the one hundredth anniversary of Friends High School, a number of historical data were available about Yang Fangling’s school-running. Although there is not “famous” research, “the fifth class alumni foreword of Friends Senior High School in Chongqing” has the words on the motto to encourage the running of private schools, church school was transformed to private by legislation, and Friends experience twenty years (1925-1945) to make efforts to develop and save nation. The words are his thoughts, with implication, recorded:

“The fifth class alumni foreword of Friends Senior High School in Chongqing”

Since Fangling took over the school, he had experienced twenty years’ thinking to encourage students to study and educate them to behavior, one with knowledge but no behavior cannot be a real man, and one with behavior but no knowledge cannot treat life. The students who have both knowledge and behaving principle must meet my ideal, and their parents and I will encourage them together.

Yang Fangling serious record

Christmas on the 34th year (Yang, 2004)

This paragraph is the “foreword” of alumni book at Christmas in 1945, with great value. At least, there are the following two aspects on the talent education of President Yang Fangling.

1) In 1925, as the school president, Yang Fangling formally took over the work of the church school “Chongqing Wenfeng Tower Friends High School”, and in the end of the year, he completed legislation procedure, transforming the school into the private school by the government for the record. From 1925 to 1945, in the whole 20 years is an important node for Friends High School, the President Yang should have the engraved memory, and he the most clearly know the special significance of legislation to the survival and development of Friends High School, to realize personal value for the life ideal of saving nation by education, and time should not be mistaken. But the expression of the “foreword” is that “through more than 20 years”, there is one more word “Yue”. It is not wrong of evolution, but reminds us to notice the school-running concept of Friends with simultaneous promotion of “learning and behaving” to make the students with diligent reading habits and thought of human behavior. President Yang came back to the school for teaching earlier than 1923, and in 1924 he was promoted as vice president of Friends High School. Otherwise, in the same year, he accepted the arrangement of Sichuan friends of society to leave school for short period. In 1925, Sichuan friends of society made him return to Friends High School to take over it, and it is impossible that the original president immediately became the assistant.

2) The “foreword” of alumni book has the words “Christmas in 1945” in the end. This is not a general time record. For President Yang who was a devout Christian, reviewing his thirty years’ life at Christmas, the more than 20 years of experience and effort of running school is not simple recalling, but has a profound life experience reflection. In October, 1923, the Chinese YMCA’s ninth national convention mentioned the idea of “saving nation by personality”, “advocating personality is the only weapon to save nation”. For personality in moral realm, how to achieve the political goal of saving the nation? Devout Christians were not likely to make political interference of faith, so President Yang chose education to save nation, forming the unity of learning and personality, which became the real school-running idea of Friends High School. In my opinion, this is the basic meaning of “taking learning and personality as will” in the “foreword” of alumni book.

In a word, the school-running nature of private Friends High School on national education in late period of Nanjing National Government had not belonged to the school, but is just Friends High School with profound church school tradition. In the warm atmosphere of Christmas, it unconsciously shows the religious emotion with Christian personality self-discipline and still in the core position of President Yang’s spiritual garden.

3. Transplant of Oxford University’s Teaching Management Mode or Reference of British Public Education Theory?

3.1. Transplant of Oxford University’s Teaching Management Mode in Private Friends

The saying that Friends High School transplanted Oxford University’s teaching management mode comes from the “hardware” of school, main teaching building constructed in 1905. Ye Yu who is a famous alumni of Friends and was the former chairman of Chongqing Musician Association said that this main building was built based on “the design style with high ‘culture content’ of the two famous world universities Cambridge and Oxford” (Yang, 2004) . Another source is “core management software” of the school. It was legislated as private school. Semester system and credit system of Friends High School became the basic mode of teaching management. Simply speaking, each student must get 34 - 36 credits of all subjects in each semester to be qualified. Take an excellent student in senior grade as an example to calculate the academic performance, shown in the following table:

The average score of academic performance gained by student 3178 ÷ 36 = 88.27 (hundred-mark system). (Yang, 2004) .

The above illustration is a case that the President Yang Fangling flexibly used “credit system calculation method” to compute student’s achievement. If there is no credit system calculation, the outstanding senior student achievement is 1181 (score) ÷ 14 (subject) = 84.34, the overall performance result is reduced by nearly 4 points, mainly cut to the scores of the three major national education disciplines, namely, Chinese, English and mathematics. Obviously, according to the principle “credit system calculation method”, President Yang Fangling took the basic core position of three prominent disciplines including Chinese, English and mathematics in the classroom learning to embody the most important major subjects for the national education. As for current basic education quality management, it is the experience that is worthy further studying.

