Reflections 2018

Read the following two articles.

Article 1:
by Angela Fang | June 03, 2016 |

Article 2:
There is a new call for Americans to embrace Chinese-style education.
That’s a huge mistake
Read online.
by Valerie Strauss | September 19, 2017 |

Based on your reading of the Strauss (and class discussions), write an opinion piece or a letter to the editor, expressing your view:

Letters to the editor and opinion pieces are very powerful advocacy tools. In your letter or opinion piece, you can bring up information not addressed in the news article (particular the Strauss piece), and can create the impression of widespread support or opposition to an issue.

In your writing, be sure to do the following:

Adhere to word count requirements–at least 250 words, but no more than 300. Please list your word count. 

Open with a strong statement, and be sure to place the most important information at the beginning.

Use a personal story or illustration to make your point in plain language.

Post your opinion piece or letter under the comments below.

23 thoughts on “Reflections 2018

  1. The Chinese education system does not let children think for themselves. This, to Americans is outrageous, but to the Chinese, makes perfect sense. This is the way that they would like it to be.

    The problem with the Chinese education system is that it teaches children to be obedient and memorizing machines, but not to be thinkers. Lenora Chu, an American journalist, living in Shanghai, sends her son to the best Chinese school in the city. She observed his learning habits and his character, as he grew up, and she found some very interesting things at play. Her son, Rainey, was so scared of his teachers and being wrong that he took to cheating and lying.

    She did cite the fact that Chinese educators believe that perseverance will help a student succeed in the long run, over something like ability and that the education system in China installs that grit in their children. I would agree with this idea and would say that it rings true in the world today. There are many more people in this world who have succeed because they put enough work into something. Most of these people were not necessarily “born smart.” In fact, I believe that the idea of being “born smart” is non-existent. Furthermore, I think that raising children on this idea that if they work hard enough for something, they will achieve it, is the right way to go about doing things. However, the Chinese education system, as it stands now, is not the way to achieve this. Putting enough fear into a child so that must lie to achieve the results that they want is not teaching them to work hard; it is teaching them to be sneaky and fake.

    Word count: 290

  2. No child should fear to go to school, but all children should be taught the importance of education. Fear of punishment that leads to anxiety does not form a person that I would want to hire even if they are the smartest person I have met. There is more to every person than a score they received on a test that makes them better than someone else. The American education system gives a special focus to extracurricular activities that allow kids to find out what they like and want to do. It is more important to be an individual than to be the one who knows how to take a test. A company CEO cannot be afraid of making the wrong decision or of taking risks; a Chinese education is raising children afraid of failure. The American education system on the other hand sometimes makes children not concerned with their future as much as they should be. While every child should have access to a quality education they need to be taught that it is a privilege to have. Allowing for self-discovery while going through the education system allows students to study things they are interested in and good at. Finding the perfect balance between the Chinese and American education system is the goal for a perfect education.

    Word Count: 218

  3. The articles; There’s a new call for Americans to embrace Chinese-style education, by Valerie Strauss, and Chinese Education System vs. U.S. Education System, by Angela Fang both, contain opinions on the Chinese schooling system that I believe are important to address, especially in our modern world. Strauss expresses her worries of the Chinese school system containing too much rigidity and “fear-based” motivation, while Fang’s article describes the Chinese education system as a process to create devotes, hard-working students. I believe that it is important for me, as an American student to learn as much as I can about the Chinese education system, and others, so that I may be able to help form connections between people in our constantly evolving world.
    When I read Strauss’ article I found her perspective on Chinese education to be very American. It makes sense that there is confusion and even dislike or contempt for certain practices that different schooling systems use. We get used to the way our world works and it becomes easy to be unable to relate to another’s way of doing things. I am constantly swept off my feet by my own inability to accept that different things work well for different people. in Angela Fang’s article, she writes, “the [Chinese] education system works for the country it was built for.” China’s history, modern and ancient, is so vastly different from the United States’ that there is no wonder our education systems don’t look or feel the same.
    All of this being said, I think that the Chinese education system may debilitate some students. Fang wrote this statement: “A nationwide standardized curriculum may be the best way to provide 1 billion people with a decent education, while providing equal opportunity.” As somebody who has not extensively taken time to study how the Chinese education system handles specific issues and as someone wearing an American lens over everything that I see, I believe that people learn in different ways and a standardized curriculum may exclude some students from being the best that they can be.
    After reading this I feel interested and excited about the possibility of people working together, sharing tactics for getting things done, helping each other in points of weakness. There is so much to teach others, and in a world where there are systems that control how people think of each other through media and online postings, I think that it is important to remain vigilant in keeping ourselves open-minded and ready to learn.

    word count: 421

    I’m sorry I went over the word limit, I got excited about this topic.

