ABSTRACT. This paper analyzes the discipline system used in ancient Chinese education from Foucault’s knowledge/power perspective. The article first discusses how Foucault thinks about the relationship between knowledge/power and discipline. Then, by analyzing the contents of the Xueji, I argue that discipline within the educational sphere was heavily emphasized in ancient China. This included the arrangement of educational time and space, the standard used for teachers’ knowledge and morality, and the control of students’ academic morality and ideology. Finally, the article comes to the conclusion that in ancient China, discipline in schools was an important tool used by rulers to consolidate their power and maintain social order. pp. 22–26

Keywords: Foucault; knowledge; power; Xueji


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Department of Education,
East China Normal University

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