Dachun Teng (1909 - 2002)

Teng Dachun

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Teng Dachun is one of the distinguished scholars in China. Born in China in 1909, he received his college education in Peking University. After graduation in 1933, he taught at Shandong Provincial Rural Normal School, and was the principal of the elementary school attached to it, where he applied Dewey's educational theory in reforming primary education. Before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he worked in the provincial departments of education in Anhui and Sichuan, specializing in American and European educational history. In 1947, he went to the United States to study comparative education and educational history at the University of Colorado. After receiving his doctorate, he returned to his motherland in 1950. Between 1950 and 2002 he taught at Hebei Teachers College, Tianjin Normal University and Hebei University. In 1986 Hebei University became the first university in Mainland China to offer a doctoral degree program on foreign educational history. Teng became the first professor to supervise the pioneer Ph.D candidates in this area.

Professor Teng dedicated his life to studying educational history, and earned a high reputation for his contribution to the field. His research interests included education in ancient oriental countries, American educational history, educational thoughts of foreign educationalists such as John Dewey and Jean Jacques Rousseau. He authored/edited 15 books and over 80 journal articles in Chinese. Many of his books won awards: A Study of Educational Thoughts of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1984) won the first prize in the 1st National Educational Science Outstanding Achievements Awards; American Educational History [?????] (1994) won the second prize in the 2nd National Educational Science Outstanding Achievements Awards. The six-volume Educational History of Foreign Countries(1989-94) is regarded as the landmark in research on foreign educational history in China, garnering the first prize in the 3rd Hebei Social Sciences Academic Achievement Awards. Teng was also editor or member of the Editorial Board of Chinese Encyclopedia: Education (1985, Beijing) and Education Encyclopedia: Foreign Educational History (1991, Shanghai).

Teng's pioneering work in foreign educational history has contributed substantially to the development of this research area in China. He argued that education in ancient eastern countries is not only as good as those in ancient western countries, but it developed earlier. He did a lot of research on Buddhist and Islamic education, and challenged the prevailing pre-eminent position accorded to Christian education in the research literature. He replaced monoculturalism with multiculturalism, valuing the educational exchanges between the East and the West, and viewing schools in different countries as "mixed-blood". He urged educational researchers to uphold a holistic view of the education of human beings when studying the educational history of a certain country, pointing this as the only way to profitably learn from history. His distinguished publications on American educational history are indispensable for any Chinese scholar who wants to know about America.

Professor Teng is noted as a meticulous scholar and a patient teacher. Since 1987, he paid close attention to developing new generations of foreign educational historians in China. Even in his nineties, he continued to supervise doctoral students, some of whom are now distinguished figures in the field.

Teng had also contributed service and leadership to some professional associations in China. He played an important role in the Chinese Society of Education, Chinese Association of Higher Education, National Association of Educational History and Chinese Comparative Education Society.

Educational Background

B.A. Education (1933), Peking University, China

Ph.D. Education (1950), University of Colorado, USA

Professional Background

University of Hebei University, Professor at College of Education (1960-2002) 
- Supervisor, Master Degree Program in Comparative Education (1982-1987)
- Supervisor, Master Degree Program in Foreign Educational History (1986-1988) 
- Supervisor, Doctorate Degree Program of Foreign Educational History (1987-2002) 

Tianjin Normal University, Professor in Department of Education (1958-1960)

Hebei Teachers College, Professor in Department of Education (1950-1958)

National Institute for Compilation and Translation, Managing Editor & Editor-in-Chief (1939-1947)

Department of Education, Sichuan Province, Staff (1938-1939)

Department of Education, Anhui Province, Staff, Secretary of Compulsory Education Committee (1935-1938)

1933-1935: Shandong Provincial No.1 Rural Normal School, Teacher

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

Chinese Society of Education, Board Member (1982-88)

Chinese Association of Higher Education, Board Member (1981-86)

National Association of Educational History, Assistant Secretary General (1980-1996)

Chinese Comparative Education Society, Assistant Secretary General (1980-1987)

Hebei Social Sciences Association, Vice President (1980-1990)

Selected Publications

Teng, D. (1936): Educational Psychology. Shanghai: Kaiming Bookstore Publishing House, 267pp.

Teng, D. & Liu, Z. (1936): What Elementary teachers need to know. Shanghai: Zhong Hua Book Co. 100pp.

Teng, D. (1956): Extracurricular Activities in Elementary and High Schools. Hankou: Hubei People's Press, 143pp.

Teng, D. (1980): American Education Today. Beijing: People's Education Press, 176pp. Teng, D.; Cao F.; Wu S. & Jing W. (1981):Ancient Educational History in Foreign Countries. Beijing: People's Education Press, 220pp.

Teng, D. (1984): A Study of Educational Thoughts of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Beijing: People's Education Press, 195pp.

Teng, D. (1984): 'Ancient Schools in Mesopotamia Area', Journal of Hebei University (Philosophy and Social Science), No.4, pp.63-70.

Teng, D. (1987): 'Education in Ancient Islamic countries', Journal of Hebei University (Philosophy and Social Science), No.1, pp.42-69.

Teng, D. & Wu, S. (1989): Foreign Educational History in Modern Times. Beijing: People's Education Press, 631pp. Second edition 1998.

Teng, D. (ed.) (1989-94): Educational History of Foreign Countries. Jinan: Shandong Education Press. (6 volumes).

Teng, D. (1994): American Educational History. Beijing: People's Education Press, 631pp. Second edition 2001.

Teng, D. (1995): 'American Education Reforms in Postwar years', Comparative Education Review (Beijing). Vol.15. No.6, pp.1-5.

Teng, D. (1995): 'Objective Law Showed in American Education History', Journal of Hebei University (Philosophy and Social Science), No.4, pp.3-7.

Teng, D. (1996): 'Toward Comparative Education in the 21st Century', Comparative Education Review (Beijing). Vol.16. No.2, 1996, pp.1-3.


Created: 3/16/2008

Updated: 9/24/2008

Contributed By: Shujie Qu and Jiang Kai