The functions of education in China varies at different historical stages under different social structural conditions or when society transforms. In ancient China, the scholar class helped in building up a fedual society that stressed on wisdom and lasted over 2000 years. Under Mao’s leadership, education was simply a tool of politics...This study of sociological education will follow the Weberian tradition of comparative macro-analysis of social phenomena and Margaret Archer’s historical and structural comparison of state educational systems, which has been hailed as a landmark to account for characteristics of national education and the processes of change they have undergone, to discuss the roles of education in social transformations in a trend cycle. It will make a historical comparison and analysis of the properties of the structural conditioning of each stage, within which the education behaves and plays its roles, such as what are the development levels of each stage, where and how the social strains developed, whether the institutional relations are harmonious of conflicting…etc. and how they exerted their influences on the role of education; second, how education interprets those situations and what action patterns they adopt as response to them, what changes have been made, and what subsequent roles it played, and how it led to the following changes and third, the relation between them.
A reflection on the development of education in China would give us a deeper understanding and more thorough enlightenment and provide more opportunities for informed, rational life and sound practice in the post-modern age.