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Is Western Education Better Than Eastern Education?

Popularity 97Viewed 86097 times 2013-3-10 08:26 |Personal category:Education|System category:Others| excel, comparison, education, children, western

A wonderful article here on ChinaDaily said that spending for education increases annually by about 20%. As a foreign teacher here, I'm wondering how it is spent and what are the results. You can spend more money without being effective.

One of my biggest questions is this: Why do children in the USA go to school 2-3 hours less each day, have very little homework, no weekend classes and still excel in education in comparison to most Chinese students?

Now, in my humble opinion, Chinese students are smart. Very intelligent. I know. I teach them. More than 1,000 so far. They know how to study hard and for long hours. They know how to endure long classes (I've witnessed classes as along as 3 hours for primary school students). Children in the USA wouldn't sit through a class of over an hour. 40-50 minutes for most classes at most in the USA.

When Chinese students attend college/university in the USA, their success rate is nearly 100%. Very, very rare does a Chinese child fail in the USA. Why? The answer is the same. 'They know how to study hard.'

So, compared to Chinese children, American children get far less classroom instruction and far less homework at night. Yet there are over 200,000 Chinese college students attending schools in the U.S. and that number is growing by 25% annually.  In 3 years, there will likely be over 400,000 Chinese students studying in the USA.

Now, I can reason and reconcile why Chinese students want to attend college in the USA. But, in my year and half here (I've taught more than 1,200 classes and over 1,000 students in 4 separate schools including every grade from primary grade 1 through the MBA program at the university), I've met parents whose children are in middle school and the parent is wanting to send them to the USA. (By the way, I discourage them from doing this. It is a waste of money in my opinion. Parents in China sacrifice too much for their children's education needlessly. Again, only my opinion.)

It seems to me that in China, long hours, extra hours and extra days of classes is perceived as better education. Schools I've taught at here, take pride in adding classes and oftentimes, longer classes. In the West, parents, teachers and students would never tolerate this. They wouldn't think of sending their children to school on Saturday or Sunday. However, in China, it is very common.

Given these observations, am I to conclude that Western education is really that much better? Can we teach more in 6.5 hours of school per day in the U.S. versus 9 hours a day in China? Can we accomplish more (in the USA) in education with less school hours?

I honestly and sincerely don't know the answers to these questions. IF Western Education is THAT much better, then, shouldn't Western styles of teaching be adopted in China? Again, I'm seeking reasonable and intelligent objective answers.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)

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Reply Report menglang1227 2013-3-10 12:04
I am also wondering~~~
Reply Report TedM 2013-3-10 17:14
Newcomer to teaching & advising in China, and to this blog thing.  Agree with your comments on Chinese education. English schools and education still considered some of the best in the world, yet students seem to work half the time and with half the effort of Chinese students here!!. In UK I even had parents complain that their children get too much homework!  Perhaps consider class sizes. Consider teaching approaches and Chinese educational aims.  To Chinese parents and some authorities, students are bottles to be filled with knowledge by rote methods,  and where is the encouragement of lifelong enjoyment of learning and discovery in that???
Reply Report jiayangguizi8 2013-3-10 20:21
Generalisations. Western education doesn't involve only one style. French education is completely different from British and American education.

