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Since the Sui dynasty in China a kind of scholar-officer examination system (analogous to the civil service examination system in the modern West) augurated and parrell to it a national educational system then developed. This has been carried on through the T'ang the Five Dynasty Period and up to the Northern Sung. It was due to the shortcoming that students and candidates were paying more attention to their examination than to their education three attempts were made to overcome it. Three attempts which were made during the reigns of Emperor Jen, Emperor Sheng and Emperor Hui of the Northern Sung dynasty were initiated by Fan Chung-yen, Wang An-shih and Ts'ai Ching respectively. In view that the reform movement was a critical turning-point in how to bring about a mutual supporting role of both the scholar-officer examination system and general education system in China, the writer has devoted his efforts in finding the historical development of the reform movement, its failure and its influence in later years. The thesis includes seven chapters: I. Introduction II. The social and educational background of the Northern Sung dynasty III.The first reform-Ch'ing Li period IV. The second reform-Hsi Feng period V. The third reform-Ch'ung Ning period VI. The analysis and discussion of each of the reforms VII.Conclusion In those reforms, two major trends have been shown: the first, the focus of the development of education has transfered from the minorities of the upper class to the majorities of middle and lower classes; and, in addition to the Kuo-Tsu Hsh, the dynasty has decided to established other institutions: the T'ai Hsh, county schools and district schools. The second, those reformers tried to make emphasis on general education in order to overcome the special attention paid to the scholar-officer examination. On the one hand, the reformers tried to build up a kind of educational system so that students could be educated from district school, county school to the T'ai Hsh and on the other hand, they tried to abolish the abused scholar-officer examination system. Unfortunately, for lack of sufficient conditions and cooperation to support those reforms, consequently they all failed. Although scholar-officer examination has been maintained as the main path of choosing the officers-to-be by the later years, the reforms of the Northern Sung dynasty in general educational system has been maintained continuiously up to the Ch'ing dynasty. The educational reform movements of the Northern Sung dynasty seemed to be failed but some of its merits in emphasising the general education for all classes of the people were carried on without being noticed.
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