Teaching at an Early Age

  • Chiou-Shiue KoEmail author
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 26)


Chinese parents carry high expectations for their children and try their best to shape them to be an ideal child. They hope their children can be a dragon or a phoenix, the symbols of the emperor and the empress, to honor the family and the ancestors as well as enjoy splendor in the future. Hence, the cultivation of children starts early. In ancient China, pregnant women were thought to exert a strong influence on the fetus, and imperial family members promoted prenatal education based on Confucian philosophy and ethical norms to cultivate children with excellent morality and wisdom. Later in the history, supported by the Chinese medical notion that external stimuli affect internal sensation, pregnant women from ordinary families would also be committed to following moral rules, in order to protect and influence the fetus. Since the health of pregnant women plays a significant role in the development of an ideal child, family members provide additional care and protection during pregnancy. Restrictions were imposed on pregnant mothers to keep both the baby and the mother away from danger, and some of these rules became long-standing taboos. Scientific research on fetal development has enhanced the importance of nurture in developing ideal children. With the devotion to teaching their children to be the dragon or the phoenix, many Chinese parents offer great support and protection of their infants and toddlers, and as a result, they are usually viewed as authoritarian. Parents of children with disabilities or special needs started with the same ideal image of the dragon or the phoenix, though they usually grow disillusioned, but some of them still retain hope and make a great effort to raise and cultivate the child with special needs.


Chinese parents Early age Ideal child Parenting Special needs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special EducationNational Taipei University of EducationTaipei CityTaiwan

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