American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(1), 25-30
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-1-6
Open AccessArticle

Confucius and Plato on Virtue and its Implementation in Education for International Understanding: A Comparative Study

Yan Gao1,

1Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada

Pub. Date: January 06, 2015

Cite this paper:
Yan Gao. Confucius and Plato on Virtue and its Implementation in Education for International Understanding: A Comparative Study. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(1):25-30. doi: 10.12691/education-3-1-6


In recent years, the Education for International Understanding (EIU) program has become popular in East Asia. The EIU program promotes “international understanding” and aims to cultivate people possessing characters and abilities that prompt mutual cultural respect and reduce conflicts through a variety of educational means. In EIU curricula the concept of virtue cultivation is targeted as the ultimate goal. Some scholars have claimed that we need a value system that is commonly accepted by countries to solve global conflict. But can a value system be commonly accepted across nations and cultures? The present study uses this question to compare two influential philosophers: Confucius and Plato, by examining their representations of virtue. The author found that although there are similarities in these two thinkers philosophies, the differences among these two ideological systems are considerable. Therefore, the author concludes that it is dangerous to assume we have one value system that is universally applicable. Based on my analysis, the author also makes recommendations for current EIU curricula. The author thinks the current EIU program needs to pay special attention to two layered goals. First, the basic layer: to let students know “the fact of others.” In addition to that, EIU program needs to pay attention on the deep-seated level: “the reason of the fact” to reach international understanding.

Education for International Understanding (EIU) virtue Confucius Plato

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