Differences between Chinese and Western Education Most Chinese parents like to ask, “How old should be the best age for children to study overseas? ” “Is the foundational education as good as China in other countries? ” As the matter of fact, the argument about advantages and disadvantages between Chinese Education and Western Education is keeping on all the time. This question is also one major concern among those students who are considering going abroad. In order to find out the most suitable way for each individual, we shall gather more information and compare both matters in China and foreign countries.
The basic issue of education is what kind of people we want to cultivate to be, and how to cultivate them. The concept of value, purpose of education and method of education between Chinese Education System and Western Education System are differentiated in many academic fields. Let’s have a look at this with 2 cases: Darin Yokel is an art teacher from one primary school in Cincinnati, America; she is also a current student of Miami University. To be as one of the exchange teacher with Chinese, she came to Kunming, Yunan to have an academic interchange.
Her objective is split into 3 parts, teaching Chinese students, communicating with Chinese teachers and independent training. In Kunming, Darin found out that the painting skills of Chinese students are very good. One day, she gave out one topic which is called “happy festival” to her students, but all the students were drawing the same Christmas tree. At first she thought that Chinese students are friendly so when they met a western teacher, they drew the Christmas tree for her. But later she found that every Christmas tree those children drown are with the same batten.
She looked closer, discovered that all the students were looking toward the same direction where one of the classroom wall. Then she realized that there was one Christmas tree painting on the wall which prepared by the school as the purpose of creating a suitable painting atmosphere for students. Darin covered the painting on the wall and asked the students to create their own picture, to her surprise; she was so disappointed that once she covered the wall painting, the students could not draw a “happy festival”.
Some students were scratching the head, some biting the pencil, some staring at each other, but no one knew how to start their work. With the intention of solving the embarrassment, Darin has to open the cover of wall painting. There is another case far in America: one professor mentioned in his article that his son did research when he was in primary school form two. One day he came back from school and asked father to go to library, he said he is doing one research on whales so need to go and find information. The professor took his son to two libraries and borrowed more than ten books about whale.
The little boy had finished his first research in his whole life on the topic of whale. It contained 3 pages and one cover with a picture of whale and sea. There were 4 tittles inside the report: introduction, what do whales eat, how whales eat and the features of whales. The professor said that this is the shortest and simplest research he has ever seen in his life; however this is the most interesting research he has ever read as well. The main concern here is not how much knowledge of whale the boy has learnt, but the process of doing the research.
He concentrated so hard to gather information, read articles, identify points, write essay and so on. He was doing individually and independently all through the procedure. He totally used his brain to carry out every step, thus he has achieved much more knowledge and skills beside only whales. And this kind of research practice is continuous improving, when he was in Form Two, his research is only collecting other people’s information. But when he reached Form Five, his research is moving into a further level of giving out his own ideas.
Although his research is still in insufficient order or not so valid, his consciousness of creation is forming and improving. The Darin’s case is really shocking, it illustrates two crucial points of Chinese Education System, one is emphasize too much on teaching but neglect the importance of capability, the other one is building up strong foundation but lack of high education. We Chinese think that students with sturdy foundation can receive further knowledge better. So most Chinese parents think that the primary education in China is more stable than those western countries, and western high education is more mature than China.
If students can have the combine of two education system, students could become comprehensive. That is why more and more Chinese parents intend to send their children to foreign universities. The second case shows that Western Education System encourages children to do research on their own. They believe that doing research can help children to analysis problems and solve difficulties by themselves. At mean while, students can practice what they have learnt in real work through the process of research.
It is more effective than what we have been practiced in China, that students are studying for exams only while in primary education period. We are implementing 2 separate stages, learning basic knowledge in junior level and doing research in senior level. What are the significant characteristics of both Chinese Education System and Western Education System? Let’s have a compare and discuss as follows: Firstly, there are two basic concepts of education value, teaching and guiding. Teaching concept is commonly used in Chinese Education System which is base on textbook contents.
Students learn knowledge through classes that are conducted by teachers inside the classroom. Besides it is being used in Chinese family education; students perceive knowledge by listening to what the parents have told them and textbooks which parents ask them to read. This concept is well effected in raising so called “good student” who always abbeys rules and regulations, inheriting traditions and general habits. It resulted that Chinese primary education is with no doubt strongly-built, especially during primary school and middle school period.