The main teaching building of Friends was built in 1905, how to transplant to show Oxford University’s teaching management mode from the architectural form? Or, because the architecture style was similar to Oxford University, it became the target of similar school-running mode association and imagination? Actually, this kind of teaching build with similar architectural style to Oxford University is beneficial for the transplantation of Oxford University’s teaching management model, and can reflect the special educational function with connotation. The famous alumnus Wang Xianjue that was admitted to Friends Junior Middle School in the summer of 1943 and graduated from Friends Senior High School in the autumn of 1948 described that the main teaching building with facilities gave him deep impression:

“Teaching building facade has four floors, and its back has the tower with five floors. Teaching building is about 20 meters wide in the east, and about one hundred meters long in the north and south, against the mountains; seen from the distance, its eave’s horns stilt into the sky, and it is very spectacular. Most of classrooms are in the teaching building; calculating from the back of the building, there are classrooms and large study lounges on the first floor, administrative department on the second floor, boys’ dormitory on the third floor, teachers’ dormitory on the fourth floor, and a bell tower on the roof. It is activity center of Friends High School. There is a cooper bell sent by a British warship sailor to Friends High School in the west side of central corridor in the teaching building, against the wall, and the staff Yang Huating knocks the bell to indicate rest time between the classes. On the right side of teaching building is the library; the library is on the third floor. In the middle on the first floor is reading room with a lot of books. On the right side of the library on the first floor are physical, chemical, biological laboratories, and on the second floor and the third floor is the girl’s dormitory. On the left side of the first floor, the second floor and the fourth floor are classrooms. The whole teaching building is surrounded by trees and flowers” (Yang, 2004) . This magnificent teaching building almost became the real 3D space to display the management function of Friends High School which is similar to the architecture function of Oxford University. The appropriate commentary will be made in the following.

“Credit calculation method” as the management method of teaching quality needs a complete set of other teaching management systems to support. Only using still scoring with the course examination results can not fully reflect the concept of talent training and target system management. When Friends High School accepted national basic education ideas, the learning of all the subjects is the central content, and of in-class and after-class activities around the center learning content should provide further proof for “credit calculation method” to calculate students’ actual study results.

In short, for students’ learning quality, score is the key data to assess, but not as “single evidence”; stripping with the students’ learning attitude, learning habits, learning methods, and learning effect, etc., in-class and after-class relationship is actually associated. In the end, students should be consciously aware that the scientific and authoritative characteristics of “credit calculation method” is related to personal respect of the laws of classroom learning, following the school’s student code of conduct, cherishing the learning time, having right learning attitude, developing good study habits and scientific learning method and skill of “practice makes perfect”, increasing interest in learning, constantly accumulating effective learning experience and so on, and it is the result of personal learning potential, according with toughness of learning law. Friends High School’s “credit calculation method” reflects its scientific nature with the strict school education teaching management system implementation.

In the alumni memoirs, there are such words: “the regulations of Friends High School are very strict. Students must not be allowed to smoke, drink, play cards, quarrel... the student boundary between men and women is clear, and they are not allowed to have love affairs, otherwise, for the violators with slight mistake, they are punished with demerit recording, and for those with serious mistake, they are punished with school expulsion. Students cannot get out of the school without permission”. “The school is fully closed. Students living in the school can leave the school on weekends by permission each semester, only five to eight times, and they are limited to come back for self-study on Sunday night. In morning and evening self-study, the roll calling should made, except for students with casual leave, deducting mark from the total average score... because of cause leave for many times, my total average score is deducted in several semesters, and I did not enjoy the tuition discount” (Yang, 2004).

The so-called the school punishment “deducting total average score” is the final scoring result for the implementation of “credit calculation method”. The problem is that “deducting more average score” due to leave on weekends for exceeding times directly causes “failing to enjoy the tuition discount” in the semester. In terms of compliance requirements of learning law, “leave on weekends for exceeding times” will make effective learning time in school regulated by the school reduced, which is the detailed reflection that the learning attitude is not correct. As a result, there are problems on learning interest. In general, it will certainly affect strategic implementation of the school talent training goal. If “deducting total average score” is like a verbal criticism for students with excellent grades, the high total score still seems to be high even though it is deducted. The key is to let the student have it in mind in the whole life, not just to deduct the score, but cancel originally “enjoy the tuition discount”. This prize that students should be awarded with excellent grades is unexpectedly converted to a punishment; emotionally they are hard to give up, and their self-esteem needs psychological maintenance, so naturally they will remember it forever, pushing themselves not to make the same mistake. The emotional intelligence training that is a personality accomplishment is just “credit calculation method” of Friends High School, as the best example for the school with systematic and scientific management system.

The system of promoting or holding back students matching with Friends High School’s “credit calculation method” is managed and implemented very strictly. The famous alumni who was admitted to Friends Junior Middle School in 1940 and graduated from Friends Senior High School in 1946 pointed out that the system of promoting or holding back students is very strict in order to guarantee the teaching quality: “take our Yingming as example, there were more than 60 people enrolled in 1940, and only dozens of people graduated to be promoted” (Yang, 2004) , what does this high promotion rate indicate?

First of all, we should understand the phase characteristics of promoting. In the six year’s study from 1940 to 1946 in Friends High School, students actually experienced the two phases’ study with long time, three years’ junior middle school and three years’ senior high school, namely, the junior middle school and senior high school learning we talk about currently. In the middle school and high school in childhood, students’ learning psychology and physiology change a lot, and learning ability and level will gradually change year by year. Those dozens of people successfully finished the school in six years were enrolled in 1940, and they are the first batch of students with “marathon” study in six years’ middle school. For the other students, there are two big shunts, one is that some went to society or took job after finishing three years’ junior middle school in 1943, and the other is that some gradually completed senior high school. Since it took semester system, the term examination did not reach the standard, the student had to hold back to study for half an year, which prolonged the learning process of junior middle school and senior high school, and they might accomplish the senior high school in 1947 or 1948, or stopped studying in the school and entered society. So, the system of promoting or holding back students matching with Friends High School’s “credit calculation method” is strict and even cruel, but it embodies the scientific nature of the learning rules and the rationality that everyone is equal in the examination. The ultimate goal of the teaching management system has the function of national education popularization of basic education, and more importantly, it may select talents that the social development needs.

