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Famous People

Qian Jiang: Forerunner of Modern Chinese Normal Education

Qian Jiang (1876-1942), famous educator, first president of Nanjing Higher Normal School.

Qian Jiang’s educational philosophy features influenced students with the idea of "Combining Knowledge with Action". He corrected the negative trend of empty talks about social injustice, and promoted a more pragmatic spirit. In pedagogical terms, he emphasized that the students draw inspiration from their own development of consciousness and enlightenment so as to break away from the rigid and dogmatic style and to prepare valuable talent for society.

Qian Jiang believed that the country's prosperity depended on science and industry. Therefore, he advocated "practical subjects" in education, and added three specialized subjects to the syllabus: Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce, a move that led the entire nation at that moment. He designated Physical Education (PE) as a compulsory subject, which became another first innovation in China. Thanks to his excellent leadership, Nanjing Higher Normal School gradually expanded its educational scope, and built a multi-disciplinary institution of higher learning with a modern scientific system. It was one of the first five national higher learning normal schools in China. With his profound knowledge of Chinese culture and a passion for the school, he wrote the lyrics for the "Nanjing Higher Normal School Anthem".

Throughout his life, Qian Jiang made education his uttermost goal. He truly deserves the title of “Forerunner of Modern Chinese Normal Education”.

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