Posted by: Principal/Editor | February 6, 2013

A Confucian Framework for 21st Century Education

Charlene Tan

This paper proposes a Confucian framework for 21st century education by building upon an existing framework, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills by P21. It is argued that a Confucian framework for the 21st century education will benefit students and educators in four main ways. First, by emphasising the centrality of li (normative behaviours with corresponding values and attitudes) in education, the framework ensures that all aspects of a student’s life, be it one’s career or the learning of ICT and core subjects, are undergirded by the pursuit of he (harmony) and ren (loving others). Second, the framework highlights the need for students (and educators) to love and enjoy learning while working towards the betterment of all fellow human beings. Third, the framework underscores the important contributions of the family and community towards an individual’s identity formation and life goals. Finally, the framework offers an integrated model where core academic subjects are interconnected with a shared goal to develop students to observe li beyond the classroom to the world they live in.

PLS Working Paper Series No.2



  1. I like the idea of a vertical dimension in this proposal: spiritual education. It would be interesting to read that paper written with WYL on design education and spirituality

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s