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The Effectiveness of Chinese Education versus the US

2020-10-21 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

     下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 --The Effectiveness of Chinese Education versus the US,文章讲述近年来,学生到美国、英国等西方国家留学已经成为一种越来越流行的趋势。Lin的一项研究指出,2014年有超过20万的中国学生在美国留学,并且这个数字正在以更快的速度逐渐增长。说到去美国留学的原因,大多数中国学生会说“我想去可以学任何我想学的东西的地方”或者“我想学习没有那么大的压力的乐趣”。

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Introduction

There has been an increasingly popular trend in recent years that students study abroad in western countries such as US and UK. A study from Lin points out that there are more than two hundred thousand Chinese students who study abroad in United States in 2014 and the number is gradually increasing in a faster speed.  Talking about the reason to study abroad in the US, most Chinese student would say that "I want to go to places where I can learn whatever I want” or “I want to study for fun without so much pressure.” Students under the strict Chinese college entrance exam system are having too much pressure and some of them are getting bored of studying. Western education, on the contrary, offers a lot more freedom to students because of its smaller class size and much more open teaching style as well as testing method.  However, take special conditions in China into consideration, the Chinese college entrance exam still make sense and provide good solid education and great sense of group honorship to young students in China.

Analysis

Yang is a Chinese student who just finished the college entrance exam. He said that “If you connect all of the practice tests I’ve taken over the past three years, they would wrap all the way around the world.” Although his words exaggerated the case a little bit, it indeed describes the life of a typical Chinese student in high school in preparation for the college entrance exam. The Chinese college entrance exam, which takes place in two or three days at the start of June each year across the entire country for high school graduates, determines whether students are to be admitted to the universities that they have applied for. To make it clearer, each student can only choose three universities to apply to, and the three schools should be placed in order because each student will be assigned to one of the universities automatically according to the range his test score falls into. There is even one extreme situation that the student will have to self-study for another year if he got a score lower than the third school’s score requirements.  With this strict condition being the huge pressure for students, it can also be the advantage of Chinese education system and be the driving motivation for studying. To most students and parents, the Chinese entrance exam is considered as the ultimate purpose of attending high school. Compared with American students who take the SAT exam, high school students in China are always under much higher pressure living with tons of homework and pre-tests. However, as the population of China is reported 13.6 million until 2016, the Chinese college entrance exam provides greater education opportunities and more fairness to hundreds of millions of young people and helps to select and cultivate brilliant young people.  

Students in China indeed suffer the high school life with great pressure under the Chinese entrance exam system. High school students in China also do not have so much extracurricular activities and spare time for outdoor sports or playing games as compared to American high school students. According to the study of Lin, 16% of Chinese high school students have a mind to suicide, 33% of the reason are because of the pressure from study. In most high schools, students study from six in the morning to ten at night, the average time of doing homework above 14 hours per week (Usqiaobao). More than 80% of Shanghai’s high school students attend after-school tutoring in 2015 (Sharma). Students compete with each other not only in the midterm exams or final exam, but also in the Monthly exam. The monthly exams test students more detailed knowledge regarding the things they learnt in the most recent month. After each monthly exam, students are ranked based on their total scores. Normally, according to their new rankings, students may receive the honorable invitation to enter a “key class” or face the consequence of dropping out of the “key class” back to an “ordinary class” (Maxwell). Following this, high school students in China can’t even take a good rest on weekend in order to stay on the top.

Although the Chinese college entrance exam gives students more pressure than the SAT does, the Chinese college entrance exam makes students in China more competitive than students in America regarding the knowledge base.  Also, it is exactly because of the competitive environment that motivates student day by day during high school and encourages them to study harder.

Studying is also considered the most important job for high school students in China. Lots of parents believe that study is the only way to bright future especially in the poor families, so students are always under high expectations from their parents. Brook interviews Cao’s family, and the student Cao said that “My mother constantly reminds me that I have to study hard, because my father is out working on construction site far away from home to pay my school fees.” Cao also said, “My teachers put a high expectation on me to get in a top college like Tsinghua University in China.” Cao’s father said, “We just want our son to study hard, because his mother and I never had a chance to go far in school” (Brook).

However, apart from the high pressures from both school and parents, the Chinese college entrance exam evaluates students better than SAT does, and students are actually being more serious about studying. Chinese Education Department reports that 75% of students get into college through the Chinese college entrance exam. The Chinese college entrance is fair for every students in China, John Hamel, the vice president for enrollment in Suffolk University, agrees: The Chinese college entrance exam is “pretty rigorous, highly secure” (Hamel). There are testings based on humanities and testing based on science in the Chinese college entrance exam. When students finished their 6th grade in high school, they will be separated into two types of class to prepare for the Chinese college entrance exam. Chinese, Math and English are the most important parts in the entrance exam, and every student needs to have these three exams. The one based on humanities will test students on History, Government and Politics, and Geography. The one based on science includes Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (Maxwell). The Chinese college entrance exam not only tests students' math, science, and social studies abilities but also computer, P.E, and even working ability, while the SAT only includes math, reading and writing (Chinese Education Department).         

To be more specific, lots of American students who are taking the SAT are not ready for college. David Coleman, College Board president and CEO, said that “More than half of SAT test-takers unprepared for college. The SAT doesn’t really help students fit in the college.” He also said, “For a long time, institutions like ours have been reporting that too many students aren't ready for college and career workforce training” (Coleman). College Board also reports in 2014 that the percentage of students who pass the SAT's college-readiness benchmark has been declining for five years, with this year's drop slightly larger.

