In the first step, the research introduces the origin of the topic selection, and the cause of choosing this topic.
Then, the research relates three aspects. Firstly, in this section, it mainly explains the definitions according to the present research. Secondly, the section shows the key points of the study. Thirdly, in this section, it talks about the framework, so as to certify the rationality of the points.
Last but not least it further elucidates the implications of this study.
2. Study Topics of Origins
First of all, the study is academic. In ancient history, the canal was well developed as a waterway. Since modern times the canal has declined, and the development of land transportation, the social regional culture has changed accordingly. Under the complex effected factors, the Shandong canal regional education will be a hot-spot in the research.
Then, the origins are related to national policy, which is about the construction of cultural belt of Grand Canal. As recorded, the canal is an important cultural belt. It connects Qilu culture, Yanzhao culture and Wuyue culture. Actually, the construction of Shandong canal regional culture zone promotes the protection of historical and cultural heritage of the canal. In other words, the canal is a floating cultural belt, which carries multiple functions of cultural education.
Most important of all, I am interested in the topic. In the past two years, I have mastered relevant knowledge of pedagogy, understood relevant contents of canal science. In addition, I knew the history of education and learned relevant research contents of local and regional education history. These are theoretical and practical preparations I have made for this topic.
There are several definitions need to be explained clearly. Firstly, the so-called “modernization” refers to the process of advancing industrialization from the traditional agricultural society to the modern large-scale machine produced industrial society. Secondly, in the general modern history studies, “Early Modernization” was defined as the process of early modernization from the Opium War to the founding of China. This period includes the beginning of early modernization, the institutionalization and evolution of early Modernization.
In the educational field, there are definitions need to be made clearly. It is especially indicated that in the research that the early modernization of education refers to the process of reform in keeping with the early modernization of China. In detail, “it lists purpose, system, content and method. In essentials, it is to satisfy the needs of the times and the society as far as possible. In other words, if there is no adaptation, there will be no educational changes or adjustments ( Zhang & Luo, 1993). In a sense, education emerges within a specific background of times, and the social changes will be reflected in the different levels of education. Therefore, this is precisely the case with the early modernization of Chinese education. In summary, China’s educational modernization showed the modernization of thoughts, systems, contents, methods, equipment, means, management and so on ( Educational terminology).
The modern theory has been explained in the former researches. Three books are helpful to us to know how did the process developed in China’s modernization. The famous book named China’s Modernization ( Rozman, 1989) proposed that China’s modernization was an integral part of world modernization. From an international perspective, it explained the function of political power, economy, social structure, knowledge, education on the process of China’s modernization. The well-known book titled Comparative Review Research on Early Modernization in China ( Zhang & Luo, 1993) pointed out that China’s early modernization was to learn science and technology from the west.
Unlike others’ researches, the book analyzed the differences between China, Western Europe and Japan. Besides, according to the actual development of China’s national conditions, the author studies the early modernization of China on business and education. Most important of all, the book titled New Theory of Modernization—The Modernization Process of the World and China ( Luo, 1993), put China’s modernization in the context of regional modernization, and concluded the situation of evolution in China’s modernization over the past 100 years.
The regional history is a historic research which breaks the boundary of administrative divisions. The canal is an example. The towns along the canal are connected together. To be a core, the Canal Zone shows some of the same economic, politic land educational characteristics. Based on the geographic boundary, the Shandong Canal Zone is defined as the area where the Huitong River flows through the Shandong section of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal. In the research, the Canal Zone includes the mainstream, tributary and other radiation areas like the town, county, (city) area in Shandong Province.
As above, the theory of regional modernization has been introduced in education. Modernization was firstly mentioned in the book titled The Introduction to the Development of China’s Regional Education ( Wu, 2003), which put forward the famous theory of “the spatial distribution of the core regions of education” and “the core-edge effect in the development of regional education”. Specific areas were studied in the book titled The Process of Modernization of Education in North China ( Wang, 2008). In this book, the author studied on several provinces like Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong and Shanxi. Furthermore, the book can fully reveal the historical aspect of educational development.
There were two books about the regional research. One book named The Little Peasant Economy and Social Changes in North China ( Huang, 1986) chronicles the development of rural small peasant economy in the first half of the 20th century. It involves the development of agricultural education in Shandong and Hebei. Another book named The Construction of Hinterland—National Society and Economy in North China (1853-1937) ( Pong, 2017) explores the social and economic transformation of the inland areas of north China. And the author focused on Shandong, Henan and Hebei near the Huang Yun interchange. As can be seen, the research on different regions mainly focused on the scope which involves the economy, politics, culture, education, society and so on.
