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Famous People

Heqin Chen: Practitioner of "Living Education"

Heqin Chen (1892-1982), famous educator, and child psychologist, "The Father of China's Preschool Education".

Heqin Chen graduated from Johns Hopkins University (U.S.) in 1917, and continued his education focusing on education and psychology at Teachers College of Columbia University. In 1918, he received his Master’s degree in Educational Sociology. In 1919, upon returning to China, he was appointed to teach at Nanjing Higher Normal School as a professor, and later served as a professor and provost of National Southeast University. He founded Nanjing Gulou Kindergarten. From 1949 to 1952, he served as the Dean of the Teachers College of Nanjing University. From 1952 to 1958, he served as the first President of Nanjing Normal College (today’s Nanjing Normal University) as well as the Dean of the Department of Preschool Education.

Heqin Chen had established a systematic theoretical framework for the Chinese adaptation and scientific development of modern early childhood education, and accumulated a wealth of practical experience. He was the first in the nation to offer child psychology courses in China’s higher normal schools, and combined teaching with experimental studies concerning children’s psychology and family education. During his long-term practice and exploration of this subject, he proposed a theory of "Living Education", and left a legacy of publications of nearly 4 million words.