Schools in ancient China were founded by the ruling class to nurture administrative talents. Under the aristocratic system in the Xia (ca. 2100–ca. 1600 BCE), Shang (ca. 1600–ca. 1100 BCE), and Zhou (ca. 1100–256 BCE) dynasties, the ruling class was mainly hereditary, and, therefore, school students were mostly the sons of noblemen called “sons of the state.”
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