Monday, January 17, 2011

Chinese schools

Some pulls from Nicholas D. Kristof 's China's Winning Schools op-ed in the NYT:
  • . . . even in backward rural areas, most girls and boys alike attend high school
  • In my Chinese-American wife’s ancestral village — a poor community in southern China — the peasant children are a grade ahead in math compared with my children at an excellent public school in the New York area.
  • Chinese principals can’t easily dismiss teachers, but they can get extra training for less effective teachers, or if that doesn’t work, push them into other jobs.
  • . . . excellent early childhood education, typically beginning at age 2
  • Colleges are third-rate and should be a national disgrace.
  • Many Chinese complain scathingly that their system kills independent thought and creativity
  • . . . the greatest strength of the Chinese system is the Confucian reverence for education that is steeped into the culture.


  1. Read Peter Hessler's account of his years teaching English in China to college kids for an eye opening look at the Chinese system. While his book was written in the 90's, I don't think much has changed in provincial towns. I get a lot of very mediocre Chinese students (and some really good ones).

  2. Would you say that most of the Chinese students you've taught were mediocre?