Friends Junior Middle School with three years uses the above education management system will be able to cultivate outstanding talents, and a typical example is the famous alumni Han Zikang who was admitted to Friends High School in 1926 and graduated in 1928, “forced to drop out of school because of family dispute”, and created the primary school affiliated to Friends High School entrusted by President Yang Fangling in March 1929 and was the director for 23 years. In 1926, it was the first year that President Yang Fangling fully managed Friends High School, and there are no related words in the memoirs by Han Zikang about how the president was familiar with and paid attention to the three years’ learning, but the fact that he was entrusted with an important task has strong evidence that President Yang Fangling who was skilled in education had thoroughly understood Han Zikang’s plasticity and educated temperament. “I know that my education should be improved, and I did not graduate from the normal education, thus I could not undertake this task, but convinced by President Yang with constant encouragement, I was moved by his care, and willingly did it to follow him. From then on, I was sincere, diligent, with all heart and soul to work for 23 years” (Yang, 2004) . At the beginning, it was the five-grade class teaching, and finished next year, “the formal primary school with the jurisdiction of the bureau of education”. The two dozen graduates in 1933 attended the county (Ba county) examination according to the regulations of the government and all passed it, and most of them had good results. During the Anti-Japanese War, Friends Primary School ranked the first in all primary schools in the city in terms of teaching quality (Yang, 2004) , which constantly sent outstanding students to Friends High School, serving for the principle of Friends High School, “creating real talents for the society, doing the immortal career to adapt to the needs of the future nation” (“the school history overview”). The successful establishment of Friends High School shows a lofty realm of a real educator on educating people, recognizing people and using people.

In recent years, the researchers also point out that Friends High School’s “system is rigorous, standardized, and adopts the administration measures of Oxford University, with strong learning atmosphere and high teaching quality” (Li L. J., 2009) . Friends adopts the judgment of “Oxford University’s management method”, and the researchers did not illustrate it on the basis of historical materials with vague words. As for the influence of Oxford University’s teaching management in the world, in the academic circles, it generally refers to the college system of Oxford University. Since the date of birth, the university has established the tenet of “university is to explore common knowledge”, which is the most vital and influential part of Oxford University. The operators adhere to their school-running idea: inheritance and development of knowledge, the pursuit of truth and knowledge, showing their unique educational philosophy through the school system, tutorial system, and unique professional settings.

In fact, college and college system of Oxford University are two concepts. According to the idea of Liu Xuezheng, “college” is internally set with “permanent private school”, or should be regarded as “quasi-college”, and it is theological seminary founded by the church, such as Oriel College focusing on cultivating a pastor. “College system” is the relational schema of management of college in Oxford and Oxford University, “like the relationship between the central government and local government in the United States, it takes the form of federalism”. “Education first”, Oxford University education mode of college system, advocates the ultimate goal of “liberal education” lies in the students’ upbringing. So-called upbringing is the knowledge, accomplishment, expression ability, personality, poise, and a variety of quite balanced and mature characters required for implementing the responsibilities of life which can help people to keep dignity and show power at the same time. And it has the same effect with the ideal of “general education” with the aim to cultivate the mind, but not taking study as the center, because the goal of education is to “make a person, not to write a book”. In college education with “upbringing” as the core goal, the teachers are asked to be a mentor, play double embodiment of reason and morality. Tutorial system is the basic support to guarantee Oxford “upbringing education model” develops longer. College system provides a basis for tutorial system. In addition to the formal lectures, college dining room is equipped with the “academic dinner” every night. When dining, each student is dressed in formal clothes, covered with the black to enter with gentleman poise. This is “hidden curriculum” of the environmental education of college system. College system makes all the four characteristics of tutorial system shown: closely harmonious relationship between teachers and students as the core of education, moral guidance of teaching soul, focusing on student’s learning guidance, training the ability of self-study and independent thinking and comprehending by analogy, to achieve the basic goal of students’ comprehensive development (Liu X. Z., 2010) .

Friends High School’s application to host senior high school in 1935 was approved by government regulators, with primary school, junior middle school, senior high school, the complete system that president Yang hoped was finally completed, Han Zikang fully took charge of the primary school and the teaching management right of Friends High School was authorized to the dean and geography teacher, Wu Ziling. “The teaching building of Friends has no the president’s office, but only the office of teaching affairs” (Yang, 2004) , on the one hand, it manifests that President Yang Fangling had the respect for his subordinates Han Zikang and Wu Ziling, and on the other hand, it shows that the special aspects of Chongqing Private Friends High School’s management system. If they could explore the individual features of Friends “private” system from the perspective of the actual management effect, there are two aspects that should be carefully understood with its connotation. One is the formal position of Han Zikang “director of Friends primary school” and his responsibilities; another is the formal position of Wu Ziling “dean of teaching affairs in Friends High School” and his responsibilities. Both “directors” were the subordinates of President Yang Fangling, and exerted his own responsibilities, but the responsibility of President Yang is very clear, he was mainly responsible for operational funds, external contact and exchange with government departments, supervision of educational goals on the system level of Friends High School (President Yang was also foreign language teacher in Friends, and the supervision of educational target can be in the first place). Crucially, he was responsible for implementing the tenet of private Friends High School that education save the nation, and the actual practice of its adaptation to social development. The relationship of primary school director and teaching affairs dean with the president is indeed similar to “federalism form” of the management relationship between school and college in Oxford University and its effects.