In USA, they teach dyslexia.
Reply Report UYA 2013-3-10 21:43
I thought about this topic too.
I conclude that what the Chinese "educational system" lacks is a more balanced "social development" in their students.
Students in the US have time to socialize and make friends. This to me is the difference between the two systems.
Making friends and having a social outlet creates people who are able to work with others and builds moral character.
After all....
you will not make any friends lieing and cheating, which is common among Chinese students.
The educational industry in China, also lacks credibility because it can be bought, which sets a poor example to follow.
Reply Report UYA 2013-3-10 21:43
I thought about this topic too.
I conclude that what the Chinese "educational system" lacks is a more balanced "social development" in their students.
Students in the US have time to socialize and make friends. This to me is the difference between the two systems.
Making friends and having a social outlet creates people who are able to work with others and builds moral character.
After all....
you will not make any friends lieing and cheating, which is common among Chinese students.
The educational industry in China, also lacks credibility because it can be bought, which sets a poor example to follow.
Reply Report Helga 2013-3-11 01:13
The question was: Is Western education better than Eastern education? The simple answer is NO.
1. there is, as jiayangguizi8 mentioned, not just one education system in the West and furthermore, sometimes within one country there are several systems and for sure, qualities of education.
2. our Western languages are nothing compared to the Chinese language. To master Chinese, it takes more than just learning an alphabet with just 26 characters/letters. I guess to mastermind the thousands of chinese characters takes more than just a couple of years in elementary school.
3. If much time is spent in Chinese schools to learn how to learn, than this explaines the success of Chinese students in the West. Contrary, our Western students do not like to read, to think etc. due to our mostly outdated education systems.
4. Competition between students is by no means a Chinese invention. In the West, even small elementary school children have to compete with each other, while no one is considering what this does to the childrens emotional development.
5. The biggest problem with young school- college and university graduates in the West is their lack of social and other key competencies. Industries are very worried about this.
Reply Report Helga 2013-3-11 01:13
The question was: Is Western education better than Eastern education? The simple answer is NO.
1. there is, as jiayangguizi8 mentioned, not just one education system in the West and furthermore, sometimes within one country there are several systems and for sure, qualities of education.
2. our Western languages are nothing compared to the Chinese language. To master Chinese, it takes more than just learning an alphabet with just 26 characters/letters. I guess to mastermind the thousands of chinese characters takes more than just a couple of years in elementary school.
3. If much time is spent in Chinese schools to learn how to learn, than this explaines the success of Chinese students in the West. Contrary, our Western students do not like to read, to think etc. due to our mostly outdated education systems.
4. Competition between students is by no means a Chinese invention. In the West, even small elementary school children have to compete with each other, while no one is considering what this does to the childrens emotional development.
5. The biggest problem with young school- college and university graduates in the West is their lack of social and other key competencies. Industries are very worried about this.
Reply Report seethroughwest 2013-3-11 03:25
一方面,美国面对智商较低的本土儿童,它没有办法达到亚洲教学知识的水平。普通的读写,对很多美国孩子都是很大的困难。美国大多数家长一般只注意让孩子信上帝,其他的多不管。很多学校乱,差,不尊重教师而且美很多教师也很不负责。美国的学生评价教师制度,导致教师给学生打高分,并且对学生没有要求。面对如此的学生和教师,美国教育是投入高,花费巨额,而结果失败。这个美国的失败在最近国际科学能力调查中已经被证实。教育最佳的模式是投入低,收获高。中国其实传统已经做得很对了。比如吧,现在中国把课本印得和美国一样厚,增加了学生书包的重量。书太大太重,自然携带不便。美国学生从来不看书。课本都是放学校,买了仍,浪费。最本质的讲,没有数学基础,就没有创造力可言。美国教育出来的大多数孩子往往耍小聪明,形式主义一下,懒惰并且没有critical thinking的能力。当然基督教本身就反对critical thinking而主张信仰,不要任何证据证实的纯信仰。美国教育出来如此失败的大多数,对其国力是很不利的。

另一方面,和美国儿童不同,亚裔儿童智商高而且非常可塑。80年代有科研调查发现,日本一年级小学生和美国五年级小学生智商相当。这样的本质不同,就使得东方需要和西方不同的教育方式。亚洲教育的所谓高压锅,对孩子将来竞争很有利。并不妨碍孩子体育的发展。还能养成孩子勤劳的习惯。这个勤劳习惯,协同智商,等价于很大的国家经济财富。从我个人的经历看,创造力和考试能力,两者并不是零总数游戏(zero sum game)。学习西方政治和思潮,和不学习数学等行为,并不能激发学生创造力。考试能力是很小的能力。美国大人小孩都用它来做借口,解释其孩子成绩差的原因。东方式教育实际上是完全能激发孩子的创造力-所谓“先死后活”。在很小的年龄掌握完善数理化基础,才为创造力提供了难得的基础。才打开了科学创造的大门。而且,我觉得我小学初中就可以把所有的到达大二水平的数理化学完。至少百分之30的中日韩孩子可以如此。中国没必要把这点知识拖那么多年。早学完,省钱而且省事。东方教育缺乏的是自信。就像西方教育的盲目自信。很多中日韩民众并不说英语,没有对美国教育的感性认知,对美国教育盲目崇拜。
Reply Report seethroughwest 2013-3-11 04:26
Let me post some points in English. Yes, I would say Western education at graduate or higher level (Master’s and PhD’s) is absolutely better than the Chinese one. For the education below that level, I say Asian method of education suit Asian Students the best.