There are usually 15 students in a class in America. Smaller classes create better environment for interaction between teachers and students. “More opportunities to think deeply; longer time for students to think and ask questions; fewer student questions seeking clarification; more caring to each student from teachers” are all benefits of small classrooms cited by Pedder in the Oxford Review of Education. On the contrary, in China, students sit in a fixed classroom usually with 50 students, where teachers come in to teach rather than students go to different classrooms. Although there is drawbacks with this kind of class, bue it is because of this that a class is like a big group or even family. In fact, the big class size and the fixed class can work in a very effect way and give students great sense of collective honor.

Small classes in the US are more effective for group discussion. In America people believe that students are all different, and if teachers use the same way to teach all the students, they will lose their talented students. Small classes not only help teachers to educate students differently but also provide students more opportunities to learn about themselves. Public Agenda and National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality reports that national surveys of educators believe that class size reduction is the most effective method to improve the quality of teaching. In a 2008 survey, 76% of first year teachers said that reducing class size would be "a very effective" way of improving teacher quality, and 21% responding that it would be an “effective” method -- for a total of 97% -- far outstripping every other reform cited. In the Oxford Review of Education, Pedder said that increased use of whole class teaching would result in fewer student questions seeking help or clarification; more frequent teacher probing and longer waiting for pupil responses. Another study from Tennessee, Wisconsin demonstrates that students who are assigned to smaller classes in grades K-3rd do better in every aspect that can be measured: they score higher on tests, receive better grades, and exhibit improved attendance.  All of these shows class size influence the teaching quality and grade of students. Teachers are able to spend more time on each student in class so that every student can be known by teacher and teachers can thus teaches differently based on their personal strengths and weaknesses.

Although small classes in the US are more effective in some ways, larger class size in China has the advantage that it provides students a greater sense of collective honor in a large group. Big classes in China also work in a very productive way with the help of more prepared teachers and greater variation of class. Large classes provide more opportunities for students’ interaction and foster an atmosphere of cooperation and encourage creativity and innovation among students. Instead of caring about the individual honor, students work together for the honor of the entire class as a large family.  From the students’ perspective, more students mean more ideas, and therefore, they could generate more possibilities and increase the overall efficiency of the group; from the teachers’ perspective, they need to prepare better for big class, “We don’t see it when we go into classroom, but it is in teachers’ minds” (quote from Hong). Based on Hong’s teaching experience, one major advantage of teaching a large class in high school is that classes are usually highly energetic, fun and exciting; the classes go by quickly and are rarely boring; and most students are willing to participate. In addition, students must learn independence and self-motivation because teachers have less time to work one-on-one with students. Students can also learn to work well in groups because group work becomes a necessity in large classrooms.

In China, teachers and parents encourage students to study hard early during high school and build a strong and solid foundation of knowledge. People believe when they work hard now, they can start as a more competitive person in the job market and have an easier life in the future without needing to go to school again part-time while work at the same. The United States encourage students to study autonomously and emphasize academic achievements too. However, the belief and values are quite different in China and in America. In China, when students were academically successful, they would be seen as heroes; in the United States, those who are academically successful are often called “nerds” and the heroes are those who have talents in other areas (Chen 72). Creativity and freedom are important, but the education system in China based on hard practice helps students set up a strong foundation which could help them all the way in future from their college life to their future career path.

US education emphasizes on creativity and innovation. The US education cares a lot about students' creativity rather than pushing students to learn. “Creativity is also core to progress in knowledge societies,” said by Collard in the study of Nurturing Creativity in Education. “Creativity is widely acknowledged as vital for social and economic innovation and development as well as for individual well-being. On a personal level, it is about the desire for self-expression and identity.” Maratha Nussbaum argues that human dignity and progress are rooted in each individual's capabilities, including those that are central to creativity, being able to use the senses, imagine, think, and reason, and to have the educational opportunities necessary to realize these capacities” (Collard).

Although the US education emphases on creativity and innovation, Chinese education provides strong foundational skills based on intensive and advanced degree goals. Chinese students benefit a lot from the strong foundation of their education. From the OECD ranking, Chinese people rank at the top, keeping the highest scores of 613 in math, 570 in reading and 580 in science. The score of Americans is 494 in math, 496 in reading and 501 in science. In the 2014 International Math Olympic Games China came in third place. Chinese students and Chinese-American students in Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology are increasing from 32% to 54% (Chen). “According to The Number Sense, at the age of 4 years old, a child living in the United States who speaks English on average has the ability to count to 15. The same age child living in China has the ability to count to 40, based purely on their efficiency of memorization. This means that already, at the age of 5, American children are already a year behind their Asian counterparts in basic arithmetic fundamentals” (Chen).

Conclusion

Last but not least, China now has a lot of International schools which not only prepare students for studying abroad but also introduce students to small classes and creative classes such as art and music appreciation. Even the Chinese college entrance exam system changed since 2016. Students now have more flexibility to choose the subjects of the exam and have a second chance to take it. Pressure from the Chinese college entrance exam is a driving force for high school students, and big class creates a family-like feeling that students not only compete with each other but also hold each other’s back. Based on all of this, students can have a good foundation of knowledge and know how to study by their own under the Chinese education system. There is no good or bad to judge education, there is only fit or not. Combining with the traditional education system and western teaching methods, China’s education is getting better and better.  

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