Certainly, it should be noted that before 1925, Friends High School of British friends of society did not have complete system, without senior high school or primary school, but only junior high school with small class size. For the transplant of Oxford University’s college education with “upbringing” as the core objective, they are associated only on the tutorial system, and now we also need to explore new historical data to prove. “Chongqing religion” shows “Friends school ‘adopted the administration of Oxford University’”, (Shi, 2000) and it shall have the corresponding historical data to sort out further.

3.2. Reflection of British Public Education Idea in the Process of School Running of Private Friends High School

Friends High School’s alumni “in memory of Yang Fangling” shows the impression of the school teaching left a few decades ago, and usually it is not reasonable analysis from the professional angle of education management but the comprehensive expression through the standard form of a logical argument. The feelings of the record, but there are words and phrases on emotion, because the middle school with the most dynamic in life condenses a student’s spiritual potential of all creativity, and they are talents cultivated by Friends.

“The president was often serious and facetious at the same time in class, and also not constrained by textbooks. He loved to quote Confucius’ words, and often praised the learning atmosphere of Oxford and Cambridge. Therefore, the President’s education thought was influenced by Confucius’ private school and the British public school. He was good at teaching and set himself as example, sometimes with British corporal punishment, and its main purpose is to train the urchin into “people”―with sound mind, healthy personality. So, many groups of naughty children entered the school and many groups of talents entered society” (Yang, 2004) .

“Love to quote Confucius’ words” is the historical materials that can be checked, and it is the graduation inscription of President Yang Fangling given to Feng Huaxiu who was the student of grade 10 in Friends High School in 1948:

Learning without thought is useless; though without learning is dangerous.


(Yang in June 15, 1948) (Yang, 2004)

President Yang Fangling was proficient in English, and it is excellent translation of English and Chinese, from which we can see that the president had profound Confucianism culture with profound comprehension of the native language expression of Chinese traditional education laws. As for the grade 10 class where Feng Huaxiu was, with constant encouragement of Friends High School’s teaching management “elimination rate mode”, everyone achieved success: “most of my classmates were admitted to all kinds of colleges and universities, and some specialized in a foreign language to become the foreign language talents of new China. Some students have been working in the central compiled bureau of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. Some always attend the propaganda in ‘CHINA RECONSTRACT’. ‘CHINA construction’ was the only one propaganda publication that Soong Ching-ling hosted and Epstein edited before liberation. Some teach foreign language in institutions of higher education. Some work in the national scientific research institutions, colleges of engineering, art and medicine, and in their respective positions, they were diligent to make their own contribution” (Yang, 2004) . Their behaviors show the specifications as a talent.

“Influence of British public school” can be proved by the terminal talents who were cultivated by Friends. Certainly, firstly, we should recognize British public school and then might understand “influence of British public school”, how Friends High School formed its own school-running mode.

“British public school is a kind of private school, and generally does not accept government funding, thus it is not controlled by the government and enjoys a high school-running autonomy; different from local grammar school, it is oriented to the whole country to recruit students; also, different from the for-profit private schools, it does not take profit as purpose.” (Yuan, 2006) . For example, the UK’s first public school, Winchester College founded in 1382, and famous Eton college founded in 1440. In the author’s opinion, the British public school’s concept of running school is the most impressive and the most direct foreign education resources for Yang Fangling to form the school-running of Friends High School. The management system to cultivate the character of the students and urge the students’ overall development is the most important embodiment of the British public school running efficiency.

1) The British public school’s cultivation of student’s character fully embodies the law of basic education. Researchers said: “in a person’s growth, the middle school stage is a critical period. The junior middle school stage is also called juvenile period or middle school age, and since it is the transition from adolescence to early adulthood, it is a complex period with independence and dependence, self-consciousness and childishness. So, it is also called transition. This is a period of which students are half naive and half mature. Senior high school is also called early youth or late middle school age, which is a period of developing to be independent with the ability to think independently, and the range of attention has reached the level of general adults. That it to say, high school is the key period for the students’ personality cultivation, and often the formed character is directly developed into the university stage” (Yuan, 2006) . For anyone receiving public school education in the UK, his character shaping with outstanding ability is obvious. Public school grasps the formation of the students’ character in the basic education stage, and in the meantime of imparting knowledge and learning skills to students, it takes the cultivation of the character with outstanding ability for their students, so the students can get comprehensive development in the true sense. Yang Fangling’s English teaching can clearly show the efforts of similar character education:

“President Yang convinced that education was the way to the national salvation, so no matter whether to be in meeting or class, he never forgot the patriotism education. I remember when he taught Byron’s The Isles of Greece, he compared and reviewed three translations of Su Manshu, Ma Junwu and Hushi, and related it to the destruction of the Chinese ancient civilization, the invasion of the Japanese aggressors, with generous rhetoric and heated emotion. Then he suddenly asked a classmate: “Uue Fei’s Return me territory, please translate it into English.” After hearing the answer, he made a correct: “the words ‘河山’ can’t be literally translated as ‘Rivers and mountains’, these four words should be translated to Return me territory. This not only inspires our patriotic ideas, but also shows foreign language can’t be literally translated. Then he wrote a famous saying “Time and tide wait for no man’, which warns that we must adapt to the trend, concern about the current political situation, and cherish time” (Yang, 2004) . Patriotism education is the core of the British middle school students’ character education, and the public school serves to cultivate the talent. Private Friends run by president Yang cultivated talents for Chinese society, with the thorough and clear education concept, so we later generations will be deeply inspired by it.

