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Famous People

Xingzhi Tao: Great Educator

Xingzhi Tao (1891-1946), famous educator and social activist.
In 1915, Xingzhi Tao entered Columbia University, where he studied under the influence of Dewey’s pragmatic education theory. In 1917, he received a Master’s degree in Political Science and a Director of Education Diploma. From 1921 to 1923, he served as the Dean of the Department of Education and then Provost of Southeast University. He was also the editor-in-chief of a magazine entitled New Education, within which he tried to promote the reform of China’s educational system, and actively push forward an educational movement for the benefit of the general public.
"Life Education" was at the core of Xingzhi Tao’s educational ideas. It included three basic beliefs: "Life is Education", "Society is school", and "Teaching, learning and practice come together as one". His idea added a significant chapter to the history of China’s modern education.
In 1927, Xingzhi Tao founded Nanjing Rural Experimental Normal School (i.e. Xiaozhuang Normal School). Later, he launched the "Science-for-Grassroots Movement", and organized a number of educational bodies, such as National Crisis Education Society, Shanghai Work and Study Group, a Talent School, and a Community College. He devoted himself to China's educational cause. His motto, "Giving a whole heart, yet taking nothing in return, not even a leaf of grass”, is a true portrayal of the way he lived his life.