Why is education important in Confucianism? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Education is vitally important in Confucianism as it sees the way in which human beings improve is through education, learning, and understanding.  Confucianism is distinct in how it does not ascribe any permanent and lasting characteristics to human nature.  Consider Confucius' words to this point:

 By nature men are similar; by practice men are wide apart.

This means that human beings are born in a similar tract and it is through education and experiences that can enlighten through which they are able to better understand the world and their place in it.  For Confucianism, the embrace of the Five Virtues is only through education and understanding.  "By study and practice" is how human beings evolve in Confucian thought.  The ability to govern oneself is something that is rooted in education and understanding, and through this, the political implications of Confucian thought is equally evident.  Learning and education is both formal and informal, done through interaction with others and with instructors, as well as with oneself.  In all of these domains, education is of vital importance to the attainment of Confucian goals and aspirations.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Education is an important aspect of Confucianism because it was regarded as an equalizing factor within the community with the aim of offering each individual an equal opportunity to succeed. It is through education that people from even the deprived section of the society were accorded a chance to rise and aspire for better. In Confucianism, education was also used to maintain the society’s code of ethics and transferring the same to future generations. Confucianism asserts that it is only through education that people are able to develop understanding of different subjects. Confucius considered education as an important tool in the restoration of meaning and society values. Education was important to Confucianism because it was seen as a factor in the cultivation of character and the development of gentlemen who are able to express themselves in a composed and intelligent manner.

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