2) The “important tip” that British public school cultivates student’s character is the closed-end boarding management. Boarding public school generally chooses quiet place far from the city, with beautiful environment as well as simple and elegant school buildings, forming “important education elements” of a public school (Yuan, 2006) .

At the same time, “boarding public school integrates the life and study of students and teachers as a whole, forming a small society with complete functions. Teachers should not only develop the knowledge teaching work, but also show attentive care. Teachers and students interact every day, so that the students gradually accept teachers on the psychological aspect, and rely on and trust upon them. Teachers love students like their children, and take the school as their family; students treat teachers as relatives and friends, and think of the school as their second home. This is a kind of typical affection management mode, which greatly enhances the function of school education. The students live together, who are both the citizens here and the managers here. For the normal maintenance dormitory management system, it also needs to establish a set of complete top- down organization management system, and to give the manager of each layer the autonomous power. The students exercise their management power, fulfill their duties, carry out the campaign speech, debate, and accept the review of the classmates; under the discipline, public moral consciousness, the consciousness that freedom and order are unified, the concept that rights and obligations are consistent are gradually formed in the minds of the students. The collective life makes them learn tolerance, sports games makes them learn working together, management work makes them learn leadership and obedience. All these lay a solid foundation for their entrance into society in the future” (Yuan, 2006) .

Friends High School’s location, campus environment and its extremely strict closed-end boarding management can be seen from the function setting of the main teaching building. Boarding is certainly the ideal management mode “to promote the external environment and the school education function are consistent with the same direction”. The alumni of Friends High School talked about the school life, normal dormitory management system, and no one mentioned “campaign” activities and student management affairs. Friends’ student campus life with learning as the core and boarding system seem to take obedience as honor, habit is a second nature, there is no alumni who made related words, and no description of affection between teachers and students in terms of management. But the details about the “affection management mode” can be observed from a fondly paragraph below:

President Yang’s wife “often went to girl’s dormitory to care them, with guidance and good care. Once in class, Guan Yansheng had epilepsy disease, and after knowing it, she came to take care of him in a timely manner. Once Yang Rong was sick, she took the medicine to the dorm to see her. One time I participated in the games, and had serious nosebleed at the end of the race, she hurriedly stepped down from the platform and put a cold towel on my forehead” (Yang, 2004) .

3) British public school “makes the students’ extracurricular activities under control with unified organization of the students’ sports competition, social practice and all kinds of entertainment activities” (Yuan, 2006) . The objectivity of unhealthy practices intrusion is eliminated, which is conducive to develop students’ positive spirit. Public school will become a “small purified society”, and all sorts of social pollution and dregs are filtered out, which is very conducive to the growth of the students. Public school’s extracurricular activities on four aspects promote the students’ all-round development: rich and colorful sports to strengthen the students’ physique and perseverance; various cultural activities to cultivate the students’ art taste and performance ability; the activities of all kinds of social organizations to cultivate students’ ability in social intercourse and cooperation; the participation of social service activities to cultivate patriotic consciousness and compassion.

The characteristics and scale of relatively private Friends High School’s extracurricular activities have many similarities with British public school. President Yang Fangling formed the evident individuality of personal school-running “Friends specialization”:

1) The campus sports of private Friends High School is characterized by football as tradition. The president was the best football coach and referee, and the director of primary school, Han Zikang, played football excellently, with the nickname “Han steel head”; the dean of office affairs, Wu Ziling, was a good goalkeeper, called “Wu steel door”. “In 1930s and 1940s, 30, Friends High School has the school team and “Friends football team” and “Hesheng football team” belonging to sports associations” as well as each class’ football team, with frequent games; for extracurricular activities in the afternoon, there were class team competition, and on weekends, there was a football match with the other schools every week… for each game, President Yang would be on site, and sometimes he thought of himself as the referee” (Yang, 2004) . Or, he took himself as coach, with the demonstration on football skills, and spread football culture at the same time. He repeatedly told students, “football is a kind of sports art to practice one’s will, braveness, wisdom, harmonization, cooperation, solidarity, coordination, fight...” (Yang, 2004) . The popularity of sports was promoted by campus football, and it became the good tradition for the campus culture construction of private Friends High School; the attention to student’s physical exercise became the consensus of all the teachers and students. The president also noticed, “Friends High School’s sports venues and sports equipment ranked the first-class among the middle schools in Chongqing” (Yang, 2004) . With the guidance of the president, “the sports meeting was held in spring and summer (autumn and winter) every year, attracting more than 80% of students to participate in it” (Yang, 2004) . “Every sports meeting would employ alumni who was a physical education teacher and experienced foreign people as referees. In the sports meeting, there were various track and field sports, javelin, discus, shot put, high jump, long jump, race, hurdle... everything needed is ready”; the last “grand finale” was always the football match (Yang, 2004) .

