Confucianism is an ethical system that originated in China in the 6th century, B.C.E. The Xueji ("On Teaching and Learning") lays out the educational philosophy of Confucianism and was influential in the development of China's education system in the pre-modern era. Its opening passages outlines the central role of education in the Confucian thought:
If a ruler desires to transform the people [and] perfect [their] customs, [the ruler] can only do so through education!
The perfection and transformation of people is accomplished through their understanding of the Tao ("way" or "path") and comprehension of Tao is of penultimate importance in Confucianism. According to Confucianism, the Tao can only be understood through learning and study, further underlying the importance of education. The Xueji explains that:
Although the ultimate Tao is present, [one] does not know [its] goodness if [one] does not learn it.
A final point of importance in education is in its role in the development of character and...
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