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Posts: 42

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Q: Is the Chinese education system really all that bad?

Kids here know how to speak a second language pretty decently (that being English), they're studious, they have a very thorough mastery of their country's history, etc.

Not to overgeneralize, but compared to the American public system of education, it just seems like the long hours of work pay off in the end...

8 years 17 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
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Posts: 1933

Shifu

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Are you kidding? They treat English as a core subject but most high school graduates can't put together a single intelligible sentence (compare that to most continental Europe where advanced English competency is shockingly common, or even India or the Phils where someone with a proper education can at least write English and five or six other languages quite well), and in the high schools I've seen, most of the English teachers seem to get their curriculum off of t-shirts. They teach math at a very advanced level, relative to age, but everything else falls by the wayside. History and Science amount to little more than memorizing some pamphlets.

And, no, they have no mastery of their country's history. They do a bit on pre-qin (an outline basically), memorize the dynasty names, and a few facts on a few of the more significant emperors, and do a lot of modern history, which is tinted to say the least. Most of them learn about Chinese history from those silly TV dramas.

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1318

Shifu

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The education  system gets a bad rap because of the focus on only memorizing exactly what is being told by the teacher and be able to spit it back out word for word.  The lack of asking questions and teaching students to think outside the box and think for themselves is what outsiders look down apon. 

Oh and the select choice of teaching "certain facts" only.  One of my favorite questions to ask is "What was the cause for Japan to stop attacking during WWII?"

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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Yes and no. As said above, only certain 'facts' are 'taught' (which is similar to many other education systems around the world... the History of the USA is a good example!)

Also, there is no need to actually know or understand the subject matter - only to regurgitage.

There is apparently, no critical thinking involved. No questioning of 'facts', no questioning of teachers.. which leads to the next problem:

Teachers here seem to be coming from those with the lowest grades - not the mid or higher levels. Even at university level, there are teachers who have done their bachelor degree, straight into a masters, maybe further, and then straight back into the university to teach... ie, NO actual personal experience!

When it comes to foreign languages, that's just USELESS!! So many who have had all of only 4 semesters of a native speaker to teach them - 2 years of very little interaction with the real subject matter (communication), and they can get a PhD... and then go and teach it again! I was online chatting with a girl about to finish her Master's degree in English Education, and her BASIC English was CRAP!!!! There are far too many basic mistakes made all the time... such as mixing up he/she, forgetting subject, correct tense, subject/verb agreement - etc etc.

And, then there's the Gaokao - the college entrance exam... 1 exam to rule them all, and one exam to fail them all. one exam to bring them all, and in the end, F*ck them! In Australia, your grades from your last 2 years of education go with a big exam to give you a number... when you apply to a university, ALL your grades matter... not just 1 number. Here, no good English, no university. Which means, if you want to study Engineering, you need good english. If you want to study music, you need good English, if you want to study ANYTHING, you still need good English... (remembering, the English is taught by those who aren't really good at it!)

And, lastly, getting your money for each semester/year is far more important than whether you are actually able to do what is required. If you're really doing badly (or even just scraping by), a few mao's, or some other generous donation, and you pass onto the next year. In my university, which is considered a GOOD one, students are getting passes who really shouldn't be... which is in breach of a contract with a foreign university... ah, but who cares, as long as the students pay their fees - right???

So, their education system is much like the rest of modern China... a cheap facade designed to break down shortly after you've paid for it... leaving you with NOTHING

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 333

Governor

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Shining_brow....pretty much sums up all facts about education here......

but language isn't "that" important, ok?....^^^

Other than good sides OP already mentioned. The main bad sides are the awareness of individual study, Chinese kids are really some good kids, they study hard, work hard, devote hard to family, socity or superiores...All of these studies give an big impact by not to be themselves first.......As a result many ppl(even ourselves) felt we are so not dynamically creative.......Only creative individual will form a creative country imho.....so after 4 great inventions, we haven't have anything created for the world.......This modern world needs more creative ppl.