2) As for campus activities of private Friends High School, the campus football is followed by campus music activities with influence, and this is also that the President Yang Fangling insisted on the idea of “5-dimension education”s aesthetic education, and certainly it is also his expertise cultivated year after year over a long period of time. “Within a year, there was a few times f to pray by the whole school, but every day we can hear the choir of each class practice Hymn chorus. In December, all the big and small choirs practiced more, to meet the arrival of the ‘Christmas’ on December 25th. On Christmas Eve, activities were in full swing and part of the classes or the choirs began to hold small Christmas party respectively”; “The classmates had the interest in art and music with the feelings of art activities to accept it, enjoy it, and sing it. Thus, there were many participants. There was less religious atmosphere but strong music atmosphere!” (Yang, 2004) . “In the music activities on campus at that time, the traditional elegant art songs include many Chinese and foreign famous songs, and strong artistic songs of the masses and excellent movie songs, as well as the excellent Chinese and foreign folk songs; consequently it had rich connotation and diverse species, becoming the mainstream of campus music activities, and coexisting with the traditional chorale songs” (Yang, 2004) . “The main organization form of these music activities is chorus with class as unit to form spontaneously; except a few professors with inaccurate singing, the whole class participated in, divided into four parts including soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Each part had a backbone. The chorus had team spirit and collective sense of honor, and each class chorus has competition with others to see who sung well, so they made more efforts for self-study practice constantly.” “The form of activities is mainly their class’ small get-together sing; or the party of two classes; or a big concert to sing held in the great hall with all the teachers and students to participate in” (Yang, 2004) .

President Yang is a physically music activist. As for music activities of Friends High School, there are two activities that can be accessed in important historical data. One is “Thanks Song” created by President Yang during the Anti-Japanese War period: “white rice grains/hard-won, /serve civilians/thanks for gives; /unforgett- able humiliation/don’t forget each meal, /hard life/save my nation!” The tune is changed based on religious music tone. This is a regulation of Friends High School in the war, that is, the school students must sing songs before having meal. Alumnus Deng Zongshu said in the memoir, “thanks song” was one of the “specific things” that the school made him remember in a deep-rooted manner and virtually affected my life thinking and deeds” (Yang, 2004) .

Another is the campus program list of “Friends High School Concert” on May 25, 1947 that is still kept now. On it, there are such words, “place: Guangxin hall, Nan’an campus, Chongqing; performer: President Yang Fangling”. The content of the program list is as follows:

1) Chorus with mixed voice and four parts: a. revitalize the Chinese nation (Liu Xuan wrote words, Haydn composed); b. beautiful land song of China (anthem); c. Yumen Frontier March (Luo Jialun wrote words, Li Weining composed)

2) Solo of soprano: a. last rose (Liu Bannong wrote words, Flotow composed); b. Wine singing (An E wrote words)

3) Sole of tenor: a. appreciating bamboo flute in Luocheng in the spring night (Liu Bai’s poem, Liu Xue’an composed) b. Santa Lucia (Air. W.A.W)

4) Chorus of girls with three parts: a. Love My China (G. W. Chadwick); b. hill in illusion (Wei Hanzhang wrote words, Huang Zi composed)

5) Solo of soprano: a. Love’s old Sweet Song (J.L, M0lly composed) b. three wishes of rose (Long Qi wrote words, Huang Zi composed)

6) Chorus with mixed voice and four parts: a. Auld Lang Syne (R. Burns wrote words, Fearis composed); b. My loved China (from Lucia di Lamme moor) (Li Baozhen wrote words, G. Donizetti composed)

7) Chorus with mixed voice and four parts: a. song of Jiamei land (anthem) b. The Spanish Cavalier (J.S. Fearis composed) c. honor song (anthem)

8) Sole of tenor: a. Occasionally (Xu Zhimo wrote words, Li Weining composed); b. Seranade (Schubert composed)

9) Ensemble of girls: a. Spring Time (A. Worlar composed); b. Spring (from Minue in C) (Beethoven composed)

10) Solo of soprano: a. selling flowers (Qiu Wangxiang wrote words and composed); b. Ave Maria (Bach Gounod composed)

11) Chorus of boys with four parts: a. Star of Sunmer Night9 (Woodbury composed); b. Song of Soldiers (anthem)

12) Chorus with mixed voice and four parts: a. Olive hill (F. Milller composed); b. lord resurgence (W.S. Martim composed); c. Gloria (from 12th Mass) (W. A. Mozart composed) (Yang, 2004) .

Amateur program of “Friends High School’s music concert playbill” leaves a deep professional impression, and seems to surpass a lot of music concerts in the formal music school performance currently. Remarkably, in the playbill, it is the special clew of “performer: President Yang Fangling”; if private Friends High School campus music activities leaves the president’s guidance of aesthetic education for more than 20 years, will there be such specifications of the school concert? Will there be such super performance of singing songs?