Local education history and regional education history play an important role in the study of education history. The study of Shandong’s canal region education includes the analysis of the science, technology, imperial examination. I find the changes in the cities and towns along the river. Some books like The History of China’s Canal City ( Fu, 1985) described several cities like Linqing, Jining since the Ming and Qing dynasties. The principal work of the book is to analyze the promoting factors of canal city from the perspective of sociology. It reflected the urban prosperity along the river. The references like Social Changes in the Canal Region of Shandong in the Ming and Qing Dynasties ( Wang, 2006a, 2006b) made a preliminary statistical analysis of the academies and imperial examinations in the canal region of Shandong. More importantly, master thesis titled The Impact of the Decline of the Grand Canal on the urban and rural economy of the canal area after the Mid-Qing Dynasty ( Sun, 2010) discussed the relationship between canal dredging, local economy and culture. In regular, it showed us the multiple factor’s functions.
Part I The Early Modernization of School Education in Shandong Canal Regions (1840-1895)
The early modernization of education in Shandong canal regions started relatively late. After the opium war in 1840, feudal education was still prevalent in Shandong. For example, the traditional imperial examinations and private schools, they were the main forms of school education in this period. The relevant information was recorded in the book named The General History of Shandong Education (Ancient volume), which mainly discussed Shandong school education and imperial examinations from Song to Qing dynasty. Then, the book named The General History of Qilu Culture (Modern volume) ( Wei, Tang, & Li, 2004) gives an overall summary of Shandong school education. To make additions, the book named The Study of the Imperial Examination System of Shandong Examination (Volume I) focus on the traditional educational forms in the history. This paper also adopts three degree theses as its references, like Study on Shandong School Education in Qing Dynasty ( Li, 2004) and Research on the Charitable Schools of Shandong Province in the Qing Dynasty ( Xu, 2011), which are reviews of the main content of traditional education research.
It was not until 1860 that the mass types of traditional education were changed. With the signing of unequal treaties and the opening of treaty ports, modern education developed under the impact of external forces. At first, the book named Regional Study ( Zhang, 1986) gives a brief introduction to Shandong’s industrial development and the mining development in Shandong’s educational reform in late Qing dynasty and early republic of China. What’s more, the book named The General History of Shandong (modern volume) ( An, 2009) gives a detailed introduction to Shandong cities which mainly includes Jining, Zaozhuang and other commercial cities along the canal. Book titled Shandong on the Sea—Under the Course of Early Modernization in Shandong Coastal Area ( Zhang, 2004) describes the situation of missionary education in Shandong coastal treaty ports.
Learning from these books, I find that references to canal regional education are abundant. Furthermore, with the missionary’s coming to China, Christian education begins to develop in the coastal region. Among the records, the book named Shandong Foreign Affairs Events 1840-1990 (1990) described the missionary events and foreign educational exchanges in Shandong province. From the perspective of comparison, the situation of education was that the new education started in the coastal region and traditional education still existed during this time.
Part II Institutionalization and evolution of early modernization of education in Shandong canal region (1895-1910)
The study on the early modernization of Shandong province involves the course of modern economic, political and cultural development. Learning from the history, the early modernization process of education is permeated in the regional history. The book named Regional Studies of China’s Modernization: Shandong, 1860-1916 ( Zhang, 1982) written by a Taiwan scholar. It has described the modernization of Shandong’s politics, economy and society, and it became a material for the modernization of Shandong’s education. Book named Commercial Port of Shandong in the Late Qing Dynasty ( Wei, 2004) described the changes in the city, which reflected the process of early modernization of Education. Above all, the predecessors studied the process of educational development in regional cities. In union, the modernization of education is also contained in the process of urban modernization. Specifically, the study on the early modernization of Shandong canal regions includes several stages: preliminary stage, systeation and evolution. Furthermore, we know experience gained in modernization has also become an important part of these researches.
In the period, the development of education in Shandong was mainly reflected in basic education, higher education and overseas study education. Specially, in the late Qing dynasty, the imperial examinations were abolished and schools were established. At the same time, the Qing government started to take some measures to improve the private schools. In fact, Shandong private school education improvement started early and slowly progressed. As one of representative figures, studies took education as the study object, which discussed the transformation of traditional schools. Besides, the development and improvement of modern private schools described in the book which named Research on Reform of Modern Private Schools ( Qin, 2016). It is also available for primary education.