That is also the reason why Chinese students can win scores of prize in Olympic competitions every year. Guiding is the main concept of education wildly used in western countries. It emphasizes the rights and respects of children, which is base on a trust motion. Schools provide students with fulfilled self-management, support them to control themselves. At home, parents see children as one equal member of the family; they have identical duty and responsibility for the family. Western children have more freedom and private without much instruction; they are more persuaded by enlightening and leading.
Westerners intend to offer children opportunities to develop themselves, discovering their potential specialties and abilities. They encourage children to study with interest under pleasure, doing what they want to do and trying the best they can. Thus western children are more responsible and confident; they have a higher grade of self-esteems because of the process of self-learning. On the other hand, self-management does not only depend on students themselves, they do need guidelines from parents and teachers.
Guardians should help students to build up sufficiency and strength, also observe their grown to correct any mistakes and weakness. Chinese Education System is good at demonstrating and building moral students always following traditional rules and regulations. But western children show more aggressiveness in personal development, they become the master of their own destiny. They are more ingenious and creative, therefore, the most percentage of Nobel Prize are achieved by western people. It is said that open self-learning system hast he advantage of cultivating top creators.
Secondly, the primary education in China is unilaterally seeking for the rate of upgrading since 10 years ago, meaning that they have comparison on the frank of students entering a higher level education. They rank students into 3 grads with their results, and divide schools into 3 categories. Schools recruit students within the same level of grades, so only those high scored students have the opportunity to enter famous school. As a result of this, some of the students who have lower scores may not have a fair chance to develop. Thus causes huge stress burden on both schools’ and students’ shoulders.
Schools care about their reputation, certainly more pressure is given to the students. Students care about are afraid of discipline or elimination, with no choice, they have to tolerate the pressure. However, those high education properties such as colleges and universities still have a low percentage of students among all the citizens in China. In an opposite situation, there are a high percentage of high-educationed citizens. There are less entry battles in colleges and universities so that every student may have a chance to enter high education properties.
They mainly emphasize the personal development skills of students and set creativeness as a major purpose of education. In their opinion, personal development is according to personal need and demand. Every one has their own character and ambition, educate children toward their interest and specialty is helpful to discover their potential capacity and talent. It is not only for the need of personal development, but also good for social development. Furthermore, parents always tell us that we should have the good manner of studying hard towards goals as a Chinese tradition.
Most parents start teaching children simple calculating and writing when they are 3 or 4 years old. Almost every Chinese have the memory of being forced to Chinese ancient poems in their childhood. However, in the 21st century today, only reciting poems and textbooks, expecting high scores in exam, studying without other activities are evidently limited for the multi-changed diversity world. It is even harm for teenagers if dominate their life by studying only, because the ability of innovation is eradicated.
In western countries, people more look into children’s perceive abilities. In primary school, teachers conduct classes in discussion and games. Students have little homework but more handwork, they are studying under pleasure. All the subjects in middle school practice the point system, exams are only a small part of course module. Western students just have to keep sufficient attendance and points, they can graduate easily. They have the opportunity to manage their leisure time, develop their interests.
We could obviously find out that western people are normally more positive and easy going. They have various knowledge about life and nature which is out of textbooks, also they have better communication skills to getting along with different people. Some people think that Chinese primary education is perfect; the only problem of Chinese Education System is in high level edification, so to improve our system just need to enhance higher level. It is actually an incomplete statement because human’s creativeness is nurtured since young.
This nurturing must be continuous and mortified all the time. We should connect primary and high education levels with creativeness in sequence so as to cultivate our Chinese Nobel Prize Winners. Bach to the previous question, most of Chinese parents think that high education in western countries are much developed than China, in contrast, China has a firm foundation education system. The combination of both systems can braise excellent talents; therefore they keep children studying in China until middle school and send them abroad for colleges and universities.
On the other hand, if we give solid foundation to children in China, at the same time, we put their creativeness as one of the targets in a purpose. As a result of that, there is going to be more talented man when they are polished up overseas. To sum up, Chinese Education System and Western Education System have their own advantages and disadvantages. Chinese emphasizes foundational knowledge whereas Western thinks highly of creativeness. If we could join two systems together, there is going be more Chinese performers on the 21st century stage.