Memorization is the highest level of learning. Knowledge is based on memories. Without memorization, there is no expert. That is, even the skills themselves are memorized by human brains.

Chinese student may have difficulty adapting to US schools socially. But the problem does not necessarily lie in Chinese education system. The US Christian culture naturally antagonizes Chinese atheist civilization. Chinese men are considered uncool by American main stream. In fact, survey shows that majority black, white or Asian American women all look for white males as their ideal partner. In social interactions, the confidence of males actually come from how well they are received by the females. So, the perceived social difficulty of Chinese students are, actually, resulted from the profound US racism.

The US students have an image of what is cool. But socially successful US students, called Party Animals, are not necessarily successful in their later life at workplace. In fact, many popular cool kids from US colleges end up struggling with ends needs after college. In contrast, isolated geeks, become successful CEO’s in the US running Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc.

From Chinese perspective, schools should NOT teach society and interpersonal skills. Student societies are way simpler than the real world. If the Chinese education want to incorporate social skills, they have to let their students out of the schools. To learn the real hard life by themselves. Their Chinese parents would be the first to object.

In contrast, I find American students lack the basic Critical Thinking skills. This is especially true when the debate is about China. Most American students never visited China but their views are deeply shaped by their church and media. They believe China has no religious freedom, for one example, adds to the difficulty for Chinese students to melt in. They also blindly criticize Chinese political system. They think Mao is still leading in China. Their ignorance and racism also plays a role. For them, the US way is the best and the Americans are superior beings. All are signs of a severe LACK of critical thinking ability. In fact, Christianity itself forbids critical thinking.

When US teachers dumb down materials, the students are set free to have sex, binge drinking and party.  They don’t want to take any responsibilities. They prefer live on borrowed money. Paying huge credit interests to the credit card company is considered smart by the US students. How dumb! They end up contribute the the down fall of the United States.
Reply Report desperado123 2013-3-11 08:52
UYA: I thought about this topic too.
I conclude that what the Chinese "educational system" lacks is a more balanced "social development&quot ...
true. Chinese education play more role in teaching you how to do and do it corretly but west education pay more attention to teach you to ask "why"
Reply Report DSseeing 2013-3-11 10:38
Me think that the biggest problem of Chinese education is colleage education.
Students don't study as hard as before.
Before taking the colleage entrance exams, most of them don't know what they want to be in the futre. Usually, they follow their parents's wishes and study as parants schedule for them.
Reply Report tradervic 2013-3-11 11:37
Posted an answer to your question in a form of an article:  http://blog.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-135031-8345.html, but it is pending review at the moment
Reply Report PerfectAlbum 2013-3-11 17:31
As a Chinese, I have to say that I hate the Chinese Education System ever since I was a child although I always got high scores during test and my parents & teachers were very proud of me. As TedM said, Chinese students are bottles to be filled with knowledge by rote methods. You have to work very hard to gain high scores otherwise you will be viewed as a loser...
Reply Report huaren2323 2013-3-11 21:29
( Sharing my comment on MichaelM's forum whether Western is better than Chinese Education)


I appreciate the candid disclosure of MichaelM experience in his current position as a teacher in China. There are many valid points made by Americantongue, Helga, seeThroughWest, Ted, Perfectalbum,Desperado123, Uya.<I am waiting for Tradervic’s comment>

However, I do not share in ANY JUDGEMENT that one is better than the other. Education, is a programming of the population so that it can best serve the NEEDS perceived by the STATE within THE CONTEXT OF THE REALITIES THEY ARE IN.

So allow me to focus my observation and comments on the time frame prior to and AFTER 2nd World War. How each society planned their education… I would NOT make a distinction within the Chinese system. One leans politically to Taiwan and the other to Mainland China. It was only after the McCarthy witchhunt of communist in the early 1960s that the Mainland Chinese genre of education is severely curtailed but morphed into a general theme of loving China.

but first my family background…..

