An Interpretation of the Pedagogy Tradition of Timing in Confucius' Analects

This paper which is aimed at modern Chinese pedagogical implication introduces the relation and interpretation of时(timing), and the idea and practice of “performance” in the Analects and early Chinese tradition. Through close-reading, comprehensive analysis and comparisons, the discussions will demonstrate the rationales of applying the relevant concepts and interpretations in Chinese early tradition to contemporary Chinese pedagogy, in terms of the difficulties and confusions such as the relation between teaching and learning, when to act and perform in the right cultural context, and the role and identity of foreign language learners.

shi时 which has a meaning of "timing", which is related to interpersonal relationship and interaction in the process of socialization. In several entries of shi in the Analects and other early Chinese philosophical texts, "at the right time” is a more appropriate interpretation of shi, which entails a dynamic socialization process to interact with objective social environment and social members. This interpretation of shi also reveals that learners need to focus on “timing” and “correct time” to learn, perform and behave appropriately in authentic Chinese social environment. From the perspective of pedagogy and learning, shi is not an isolated concept that is apart from other factors such as place, interpersonal relationship and social status in socialization; instead, the notion of shi associated with “time, location and interpersonal relationship” highlights the significance of performing and behaving properly in an appropriate social context.





  • East Asian Studies