In the period of institutionalization, the establishment of new schools was reflected in the reform of the academies and the establishment of higher institutes. The process not only started late but also difficult to develop. As you can see, the book named Shandong New Style School in Late Qing Dynasty ( Cao, 2004) introduces the process of the birth and development of the new school in Shandong during the late Qing dynasty. And the paper titled The Era of Thousands of Families of Shandong Industrial Education in the Late Qing Dynasty—on Yang Shixiang and Modern Shandong Educational Industry ( Wang, 2012) describes the educational reform activities of Shandong province, when Yang Shixiang was the governor of Shandong province from 1905 to 1907. Similarly, the book named Measures Taken by Local Governments to Develop Industries in Late Qing Dynasty and Early Republic of China—A Case Study of Shandong Province ( Meng, 2014) describes the variety of measures taken by the Shandong government to promote economic development. Again, the book titled History of Higher Education in Shandong (1840-2000) ( Luan, 2003) can be a reference to study the higher education of Shandong. Furthermore, Shantung Christian University: Cheeloo ( Charles, 1955), Historical Data of Shandong University (1982) and Historical Data of Shandong Agricultural University (1906-1990) (1990) all can be used to learn the history of higher education during this period.
Next information introduces the records of overseas education. One Master’s thesis titled Research on the Education of studying Abroad in Modern Shandong ( Wang, 2007) is the situation of Shandong’s overseas students studying in the United States, Europe and Japan. Another Master’s thesis titled Foreign Students and the Preliminary Development of Modern Education in Shandong ( Zhang, 2005: p. 10) discusses the role of study abroad education in the beginning of education modernization. These are the records of the overseas education in Shandong province.
Part III The evolution of early modernization of education in Shandong canal region (1911-1927)
Since the republic of China, the political and social reform has changed the education in Shandong. Shandong Tongzhi in the Republic of China ( Zhang, 2002), made an overall overview of education in the republic of China period. With the development of history, there were two outbreaks of social movement. For example, the 1911 revolution promoted the evolution of regional education in Shandong canal. The book named A Brief Analysis of the Educational Activities of the Tung Meng Hui in Shandong in the Late Qing Dynasty ( Zhong, 2000) has recorded the educational activities during the revolution of 1911. After several years, the May 4th movement blocked in Shandong. It influenced the development of education. Data collection of the May 4th movement in Shandong (1962) provides a reference for the description of students’ participation in the May 4th movement and the record of the school closure. We should make full use of these books to find the role of movement in modern education.
In the early modernization of education in Shandong canal area, warlords, government officials, educators and civil society all make contributions to the development of education. The General History of Shandong Education (modern volume) ( Zhao, 2001) has talked about the contribution that the government officials and warlords made to the education. What’s more, the book named The Study of Shandong Famous Educationists in the Republic of China ( Zhao, 2013) introduced the educators in the Republic of China and described their educational activities. In addition, master’s thesis titled Yuan Shikai and the Early Modernization of Shandong ( Du, 2015) described the educators and their education activities.
Also, there are several papers about modern educational groups and institutions. One Master’s thesis named Research on New Generations of Shandong Intellectuals in Modern Times (1900-1937) ( Zhang, 2007) studied the early modernization of Shandong social culture with the intellectuals as the object. If taking 1904 as the time limit, the master’s thesis named Modern Transformation of Jinan Public Space in Late Qing Dynasty and Early Republic of China (1904-1919) ( Zhu, 2006) is the preference, which studied and analyzed the modern transformation and characteristics of common space in Jinan. As above, we can get the materials about social development in the relevant articles.
People keep summing up experiences in the process of early modernization of education. On the whole, these studies provide statistical materials, opinions and theories for the research which on a provincial or national scale.
Some scholars’ works show us experience in this research field. One book titled Governor and Gentry Education Modernization in Jiangsu ( Liu, 2001) reproduces the role of governor and gentry in the modernization of education in Jiangsu. Another book named The Modernization of Education in China from the Perspective of Zhejiang ( Zhang, 1996) reproduces the process of the modernization of education in Zhejiang which based on the foundation of the modernization of education. It mainly talks about the formation of a modern education system in Zhejiang, which presents a complete process for us to study the modernization of education. We can draw conclusions from the book: it pays attention to the construction of basic education, or it focuses on the modernization of human quality. To some extent, the reference is valuable for studying.
