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Shang Xiang (Chinese: 上庠; pinyin: shàng xiáng; Wade-Giles: shang hsiang), was a school founded in Youyu (有虞) period in China. Shun (舜, 2257 BC–2208 BC), the king of the State of Youyu, founded two schools, one was Shang Xiang (shang(上), means up, high), and the other one was Xia Xiang (下庠, xia (下) means down, low) 1,2. Shang Xiang was a place to educate noble youth. Teachers at Shang Xiang were generally erudite, elder and noble persons.
The original meaning of Xiang (庠) may be provide for (養) 3. So Xiang (including Shang Xiang and Xia Xiang) was initially a place to provide for the aged persons and then became a place for teaching.
Shang Xiang may be the origination of higher education institute of Guo Xue (國學, National School, or Imperial School, the nation's supreme school) in China. Cheng Jun (成均) was another ancient institution with educational function before Xia Dynasty as recorded in literature. The imperial school was named Taixue (太學) in Han Dynasty. From Sui Dynasty to Qing Dynasty it was named Guozijian (國子監).
Shang Xiang was also one of the five national schools in the capital city in Zhou Dynasty. The other four were: Pi Yong (闢雍), Dong Xu (東序), Gu Zong (瞽宗) and Cheng Jun (成均). Pi Yong was central school, located in central position and was an imperial school. Dong Xu was east school, Cheng Jun was south school, Gu Zong was west school and Shang Xiang was north school. These four schools were for seigneurs. The schools in Zhou Dynasty mainly taught six skills (or six arts, 六藝): Li (禮, convenance), Yue (樂, music), She (射, archery), Yu (禦, charioteering), Shu (書, literature), Shu (數, maths).
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Categories: Chinese mythology | Education in China