Learn more about China's most famous teacher and philosopher, whose ideas are still influential today. Born in 551 BC, Confucius was a young man when he set his heart and mind on learning as much as he could. By his thirties, he'd become a brilliant teacher who shared his knowledge of several subjects, including arithmetic, history, and poetry, with his students. Confucius wanted to make sure that everyone in China had access to an education and devoted his whole life to learning and teaching so he could transform and improve society. His lessons--now known as Confucianism--are practiced by over six million people in the world. They focus on loving humanity, worshiping ancestors, respecting elders, and self-discipline. Confucianism has become the system that governs a total way of life in East Asia.