It took football, music as the typical examples to attract the participation of students, and be included in school management of campus activities; and for students’ academic, entertainment, and all kinds of practical skills training activities, the president gave a great deal of discretionary space: “never to intervene or forbid students to spontaneously organize and post wall posters”, which forms the sharp contrast with strict implementation of the classroom teaching system. The Friends alumnus recalled: with the guidance of the President Yang “create a loose growing environment for students, student associations have mushroomed, appearing in succession, each class is a community, a few students can set a club... with its own wall poster” (Yang, 2004) , they published articles, cartoons, news photos, and even made direct attack on current politics. In the private Friends High School hosted by President Yang Fangling, students had the free development in personality, which is similar to the small “community” environment of the British public school; old like-minded friend formed a community, complementing each other in the school with mutual learning, which is very conducive to the formation of students’ personal interests and development of talent education, and create the perfect conditions outside of the classroom learning. Friends High School became the cradle of outstanding talents in translation, music, football, performance, politics, economy, culture, medicine, education, diplomacy, military, engineering, etc., and this is the president’s school-running concept influenced by the British public school and the inevitable outcome of the free development of students.

4. Topic Explored Further: Connation of Profound Chinese and Foreign Cultures in Private Friends High School’s Motto

“Going on a long journey, one must start from a short step, and climbing high, one must start from low” (行远自迩, 登高自卑) was made by President Yang Fangling, and it is the school motto of Friends High School. The famous alumnus’s understanding on the school motto is like this:

“This is the discipline of ‘doing scholarly research and behaving’ with philosophical depth, and comes from The Book of Rites Doctrine of the Mean. It means that one must take the first step in order to create the brilliant future; when you really achieve the knowledge, you will feel you are tiny and should be modesty. This is the concise motto for students’ execution of scholarly research and behavior, and beneficial to our whole life… ‘long journey’ is ‘accumulation’, ‘climbing high’ is ‘achievement’, from accumulation to achievement, it is dialectic logic” (Ye Yu) (Yang, 2004) .

“The motto of Friends comes from Doctrine of the Mean ‘going on a long journey, one must start from a short step, and climbing high, one must start from low’, which contains two meanings, namely, step by step, and guarding against arrogance” (Tong Minglun) (Yang, 2004) .

The school motto warns “students should learn steadily step by step” (Xia Peihou) (Yang, 2004) .

The motto of Friends High School, “Going on a long journey, one must start from a short step, and climbing high, one must start from low” was made by President Yang Fangling, from “The Book of Rites Doctrine of the Mean”, and the original sentence of “the way to be gentleman is like that going on a long journey, one must start from a short step, and also line that climbing high, one must start from low”; then, it follows the form of idiom to form the motto of Friends. The explanation of the original idiom is as follows―自: from, 迩: near; 卑: low. The walking must start with the near place, and climbing high must start with low place. It means that people should go from the easy to the difficult and complicated when doing a thing. The original text has such translation: the gentleman conducts the doctrine of mean, as going on a long journey, he must start from a short step; as climbing high, he must start from low.

The proposal time for the above motto of Friends High School remains to be proven, and the author thinks that it is probably in 1925 when President Yang Fangling was authorized by Sichuan friends of society to formally preside over the school affairs. President Yang was deeply influenced by traditional Chinese culture, Confucianism, and in English class, he often took the form of Chinese and English translation to impart Confucian culture essence: “in foreign language class, he promoted the Chinese traditional virtue and explained the English words such as Loyalty, Filial piety, Benevolence, Love, Faith, Righteousness, Peace, Courtesy, Clearhand, Selfeonsecionus, Benign, Upright, Courteous, Thrifty, Complaisant one by one to us, which has left deep memories for me” (Yang, 2004) .

“The doctrine of the mean” is one text of “the rites”. Today reading “the doctrine of the mean”, its way is unlike “The Great Learning”, not taking the beginning two characters, but the core content as the title, Confucians thought it was modified by those in qin dynasty. But Zhu Xi took “the doctrine of the mean, the great learning, The Analects of Confucius and Mencius as the four books, which shows that he must have the deep understanding of the doctrine of the mean. Zhu Xi believed that “the doctrine of the mean”, “thinking thoroughly with accurate expression, thinking long with details”, “the holy book of the generations, so it is concise and profound, with deep meaning, without unclear words” (zhang ju on the doctrine of the mean, sequence), and Zhu Xi directly quoted Cheng Yi’s words at the beginning of zhang ju on the doctrine of the mean, stressing that the doctrine of the mean is the work of “spiritual method for Confucius propagation”, a practical learning, and people who are good at reading may have to grasp its essence, with lifetime benefits. Because the doctrine of the mean proposes the highest ethical standards of Confucian, and critical takes it as basis, fully discussing the issue of the way to be gentleman, involving the important aspect of Confucianism, and for intellectuals who consciously inherit Chinese culture, it is indeed a “practical knowledge”.

The author thinks that the school motto that President Yang proposed firstly warn himself as a school president, he should be conscious for education career, and did everything to do a good job in school, with the way of gentleman “Going on a long journey, one must start from a short step, and climbing high, one must start from low” to encourage him, which accords with the mood and aspirations of the president at that time. But “low self-esteem” of “climbing high” has meant “making achievement”, but should means “avoiding arrogance”; and “climbing high” starts from “low self-esteem” or “low place”, thus, the school can be run! Famous contemporary cultural scholar Yu Qiuyu made the interpretation of the way of gentleman from the understanding of Chinese cultural personality model, which has a lot of inspiration for us to know the President Yang’s personal value orientation of making the school motto. The following is the brilliant explanation of the excerpt of “way of gentleman”.

