||There has been a long history in the Family Instruction in ancient China. The family management and family education have been greatly emphasized throughout the Chinese history, and “Family Instruction” is the concrete representation of the “words of family foundation and personal individualization” as the teachings of the descendants. The collection of unique family teachings is what the family elders condensed their rich life experiences into and what they put into words to become the criterion for disciplining the behaviors of family members and for dealing with family affairs in pursuit of the sustainable management and development of the family.
The traditional Family Instruction, the family education with an emphasis on the unity of the family and the country, has a profound influence on individuals, the family, the society, and the country. A majority of families in modern society are the “small family” type, and hence, what with the transformed social practices and values, what with the malfunction of family education and what with the frequent social disorders, the traditional ethical education has been revalued. And Family Instruction is the best revelation of the traditional moral education. Because the Ming and Qing Dynasty is the period of prosperity and development for Family Instruction, this thesis will try to analyze the contents related to family education in Family Instruction of the Ming and Qing Dynasty with the view to making some contribution to modern education.
The following are the contents of the thesis:
The first chapter is the introduction. On top of “research motivation and thesis explanation”, and “relevant research generation”, this chapter includes “the definition of family instruction and the form of origins”, “the development of branches of family instruction”, and “the relationship between the traditional family education and family instruction”, as the generalization of the topics in this thesis.
From the second chapter to the fourth chapter, there is the introduction and analysis of the methods of the family instruction of the Ming and Qing Dynasty.
The second chapter analyzes and lists the contents of “self–study”, “socialization” and “self–discipline”. The “self–study” is divided into the three parts of making resolutions, diligently studying and self–reflection; the “socialization” will discuss separately about careful speech and cautious behavior, toleration and generosity, and the harmonious treatment with people of the same family; “self–discipline” is segmented into the abstinence from gambling and alcohol, the abstinence from sexual indulgence, the abstinence from disputes and the caution in making friends.
The third chapter makes an analysis of the concepts about “business-making and living–making”, “family ethics” and “family principles” in the family instruction of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The “business–making and living–making” is concerned about the three segments of “farming and studying”, “business” and “others.” The “family ethics” talks about the realization of filial piety, harmonious brotherhood and sweet relationship between a couple. The “family principles” is divided into the three parts of the management of farming estate, the promotion of diligence, and the marriage and funeral.
The fourth chapter analyzes the methods of “disciplining disciples” and “educating noble officials and good civilians.” The “disciplining disciples” focuses on the three sections of the baby cultivation, the mentor selection and the promotion of school establishment and study encouragement; the “educating noble officials and good civilians” is segmented into the observation of virtues and disciplines, the contribution of produce and taxes, and the law–obedience and the abortion of alliance.
The fifth chapter is the conclusion, making a summary of the above–mentioned contents and depicting the significance of family instruction.
This thesis can’t be completed without the tireless guidance of my best–respected teacher, Professor Wu. This thesis is the first trial of my study, and any error is open to be corrected.