Why American Students Need Chinese Schools

schools

#1

Fascinating article on WSJ. Many aspects of it rings true to me:

When my little boy was 3, his Chinese teacher forced a bite of fried egg into his mouth. At school. Without permission.

“She put it there,” my firstborn told me, lips forming an “O,” finger pointing past his teeth.

“Then what happened?” I prodded my son, who despises eggs.

“I cried and spit it out,” he said.

“And?” I pressed.

“She did it again,” he said. In all, Teacher Chen pushed egg into my son’s mouth four times, and the last time, he swallowed.


#2

Another bracing Chinese belief is that hard work trumps innate talent when it comes to academics. Equipped with flashcards and ready to practice, my son’s Chinese language teacher knows that he is capable of learning the 3,500 characters required for literacy. His primary school math teacher gives no child a free pass on triple-digit arithmetic and, in fact, stays after school to help laggards. China’s school system breeds a Chinese-style grit, which delivers the daily message that perseverance—not intelligence or ability—is key to success.

Studies show that this attitude gets kids farther in the classroom. Ethnic Asian youth are higher academic achievers in part because they believe in the connection between effort and achievement, while “white Americans tend to view cognitive abilities as…inborn,” according to a longitudinal study of more than 5,000 students published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. Chinese kids are used to struggling through difficult content, and they believe that success is within reach of anyone willing to work for it. This attitude gives policy makers in China great latitude when it comes to setting out and enforcing higher standards.


#3

What? Work hard and you can succeed. That used to be the American dream. Now we just tell everyone they are victims, and it’s someone else’s fault.


#4

Honestly I don’t think there’s much America needs to learn from China. China is just an earlier version of Japan. A lot of people wanted to learn the “Japanese work ethic” back in the 1980s.

So why don’t we want to learn work ethic from the Japanese anymore? We have to learn from China now? Fads come and fads go. Just like tulips and bitcoin… :rofl: