School education has a history of several thousand years in China. There were educational institutions calledYangin ancient China. Higher-level schools wereUpper Yang, while the lower level schools wereLower Yang. In the Xia Dynasty (circa 2070-1600BC), schools were called by level:Xue,Dongxu,Xixu,andXiao. In the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122BC), names of the four level schools wereXue,Youxue,ZuoxueandXu.There were also schools set up in princes' residences in latter dynasties, calledBiyongandChengjun.
In the Han Dynasty (206BC-23AD), the highest learning institution was calledTaixue(Supreme Learning), under which there wereDongxue(East Learning),Xixue(West Learning),Nanxue(South Learning) andBeixue(North Learning).Taixuewas renamed asGuozixue,GuozisiandGuozijian(National Academy). In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911),Guozijianwas no longer a learning institution, but a special organ for education administration of the nation. By this time, schools were generally calledShuyuan(academy of classical learning) andSishu(private school).