  4. Before I read the essay, I heard on some TV programs and websites that the Chinese education is hard. I read the essay and the author says exactly as I expected; that entrance exam for university is extremely important for Chinese students and their parents. What I didn’t know was that the teachers have authority to control students. Students cannot deny what teachers say. As the author says, they are just like memorizing robots. They are expected to be the same as everyone else. Teachers don’t see their talent, such as what they are good at and what they are not good at.
    I don’t think the education system to just memorize things and not actually learn is good for students. In Japan, also it is focused on memorizing, to get good grades on exams, and to enter high level of university. Japanese students even go to cram schools for extra hours after school. I think that the system like this only make everyone as the same. When I didn’t get good grades, I felt that I was not good enough and saw myself lower than others. It causes lack of self-confident. It is as if everyone is put into the same pattern.
    On the other hand, from my point of view, although staying here for few months in the United States, importance is to be in their diversity. It seems that students are expected to be different and teachers don’t try to put students into the same pattern. I feel that it is okay to be who I am. For example, it is okay to be not good at math, and be good at English. It is focused on expressing their opinion, not just memorizing things.

    Word count: 287 words

  5. Although some people think that America could benefit from the Chinese education system, I disagree because America has a very unique society and works differently than the Chinese. The Chinese like to force children to memorize a multitude of knowledge at a young age, but Americans do not. Americans would view this learning for children as harmful and counterproductive. Children in America would also not take kindly to being forced into doing many of what the Chinese do to their children, so it would be even harder to push this type of learning on them. I personally have seen how education systems similar to the Chinese work and it does not instill the same values I want to cultivate for myself. I want to be creative and to be able to express my thinking, in China I would not be able to do that in my learning.
    The Chinese system works because society accepts this way of teaching and believes that knowing more is better. Americans on the hand values creativity, uniqueness, and curiosity; so memorizing facts like the Chinese would not help foster these values. Americans pride themselves on being inventive, imaginative, and revolutionary and similarly want their children to be too. If Americans use the Chinese education system it would not foster those ideals, instead, it would cultivate knowledge robots that do not know how to think outside the box.
    Chinese education works in China because it instills the values the Chinese want in their children, opposite of what the Americans want. Therefore if Americans want to fix their education system, it is not by how the Chinese or by any other country does it, but instead by building a system based on what they want their children to value.

    Word Count: 292

  6. After reading the article, it pushed me to reflect on my own experience in being in both the Chinese-style education system and the American-style education system. For the first ten years of my life, my parents enrolled me in Chinese school, where for five times a week, I would attend Chinese language and cultural classes right after my “normal American classes”. Growing up, at many points, I disliked the Chinese classes for some of the similar reasons mentioned in the Strauss article. I definitely agreed that the Chinese system pushes students through rigid, authoritarian, but I believe not necessarily “unhealthy competition”. I remember competing in the many calligraphy and Chinese writing composition competitions, but I believe this competition pushed students to excel and work on their Chinese. The competition actually excited students and gave them a chance to show off their skills. I feel that more students were encouraged to compete rather than discouraged by unhealthy competition. At the same time, I also understand why many Americans are against the Chinese-style education. I agree than the Chinese school system is definitely more rigorous and disciplinary. Teachers and families are often expecting good results and scores, so they strive to put their students in an environment where you almost can’t fail. When pushed to these limits, many times the teachers and families don’t see it from a child’s point of view. I remember having to stay late and work on my homework on top of the work I already had from my regular English school. Because all the students work in the same level and pace, the classes may often go too quickly for those who are struggling.

    Word count: 283

  7. Many are in favor of the rigor, competition, and motivation Chinese teaching provides, while others argue it degrades, discourages, and lowers the self-esteem of students. Chinese education invokes a sense of fear among students. They are taught there is only one process of problem-solving to achieve one answer to a question. They must obey and agree with every authoritarian figure despite their own beliefs. This dissuades students from asking questions and prohibits them from advocating for issues they feel strongly about. Our society needs people who create social reform and highlight cases of injustice. Chinese education produces “homogenous, compliant, and hard-working people,” but “the system fails miserably at cultivating a diverse, creative, independent-thinking, and inventive citizenry.”

    American colleges and universities require prospective students to take standardized tests in order to gain an initial understanding of their academic intelligence. This can result in stress as well as unrealistic thoughts of failure, enforcing the message that a student is a number rather than the activities and groups they belong to. It also parallels the mindset of the Chinese education system where performance is driven by fear instead of an appreciation and desire to learn.

    Puget Sound is one of many liberal arts schools in the country educating students to become well-rounded and active participants in their communities. Professors are approachable and share a mutual interest in applying knowledge both in and outside the classroom. Diversity, ranging from a person’s background to their beliefs, is acknowledged. Because of such an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, students attribute their motivation to positive reinforcement rather than fear-induced punishment. American schools expect students to be rigorous and perseverant. Chinese schools do not offer the resources or mentality necessary for them to achieve this goal, which is why integrating its education into America’s current curriculum, is a mistake.

