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Children at play : a childhood beyond the Confucian shadow

BAI, Limin
2005

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This article presents a historical overview of Chinese attitudes to children's play activities. While Confucian and neo-Confucian scholars based their pedagogical teaching on an idealised image of childhood and showed a hostile attitude to play, games and toys, traditional China accepted children's right to play. Furthermore, a dualism between play activities and daily life activities was alien to Chinese traditional society, and games were rather understood as interwoven into daily life in many ways. This paper can be particularly useful to researchers and practitioners keen on exploring the cultural foundations of childhood and children's education in contemporary China

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