Chinese education documentary makes you think

Students attend Haikou Yingcai Primary School in Haikou, southern China’s Hainan Province, May 24, 2017. Photo: IC

Pupils outside a school in London Photo: IC

“Success is not a question with one answer. There are many ways to be successful. If you have one more option, you may be able to make a big difference,” said Chinese war reporter Zhou Yijun. during his educational television documentary. Childhood Elsewhere.

As a mother of two, Zhou began to think about the elements of a good education. After traveling abroad as a reporter, Zhou decided to seek answers all over the world. During the filming, Zhou visited several countries including Japan, the United Kingdom, Finland, Israel and India, and visited and interviewed many teachers and students from various types of schools.

The documentary depicts various experiences in the classroom through the perspective of students and explores the opinions of parents and teachers on different educational methods. On Chinese media review site Douban, the documentary series has a high score of 9.2 / 10, with many Chinese netizens noticing and discussing the different education methods that appear in the documentary in the comments section.

“This documentary is very open-minded. I didn’t know much about the different methods of education in these countries and how education is approached in countries with different cultures and histories,” one commented. surfer in a review.

“Childhood Elsewhere offers the audience multiple perspectives on education and captures the essential educational characteristics of various countries, such as the emphasis on detail in Japanese education, which makes the documentary a very useful reference,” Tan Songhua , an adviser to the Chinese Society of Education, the Global Times told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Different methods

In the third episode of Childhood Elsewhere, students in India have shown a tendency to ask questions and criticize everything.

Always ready to “find alternatives”, Indian students do not accept standard answers. In one excerpt, students in a college class proactively speak and debate constantly with the teacher, and even challenge her. Teachers and students seemed to enjoy running the class this way. A college professor told Zhou that it is very common for students to ask their professors questions and generally discuss and find out the answers to those questions together. He also mentioned that sometimes students’ new ideas end up teaching them a thing or two.

Likewise, the primary and secondary grades in the documentary are also the same. A teacher asks the children to discuss the topic of “shopping online versus shopping in real stores, which is better,” which prompts students to start expressing their own opinions.

“In Israel, parents ask their children how many questions they asked in school that day, while in China parents are more likely to ask their children if they understand and remember all of them. the knowledge their teachers taught that day, ”Tan said. .

Tan said Chinese teachers and parents tend to pay more attention to memorizing facts and knowledge from textbooks, in turn ignoring the need to foster their children’s ability to solve problems and develop their skills. own hobbies. In China, students are very good at reciting facts from textbooks, which limits the development of their minds.

When it comes to rote memorization, UK students have their own opinion. A student at a private school in the UK told Zhou that if he liked a poem, he would be more than happy to memorize it, but when it comes to the ones he doesn’t care about, he’ll pick them up. usually forgets in a day or so.

Chinese characteristics

The “tiger mom” style of education has continued to be controversial in education.

“Children must be made to meet strict requirements as they grow up, but children themselves must be motivated to learn and create,” Tan said.

“The term ‘mother tiger’ comes from a Chinese-American mother. But we have to be careful of the cultural differences between China and the United States. The high-pressure education of American families and the relatively relaxed educational culture in the States “United are very good supplements, and this is something we can learn from,” Zhang Lei, professor at Tianjin Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times.

High-tech education

In the Indian episode of the documentary, many Indian children living in remote areas are seen using the computer room to study on their own. Although they don’t have the money to travel the world, these students can still see it and learn more on the internet. An Indian boy tells Zhou that he used a computer to learn to speak English.

“Installing computers in remote and poor areas is a good way for children to learn. India and China are doing it. China has successfully achieved the goal of ensuring that all remote areas have access to the Internet, ”Tan said.

According to Tan, students in China can take online courses provided by Renmin University’s affiliated high school in China, one of the most famous high schools in China.

“Digital education in China will have great prospects in the future,” Tan said.
Newspaper Title: Paths to Success

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