You have to change education system first, then to produce creative ppl...This is a long-term task China education system needs to face and solve out....

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8 years 17 weeks ago

I like a snowy Happy new year, rather than a no sky one...Beijing's time to ban the cars---the only solution for the time being...

 
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I agree with a lot of the comments on here. However, I cant really agree with anything stated in the question. Though a few students can speak english well, the vast majority can't and look at it as a waste of time. Their knowledge of history is one-sided at best...not at all thorough.

As for being studious, I cant totally disagree because they do put in a lot of hours. But for the most part, they are terribly inefficient in how to use that time. They just waste most of it, but still call it studying since they are still in the classroom.

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 5600

Emperor

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yes the education system here is far better than that of america's that is why they all want to leave to go to school in america europe canada or aussie. that is why innovation or new ideas do not come out of china. because the highly educated people realize it is better to wait and copy the idea from someone else

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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iI also suspect that education, like many things that seem to be a problem when you're going through it, ceases to be such a big problem when you've passed it. All those government official would have had to deal with Chinese education at some point, but once they reached their position of power, they had other things to worry about (like propaganda and power and control)... so the education system, as a priority, fell by the wayside.

But, in some regards, the OP is right... certainly, they have a far better level of a foreign language than most students in Australia, US or UK... where a foreign language is (or was.. I note there have been some changes in the law fairly recently) merely an option. Sure, the local's ability isn't as great as many overseas, but then, many of our FL teachers have actually been to the country of their choice to practice...

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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My middle school french teacher studied in france.  She was so hot, and the reason I still know some french today even though I only had a year.

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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Education in China is a for-profit business.  The main goal of the education system isn't to teach students anything, but to prepare them to pass certain tests and make money.

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8 years 16 weeks ago
 
Posts: 2418

Emperor

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As a parent who plans on living in China for a very long time, my plan/opinion is this.

My boys are almost 4.  They have been going to school now since they were 2.5 years old.  Their first 6 months was in a Chinese pre-school that was 9-5, 5 days a week.

The school and the classes were horrible.  4 teachers for 30 kids.  My kids hated it, my wife hated it and even our maid complained about it.

So when they turned 3, we sent them to an American school in our city.  (Only foreigners allowed.)  Granted, the school was much more expensive, (3x more than the Chinese school) but the quality of education is vastly higher.

Their class has 5 students and 2 teachers.  They can already read and write the English alphabet and their spoken English skills are greatly improved.

However, out plan is to send our boys to a Chinese school between 1st-6th grade so they can learn memorization and study discipline.  Those are two areas where western schools are greatly lacking in my opinion.

From 7th-12th, we will send them to an American or other foreigners only school because those grades in Chinese schools are all about study for the tests to get into the next level of schools and not about actual education.

And then, of course, for university, they will go someplace outside of China.

And somewhere inside that 20 year plan I have to figure out a way to get stupifyingly rich so I can afford it all.  :(

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8 years 16 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1933

Shifu

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If you want a good impression of the Chinese education system, talk to any Chinese person under the age of forty in English.

For years now, they've been treating it as a core subject, dedicating far more time to English than to science, for example. And, yet, after thousands of learning hours, few can manage to incoherently scream "YOU LIKE-A LADY GAGA????"

Speak to an educated Chinese person on any topic other than math, and you'll find about the same level of competency.

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8 years 16 weeks ago
 
Posts: 2735

Governor

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I'm not sure..but didn't you hear the rumors or facts that China has like 6 out of every 10 engineers...actually I think that is Asia in general but China included...also I'm certain that in China or let's just say Asia they lead the world in science and math. I'm not sure how long it's been since you've been back home or watched the daily news but that was a problem..I can say that the education as stated above for most purposes is to make money/profit and to pass certain classes at least that's what I know from living here. It has it's highs and it's lows just like any other society. English is chinese people's second or even third language you can't expect an Englishman to speak chinese or spanish perfectly. imo.

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8 years 16 weeks ago
 
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