I am the 5th child of a family of 8 siblings ( four males and four females in total) from middle class overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. We have access to Chinese system and western system of education in both public and privately run institutions. For now, I would like to compare just between these two systems. While public run and privately run having its variance and its effects <negative or positive>it would just merely amplify the difference between the Chinese system and western system that I am commenting on.

In my elementary years I sit both in the Chinese system (in the morning from 7 Am till 12 lunch time) and a Catholic run system (from 1 PM till 5PM). In the morning I learn the Chinese phonetics <po pho,me fe> and basic Chinese Character, Arts, Arithmetic, Social Studies < Confucius>, and Chinese history by way of fables and story telling. In the afternoon, we learned Arithmetic, English conjugation, Music, Religion, World Literature< mostly Greco-Roman and not Chinese>, Good Manners and Right Conduct, and Sports. I had to drop out of Chinese system at Grade 4 as the Western English education demand morning and afternoon sessions. Owing to necessity to survive in an English world, my parents decided to continue my western schooling. High school was much the same except now we have Geometry, Algebra, Chemisry, Physics, and Sex Education <we called it Christian Morality> Then I was sent to USA to complete a USA education in Chemical Engineering which has no humanities subjects but added was commercial Law & Contracts. Owing to my educational and cultural background, my language skills  I was employed by a large multinational to work in their area headquarters in Hong Kong, Japan and then Singapore.

In my recent years, my family chose to live in Canada where my children was exposed to both British and French Canadian systems of public and private education here. It is basically British and conservative Canadian system in Vancouver. The French Stream in Montreal have similar lower and higher middle school like China's (6+3+3) but Ethics and Morality replaces Religion.

Iindividual creativity is encourage by Arts and Science fairs (and Sports) that encourage students to compete within their own school and among the other schools and provinces and if able enough nationally within Canada & USA. The students did not have to worry what they will eat for their next meal, or what they say will get them to see the principal or indoctrination punishment of self criticism or even imprisonment for just being kids. Most students come home from school and live with their parents and other siblings. Neigborhood gave it another dimension of social resposibility and cooperation within multi-cultural Canada. Networking is crucial for future success no mater technically, financially or politically. As it turns out many of the future leaders were classmates or school mates so being popular < good or bad> is an edge. My children were encourage to do volunteer summer charity programs in other countries like in South America, Africa, or China where they learn other culture. They came back enriched and also recognized they are privilege and begin to appreciate the parents for what they did for them. They began to also learn foreign languages on their own. Since there are many immigrants from all over the world in Canada, they can easily practice these foreign languages among some of their chosen friends. With the internet, they can even listen and see news in the original language of their choice. I had 3 solid summer of crash Putonghua program is a very prestigious university and expenses were tax deductible. I learned Putonghua from a professor from Beijing University and another from Taiwan Univesity both seconded from China and Taiwan into Canada. Simplifed and traditional writings were studied at the same time and language was tool used to learn classical Chinese literature and history.

Now my observation and comments based on this background:

(1) Chinese language is pictographic. Mostly one side of a compound radical for its meaning and the other for its sound (while there are some exceptions). I agree with the other writers that it takes many of the basic 6 elementary years to memorize these radicals and then more years to practice its use by reading and speaking. This create a mental habit of Chinese trained students’ tendency to read and listen rather than enunciate. Thus the phenomenon that Chinese tends to reads and listen better than speaking a foreign language. This contrast the Latin based western language where the nouns, verbs, adjective, adverbs are some version of the Latin root words and construction by combination of 26 alphabets. These languages are basically phonetics. The conjugation of French, Spanish, Italians are very similar and German a deviant but extracted from Archaic structure that ends most sentences with verb. This free them from the rigor that many Chinese students suffers in the early years. The Japanese and Korean language were based from Chinese characters <many Japanese may disagree that but Ganji and Koryu Hanyu are Chinese characters to express complex concepts like economy or demographics> usually in complex international transactions. Nippongo and to small extent Korean are hybrid combination of phonetics and pictographs. This innovation accelerates and ensures the mass education of their population by simplification much like Putonghua did to simplify traditional Chinese.

