| 2019-12-05 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)
As a frequently used character in China, ye has many different meanings. It often refers to a course of study, industry or profession. 


chuán dào shòu yè jiě huò 
Both chuan and shou mean “to impart or teach.” Dao is generally known as “doctrine” and ye refers to knowledge. Jie means “to resolve or answer” and huo refers to questions or confusion. 
This term originated from a famous piece of prose written by the Tang scholar Han Yu (768–824). Han composed this prose when he was working in the imperial college. His commitment to restoring Confucianism and reforming the literary world was frustrated by the corruption of the government and people’s indifference to education and knowledge. In the prose “Shi Shuo” (“Discourse on Teacher”), Han identifies the concept of being a teacher and expounds his views on learning. “In ancient times those who wanted to learn would seek out a teacher, one who could propagate the doctrine, impart professional knowledge and resolve doubts...Where there is the doctrine, there is my teacher.” 
Furthermore, Han expresses his concern that the tradition of learning from teachers has long been neglected, and he criticizes the attitude of some scholar-officials towards education. “Ancient sages, who far surpassed us, even learned from their teachers. People today, who are far inferior to them, regard learning from the teacher as a disgrace.” “It is absurd that a person would choose a teacher for his son out of his love for him, and yet refuse to learn from the teacher himself, thinking it a disgrace to do so.” “When one of the literati and officialdom calls another man his ‘teacher’ and himself his ‘student,’ people will get together and invariably laugh at him…they will say that…it would be degrading for him to call the other man ‘teacher’ if the other man’s social rank is lower than his; and it would be flattering if the other man’s social rank is higher.” 
Finally, Han reaffirms his understanding and views about teaching and learning. “A student is not necessarily inferior to his teacher, nor is a teacher necessarily more virtuous and talented than his student. The real fact is that one might have learned the doctrine earlier than the other, or might be a master in his own special field.” 
edited by REN GUANHONG