The aim of this study was to explore the introduction of British education in late Ch’ing China before 1898. Twenty-four historical and geographical books and traveling records written by priests, officials, and intellectuals were analyzed. The main findings were as follows. (1) The focus was on elementary and secondary schools and universities and colleges. Few authors mentioned kindergartens, military academies, other schools, or administrative authorities. (2) The educational establishments in England were focused, and some in Scotland and Ireland were introduced. (3) The nature of charity, school age, number of schools and pupils, tuition fees, curriculum, and gender limitations of elementary schools were recorded; some sources mentioned compulsory and free education. However, the formation of dual systems of board and voluntary schools after the enactment of the Elementary Education Act in 1870 was not recorded. (4) The name, location, and number of universities in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Dublin were introduced in most books. However, few books mentioned their curriculum, examinations, degrees, and faculty. (5) Although all the books were published and read before 1898, their concrete circulation and influence was difficult to estimate. (6) The introduction of British education during this period was similar to that of the period of traveling’s tales in comparative education development. (7) Because of the complexity of British localized education, the books were unable to completely describe it. Furthermore, because an antiforeigner climate existed in China at that time, educational borrowing was unlikely.
- British education
- Educational transfer
- Late Ch’ing
- Traveling records in education
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