China’s cultural personality model is extended the most widely, with the most overlapping, and the most permeation, superior to a gentleman. It also can be “the greatest common divisor” of a huge nation in its own early cultural integration.

Gentleman becomes one of the most unique Chinese cultural identities, and as a kind of collective personality prototype, it has existed from the ancient times, but been selected, interpreted, ascended by the Confucian, so as to become a kind of ideal personality. This ideal design is formed by the Confucian, and many bright spots of the Chinese culture tend to slide, concentrate and infuse, fuse there. The word, Gentleman, is “all-encompassing and serious”, and the simplest summary of the Confucian doctrine; it can be called “way of gentleman”, even, the key to Chinese culture. “For Chinese culture, there is a gentleman, which means there is everything; no gentleman, all are in vain.”

This is to say, personality on the culture receives everything, subside everything, and predict everything. Any culture is the former generation’s posterity to later generation, and the best will, more than the ideal forecasting. That means that the offspring should be a gentleman, the most qualified and perfect Chinese.

The ultimate cause that Chinese culture will not decline is that “gentlemen have not been dead, personality has not collapsed”.

“The continuation of Chinese culture is the continuation of the gentleman personality; the stiffness of Chinese culture is the stiffness of the gentleman personality; the lack of Chinese culture is the drawback of the gentleman personality, the updating of Chinese culture is the renewal of the gentleman personality” (Yu, 2013) .

The reason why the author explored the school motto of Friends High School “going on a long journey, one must start from a short step, and climbing high, one must start from low” from the perspective of cultural personality of personal accomplishment is that President Yang Fangling as the talent with solid traditional Chinese culture and cultivated by the British friends of society was deeply influenced by the protestant Christian personality value orientation. Especially the British friends of society sent him to the St. John’s University in Shanghai to accept the influence of president Bu Fangju on the personality education philosophy; and then he went to University of Birmingham, UK, for further study with the detailed study of the British public school and Oxford University, and absorbed the essence of western modern education thought. Researchers pointed out: “freedom, equality, individualism, for the sake of the target struggle, fair competition and other basic values… with various transmission behavior of protestant cleric, they slowly infiltrated in China, until the colonial war speeded up the process of the spread of fire and blood. Different from the top-down spread channel of Catholicism, protestant missionaries mainly conducted the spread of western culture through modern media, from bottom to top, and they thought that the biggest obstacle was from the mass group in China culture, rather than the upper group that Catholic thought. Therefore, only through the form of mass communication such as publishing books and newspapers, founding schools and so on can it improve Chinese culture. The Chinese modern education originated in new schools that the protestant missionaries founded-the church school... by 1912, the number of church schools had reached 200,000, cultivating a large number of modern Chinese thinkers, scientists and engineers such as Sun Yat-sen, Rong Hong, Ma Xiangbo, etc.” (Li A. D., 2010) . President Yang Fangling is also the talent cultivated by the patriotic church school in modern China, and just it was late more than ten years. Thus, from the conception that Mr Yu Qiuyu conducted the integration of Chinese and western cultural personality cultivation, the individual motivational meaning for the school motto made by Yang Fangling can even be explained by the free translation of words as follows:

The way of gentleman is like going on a long journey, so it can make people know “the short step”, which means that they will know it is not far compared with the “far”. The way of gentleman is like climbing high mountains, so that people know “inferiority”, and also know that they are just not superior compared with the “high”.

Based on the school motto “going on a long journey, one must start from a short step, and climbing high, one must start from low”, it cultivated talents, and the connotation of the modern secondary school education value orientation is actually more profound. Because the school motto as the practice guide of school education only takes the personality practice of the gentleman without actual starting a career. From the basic education objective cognition of the national education, “迩” and “卑” should be understood uniformly as the long journey for one hundred education, and it honestly starts from the nearby (basis); the aim of the education hope “constantly up” starts from the low (basis). Therefore, it must carry out the complementary education (teaching) principle of being step by step according to their aptitude, teachers and students should be consistent for each lesson; they should lay a solid foundation, and have new knowledge every day. From the national education’s talent education goal, in addition to the basic education target requirements for the connotation of the school motto “travel from nearby, climb up from low”, it strictly warn students should avoid biting and arrogance, to work hard, with the self-discipline concept of talent target, “constant upgrading every day, a superior man makes untiring endeavor for advancement”. While for the latter, the author thinks that it is the school-running objective that President Yang Fangling valued more training the national talents. That is the pet phrase that everyone was familiar with and the president always said in class: the origin of “if one makes a high target, he might achieve intermediate target; if one makes an intermediate target, he might achieve low target”. The biggest target of universal education, of course, is “popularization”, the lifelong education goal of talent education is the real “success”! That seems to inspire us, the important point to solve the century difficult problem “question of Qian Xuseng” and reflect national universal education.

Cite this paper

Xinxian Zhao,Yongli Tao, (2016) Studies on some Problems about Yang Fangling’s Talent Education Thought. Creative Education,07,1357-1374. doi: 10.4236/ce.2016.79141


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*The Forum of the Centennial Friends High School and 100 Years of Education in Chongqing.