Furthermore, the book titled A Study on the Early Modernization of Chinese Education—A Survey of Rural Education Conflicts in the Late Qing Dynasty and the Early Republic of China ( Tian, 2009) describes the contradiction between new education and traditional education in rural society. From a full perspective, it showed the process of early modernization of grand education. In addition, doctoral thesis titled Research on the Early Modernization of Chinese Education ( Zhang, 2001) selected the aspects of Chinese educational thought, educational system and educational content to discuss the early modernization. We can find two points in the development of modernization. Firstly, the path of the process is curving. Secondly, the factors are complicated.
In the experience of regional education model, some research results can be used for reference. The paper titled On the Development Process and Mode Selection of Regional Modernization in Shandong ( Wu & Dong, 2002) and paper titled Modernization Experience of Regional Culture Research—a Case Study of Shandong Modern Culture Research ( Wei, 2005) are the summary of Shandong modernization mode and experience.
Also, some papers showed us analysis and summaries on regional education research. As an example, paper titled Reflections on the Study of Local Educational History ( Wang, 2009) is typical basement, and paper titled To Seek the Convergence of History and Reality—A Discussion on the Study of Local Educational History ( Zhang, 2009) theoretically put forward the requirements and research directions for the development of the research on the study of local educational history.
To sum up, the present studies on the education of Shandong canal region mostly focus on the coastal cities, such like Yantai and Qingdao, also mentioned the treaty ports like Jinan and Weixian. That is to say, there are few studies on the canal area counties located in the inland region of Shandong. Either, the comparative study of education within and between regions is even less. In terms of the relationship between research factors, scholars’ attention always focuses on economic, political and social factors and transportation conditions. As a result, education only has to be taken as an additional content to be studied. In brief, there is a lack of attention to education in the canal area.
In the framework study, we can make some conclusions. To begin with, the overall care was lacking in time and space. In detail, the time was mainly concentrated in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the number of single canal towns was studied. What’s more, the focus of educational research on the canal area is unclear. With the educational reform, the content of education, the system of education, the kinds of schools, the number of teachers and students have changed. Actually, the achievements lack the presentation of relevant researches in the area. Finally, there is no clear limit to the division of historical periods. In my view, though the overall trend is forward, the evolution of each stage is different. There will inevitably be historical overlap in the research.
To begin with, regional education history is the result of multiple factors. The development of regional education history is related to the local economy, culture and politics. Such as the national reform and political movement and these factors promote or hinder the development of education. In one word, the history of regional education is the resultant force, which needs to be integrated with the analysis of multiple directions.
And then, the study of regional educational history has local characteristics. As is said, one soil breeds the history of one education. Regional education showed different regional characteristics because of regional culture, national belief and worship. For example, influenced by Confucian traditional culture during ancient times, it showed obvious canal cultural features. After modern times, to open port trade and build railroad, it showed the characteristic of early modernization. In the long run, it is helpful to excavate local historical resources and to build unique regional towns.
At last, the study on the modernization of regional education history should pay more attention to the sorting of historical facts and statistical charts. In the research, we need to participate in the investigation of local historical sites, collect and sort out the documents such as inscriptions and historical pictures. In addition, the acquisition of these contents requires external resources. What’s more, the advanced modern network and the frequent academic exchanges can greatly provide support for academic research.
 Meng, L. Z. (2014). Measures Taken by Local Governments to Develop Industries in Late Qing Dynasty and Early Republic of China—A Case Study of Shandong Province. Journal of Liaocheng University. Social Science Edition, No. 1, 11-16.
 Sun, J. H. (2010). The Impact of the Decline of the Grand Canal on the Urban and Rural Economy of the Canal Area after the Mid-Qing Dynasty. Chengdu: School of Postgraduate Studies, Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences.
 Tian, Z. P. (2009). A Study on the Early Modernization of Chinese Education—A Survey of Rural Education Conflicts in the Late Qing Dynasty and the Early Republic of China. Hangzhou: Zhejiang Education Press.
 Wang, Z. J. (2012). The Era of Thousands of Families of Shandong Industrial Education in the Late Qing Dynasty—On Yang Shixiang and Modern Shandong Educational Industry. Lanzhou Academic, No. 1, 142-145.
 Zhong, C. X. (2000). A Brief Analysis of the Educational Activities of the Tung Meng Hui in Shandong in the Late Qing Dynasty. Journal of Shandong Education Institute, No. 2, 50-52.