(2) The weak Southern Song Dynasty <based in today's Hangzhou ----Bianjing (汴京)(960–1127)Lin'an (臨安)(1127–1276)> has to pay tribute to The Khitan hordes of Northern Wei (...today's Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shanxi, Shaansi) but what they lack in military prowess they compensate with their administrative organization of their subjects in productivity in agriculture, science and technology, governance and instituted a feedback of COMPLAINS directly to the emperor that the council for the emperor actually reads and react to in a timely fashion. This creates a check and balance, openess, trust and a more liberal livelihood that promoted market economy and creativity. The concept of  Financial Bonds and M1 money supplies and war machines like the trebuchet that launches explosives were later adopted in t  

An illustration of a trebuche catapult from the Wujing Zongyan manuscript of 1044. Trebuchets like this were used to launch the earliest type of explosive bombs.



Now, in addition for being protected from the warlike Northern hordes, the Song in relative peace were able to grow tremendously in all fields of humanities and technology thereby setting the basic foundation of governance for Tang as model to project itself to become the greatest Empire China has known. It also opened the sea route of the silk route in Quanzhou, Fujian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Yangzhou and Penglai. Xiamen was the last port of exit for Fujian based Satin fabric. Satin word was corrupted into Arabic as ZAITUN and that was the name of Xiamen in the past. So now, China have the 2 world's famous fabric; Silk and Satin. The annual silver and silk tribute to Northern Wei quickly flowed back to Song as it is exchange for the other miracle commodities from Southern Song like Porcelain from Jiangxi, tea from Fujian, gunpowder and military arms from Henan. Eventually Northern Wei, being military power but not economic based imploded and cease to exist.

During and after the 2nd World War, China and Taiwan had no such luxury because they were both fighting among themselves while struggling to survive as a nation with embargo from the west and threat of atomic annihilation. Taiwan became a rather minute inconvenience that the West has to prop up as they have already designated Japan as a buffer to communist China like they did set up West Germany up as buffer against Stalin's USSR. Meanwhile, Taiwanese model of education (which has some Japanese features) was designed to survive as a nation-subcontractor to Japan, USA and Europe. Many elderly Taiwanese today speaks Niponggo. So even today, your automobile spare parts, and perhaps the i-phone you are using to read this article is made by Taiwan's HTC or their China's subsidiaty Foxconn.

On the other hand, The Chinese educational system UNTIL RECENTLY was ONLY made to be a tool of politics...with disastrous results.,,like making pig iron from scrap in a miniature backyard kiln that neither makes good steel or iron nor have economy of scale that eventually all these "products" were quietly condemned to be inferior.

In contrast, there was opportunity for mobility for Taiwan students to access into Japan and the USA as part of the Capitalist world. Thereby giving Taiwan the head start to computer manufacture (ACER), automobile (Yuelong-Nissan). Many Taiwanese students headed to USA and proceeded to prosper (i.e., Wang Computer challenging IBM), Jerry Yang (Yahoo) , An Li (Films), Vera Wang Alfred Sung (Fashion Designer), John Lin (Avon Cosmetic), Sheila Chin (TV anchorman).





It was only later that China was to enjoy this Western pollination of technology by attracting Western, Japanese,Taiwanese and Korean industries to joint venture production and research that catapulted China into a significant techological giant today. These hybrid technologies are cutting edge such as micro-thin electronic circuit wafers, special performance metals for heavy equipment and stocks to use for the Maglev high speed train and furnaces. Hybrid Chemical processing industries that are catalyst enhanced, lower environmental impact, low energy footprint. All these contributed to China's miraculous ability to compete and keep abreast with the latest Western weaponry in space and electronic surveillance today.



I disagree that China do not have its homegrown invention...here are some examples



While I accept the comment by Americtongue of the lack of invention, I believe it is true ONLY immediately after the postwar years due to chaos in China. There are many invention in defense and pharmacology and molecular biology that did not reach the consciousness of the west as it was achieved all within the Soviet sphere of the Iron Curtain Block. One notable example is Qian Xuesen 钱学森 who graduated from Jiaotung Univeristy in Beijing went to MIT and Caltech and came back to China in 1950s to lead in Chinese rocketry and missile technology...and now..... that China in inside the GATT-WTO family, companies like HuaWei and ZTE have more than 200,000 patents within a short span of 10 years and both collectively have achieve large market share even in USA, Canada and Europe to the detriment of CISCO, Siemens, Ericcson, and Nippon Tel & Telegraph (NTT). This very success attracted HuaWei and ZTE's labeling as agents of Foreign government. Note that 80 % of GSM cellphone equipment in Canada and USA are supplied either by HuaWeu or ZTE today. Rather late and ridiculous for trying to stop the market success of these companies Isn't it? HuaWei also made possible for continuos cellphone connection inside the London Tube (metro) in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics.


AGAIN DOES this MEAN CHINESE EDUCATION SYTEM IS SUPERIOR ???


A single sparrow seen does not mean it is SPRING time..

Americantongue assessment of Chinese educated students lack of social skills is largely true. Confucian based orientation is towards collective interaction rather than individuality. Unfortunately, the Mainland Chinese's sense of  individuality was greatly stiffled by successive disastrous political campaigns of (1) The Hundred Flowers百花运动 (1956) (2) Great Leap  大跃进( 1958) (3) Cultural Revolution 文化大革命 ( 1966)


Individuality and outspoken opinion are met with severe punishment, torture and even death. This is the legacy of these lost years that crippled individuality and usher in decay in moral rectitude. Most devastating it affected the soul of the very leaders who manages China today who were the products of this time period whether they are perpetuators or victims. It is still in the recent memories of even the educators today that it took the collective leadership to point out to Beijing University and Tsinghua that reforms are needed to stimulate creativity although I think many academics have known this for some time.

A minor point. Please remember learning English does not constitute education as much as learning Mongolian during the early Yuan dynasty or learning Russian in the 1950s does not constitute education. It is the human instinct to copy the way of the Victors  and look into their mind or books that they can read in order to self-improve.

Now, if the many successful Chinese in China, USA, Canada, and Europe is a hint, the Chinese person do possess similar capability as any person in this world towards the ability to strive for the better.



WHAT THEN IS THE GAUGE OF EDUCATION'S SUCCESS ??



If the definition of what is better is to produce rich, powerful, and selfish society then I just feel sorry for the many Chinese now trying to imitate the West shall find that happiness and fulfilment is not found in excelling in education, nor accumulation of wealth but in treating and respecting his fellow men and living in harmony with others that would free the spirit to acheive a transcendent media of culture civility, societal mutual respect while being technically proficient.

I just hope that the recent negative events of the Hundred Flowers, Great Leap Forward and the Cultural revolution would motivate China to strive for moral and ethical rectitude alongside with material and technological achievement after the miracle that Leader Deng Xiao Ping unleashes with his white and black cat theory of one country two systems. It worked for now...BUT what is the next Theme to follow in order to sustain this growth?

Without reform in education, without emphasis on Humanities, or maintaining a close family unit where the child lives with parents at home so that the parents may nurture the child development, the promotion of neighborhood activities and not just limited to Hukou or single child inspection, encouragement in promoting physical, emotional and ethical strength..then China would be able to sustain its economic growth and internal stability and also create a futrue egenration where courtesy and respect becomes instinctive.



Just like Northern Wei, USSR overspend in Military build up to the detriment of food and livelihood security leading to demoralization and indifference.



Similarly, overflowing material wealth and wastage in the WEST is leading to antipathy and decay that many western nations are now experiencing including the USA, Canada, Western Europe. The West is encountering a financial world changing disaster what they still do not knw o how to get out from and counting on China to help.



The West too are soul searching on these types of reforms too.

We should remember we are a GLOBAL VILLAGE and a ZERO SUM world economy

This means What is good for China is GOOD for the WEST. What is bad for the WEST is BAD for CHINA

