Current Events: China's Education By Emily marks
What is the Issue? How is it a legacy of China's past?
The main issue of Chinese Education that I focused on is the issue of foreign influence on Chinese Education. I read articles on both China trying to battle foreign influence on its education and China attempting to influence western education. This shows the impact that China's past, specifically the legacy of Taoism, has left on China today. A key principal of Taoism is their value of balance, and in these issues they are trying to find a good balance between Chinese and Foreign education. This issue also shows the legacy of Confucianism because this issue revolves around education and shows how much education is valued in Chinese culture, just like it was valued by Confucius. It is shown how much China values their education today through a guideline recently created by China's cabinet that supports private education and calls for easier access for investment in private education and an improvement in education quality.
When does this issue come up today?
One example of this issue coming up today relvolves around a documentary that was recently released. The documentary was about an experiment that tests out Chinese teaching styles. The experiment consisted of 5 Chinese teachers teaching 50 British students using a Chinese teaching method. A method that works students much harder than they do in the western educational system. It includes 12 hour school days and daily exercise routines.
Because of the advantage that the Chinese have in science and math in comparison to their "western counterparts," as they are referred to in the article, they will learn and perfect science and math during this experiment. This should lead to engineering, computer science, technology, and other jobs for these Western students. Chinese education has other benefits such as encouragement for competition, high expectations and discussion based lectures. This was the purpose of the experiment. However, Michael Murphy, the author of this article, sees an issue with the experiment. He believes that the bad behavior shown by the British students in the documentary is staged. After teaching in China for many years, he has learned that Chinese students are well behaved and smart, but nowhere near perfect, as discussed in the video.
Here is the link to the trailer for the documentary, "Are Our Kids Tough Enough"- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJDBze60Zu4
Another example of this issue coming up in daily life is in an article that talks about the Chinese trying to battle off foreign influence on their education. Since the 1870s, the Chinese have slowly been letting foreign influence take over their education system. There are pros and cons to this. One pro of this situation is that 57% of Chinese parents have said that they would send their kids abroad to learn if they could afford it, meaning it would please the Chinese. Another pro is that some of the top schools in China have created international programs, opening up excellent educational opportunities for international students. The cons include concerns about the quality of international programs, the fixed student capacity that public schools have, causing them to boot the Chinese students out of their schools to make room for international students, and fighting against international programs poses a risk of the middle class feeling targeted.
Why is this topic important?
This is an important topic because education is essential and is required for almost every important job today. That is why it is so important that China and any other country make smart decisions about combining and influencing different educational systems. It is also crucial for China to keep its education system first-rate because education has been valued in Chinese culture since Confucius' time and it is important for China to keep his legacy going by keeping education a priority.
If I were to continue researching this topic, I would try to found out more about the statistics showing China's educations system vs other education systems and whether those statistics prove that mixing foreign and Chinese Education is a good decision.