.....and VICE VERSA......
Reply Report danfeng 2013-3-11 22:36
education just an kind of culture ,and different culture has itself background ,so i think there is no education is superior to others.
Reply Report RonJaDa 2013-3-11 23:49
I am no expert , but here is my opinion.  I have observed through out my career that sometimes what we need the most is a break to freshen our mind or to fail in order that we can succeed.  After working on something for a few hours  if we put it down go for a walk play a game of tennis or pingpong, then go back to the challange we will get to the answer quicker.  People that cram can remember the information long enough to write the exam and pass, but a month  after the exam they have forgotten a lot of the material.
I truly believe that it takes hard work , and we all know the Chinese students are hard workers and achievers, but it also takes balance.  There is a time for study, a time for work a time to play a time to succeed and a time to fail.  I was raised as a perfectionist however the further I got in my career the harder it was, I had not been taught how to fail or rather how to handle failure.  A very important concept in education and training that I was exposed to later in life is that  accepting failure is an important part of any learning.  One boss said "If you don't fail once a month such that people notice, you are not doing your job."  He was telling us that failure is part of taking risks and learning, the important thing is not did you fail but how you deal with failure.  From what I have seen the Chinese students have so much  pressure on them to succeed failure is not seen as an option or as part of the life cycle.
Reply Report huaren2323 2013-3-12 00:23
RonJaDa: I am no expert , but here is my opinion.  I have observed through out my career that sometimes what we need the most is a break to freshen our mind or ...
Hey well said Ronjada..I have never realized this thread of wisdom....
Reply Report seethroughwest 2013-3-12 07:55
huaren2323: ( Sharing my comment on MichaelM's forum whether Western is better than Chinese Education)

I appreciate the candid disclosure of MichaelM experience  ...
huaren, I took the time and read your lengthy post. I say you could make it much more concise. I am sorry you are never given the chance to learn math and science in Chinese. You missed something big. But others are far easier to see: Pictographic written Chinese has huge superiority compared to spelling of sound of Western written language. As research shown, Chinese written language convey meaning significantly faster than Latin based Western languages. Chinese spoken languages are even faster. Also, look what langue-division the Western written-language has created in Europe. An Italian cannot understand a German. But in China, the written Hanzi ensures that the language and nation united despite pronunciation changes.

How wonderful!

huaren, since you never really experienced Chinese education, I consider it unscientific for you to claim Chinese education a “tool of politics”. You would be equally offended if I tell you that Catholic education is a “tool of Christianity”. Then I start to realize your differentiation of China from Taiwan, Japan and Korea is based on the party line of your Catholic church. Do you realize this coincidence?

I am equally unimpressed by your lengthy emphasis on the Chinese Culture Revolution. The Culture Revolution lasted a mere 10 years. It seems to be a key and main item with Mao, whenever an American or a European talks about China. What is your problem? Now, think, how long is the US War in Iraq? Go figure.

For me, religion is definitely not a source of happiness. You find happiness in your Jesus and his virgin (also mother), but others may not follow your way because their parents simply did NOT do what your parents did to you during childhood. Maybe, for others, we find your way disturbing, bizarre and painful.

Christianity is based on one book - the bible. Any challenge or questioning of the book incur passionate objections from believers. Obviously, there is no scientific evidence about the existence of Jesus. But Christians are forced to believe it during their childhood. They are not allowed to say “there is no god”. They are not even allowed to think about it. How can there be Critical Thinking in religion? How can there be happiness, for a free Chinese mind, in Christianity and Catholicism?

I was listening to public radio when a Catholic child voice said: “we are all different but every child under god is equal.” I would have no problem if the Catholic child said: “every child, including nonbeliever of the existence of god, is equal. Of course, the Catholic parents would never allow the child to say that. The foundation of Catholicism and Christianity is self-claimed supremacy. Every culture is entitled to its own fairytales. The Christians refuse to recognize cultures and people who do not believe in god. The behavior of Catholicism is, as a result, the behavior of racism, segregation and a fear of diversity.
Reply Report seethroughwest 2013-3-12 07:56
RonJaDa: I am no expert , but here is my opinion.  I have observed through out my career that sometimes what we need the most is a break to freshen our mind or ...
I want to use RonjaDa to demonstrate the lack of basic Chinese knowledge for most Westerners. He said that Chinese students are not told to deal with failure. A simple Chinese idiom 失败是成功之母 , taught in Chinese grade 1, would be beyond the knowledge set of RonjaDa. If Chinese listen to such and their suggestions to change Chinese education, the country is doomed to fail.
Reply Report MichaelM 2013-3-12 08:35
huaren2323: ( Sharing my comment on MichaelM's forum whether Western is better than Chinese Education)

I appreciate the candid disclosure of MichaelM experience  ...
Thank you for your thorough, intelligent and well thought out reply. Many, many great points. I appreciate your perspective and taking the time to share it in such detail.

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MichaelM

Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.

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