    Word count: 300

  8. Brandon Yoo
    The Chinese-style school system should be incorporated into the American-style school system. But rather than every aspect, the American-style system should adopt certain aspects of the Chinese-style to a certain extent. Each style has its pros and cons, and seems only natural that we continue to support the pros and try to mend the cons. There are particular aspects of the Chinese-style school system that the American system can benefit if incorporated.
    In the Chinese-style system (and Asia in general), students are taught under strict guidelines and firm discipline. They are taught to compete for first place, to obey words from authority, and to study hard all the time. On the other hand, the American-style system teaches the exact opposite principles. Students are taught to ask questions, cooperate, and encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities of their interests. Because of such contrasting principles, it is inevitable that students from respective backgrounds are entirely different.
    I believe that the American school system can learn and benefit from the disciplinary aspect of Chinese school system. The so-called “immature behaviors” of children are derived from lack of discipline in school. The encouragement to question and challenge authority has brought about numerous referrals and cases of “inappropriate” behaviors in students. And unfortunately, American schools do not give punishments harsh enough to reduce these behavioral issues. Instead, we blame mental illnesses and other irrelevant excuses to cover up the lack of discipline in children. American school system is not forgiving, but too weak to assert authority and punishments in times of need.

    Word Count: 257

  9. The American and Chinese education systems follow two vastly different methodologies. The dichotomy between the two poses the question of which is better. To fully understand the strengths and shortcomings of both, it is imperative to articulate the true purpose of education. Ultimately, education must prepare students to engage in life outside of academia. For education to be of any use at all, it must ready students to begin careers, solve problems, and adapt in a world that gives more than a bad grade for failing. Although neither system is perfect, the Chinese system is too fond of test scores and grades to function properly as an education system.
    The emphasis put on testing in China fosters obedience. As a result, Chinese students average much higher on standardized testing than Americans. Although impressive, the test scores that Chinese students achieve do not compensate for their lack of development in other areas. Personally, I have found that extracurricular activities do much more to enrich the mind than some classes. Without joining woodshop programs, I would have never developed my problem solving and creative ability to where it is now. Furthermore, I gained practical skills in woodworking that will serve me in the future. This is just one instance of a supplementary extracurricular that extends a skill set beyond what is useful in the classroom. Extracurriculars develop skills like creative thinking, leadership, and emotional intelligence. These skills are critical for life and seem to be left out of the Chinese education system.
    The Chinese education system is designed to reward diligence and obedience. The emphasis on scores in China discourages pursuing extracurricular activities, narrowing skills for students in the future. The lack of diverse teaching in the Chinese system creates gaps in their student’s abilities, ultimately failing to do what education should.

    Word Count: 300

  10. Growing up in America and reading about the experiences that Chinese students had with their education system, I really appreciate growing up to be taught to formulate my own opinions. I do see the benefits of a Chinese education system with it being more academic and focused on sustaining yourself practically. The Chinese education system is most likely the reason that they are so advanced and innovative. In America, 20-50% of students go into college “undeclared” while in China, entering college “undeclared” is essentially unheard of. While China has the benefits of jobs, innovation and money, their suicide rate is 22% which is one of the highest rates in the world. America pushes us to follow our dreams and to focus on what makes us tick or what makes us happy but at the cost of sustainability and substance in our lives. Growing up in America makes me hopeful that I will find something that I enjoy and look forward to every morning but makes me afraid and worry if I will be able to sustain myself with have little income especially as our economy becomes more expensive. I am excited to see where the education system are headed whether or not the American system will become more strict or if the Chinese system will push their students to find something they enjoy. I prefer the American system because people deserve to live their lives excited for each day rather than dreading it and working jobs they may hate. Hopefully the American education system teaches people to focus on their opinions and not others.

    Word Count: 264

  11. In short, I disagree with the “call for Americans to adopt the Chinese education system.” Both articles immediately brought me back to the time I spent in China last spring, specifically the month I spent in the city, Kunming. I stayed The family I stayed with had a son around thirteen years old. He went to a very competitive middle school and I had a first hand glimpse of the Chinese education system. The first thing that stuck out to me was the inability to fail. Every time a student makes a mistake, they are thoroughly punished for it. This goes along with Valerie Strauss’ idea of “fear-induced good behaviors.” Rather than learning from their mistakes and wanting to do better based on their own volition, they are threatened to be perfect; something no one can achieve. I also learned, through his father as well as in Angela Fang’s criticism of the system, about how the system limits individuality and creativity. I believe that it is important to allow, if not facilitate, a student’s ability to thrive and come up with unique solutions to difficult problems. If a student feels like a robot, copy and pasting various facts on exams, how can a specific field or technology progress at a quality rate later on?
    However, there are some values to the Chinese education system. The intensive amount of memorization is backed by the ability to learn and control your brain. This is a fundamental requirement for not only retaining information, but doing any hobby that involves rotary motion. For instance, learning to play the piano. But, the lack of freedom and originality outweighs this positive in my opinion.

    Word Count: 278

  12. Chinese students are known for their outstanding academic standings, but the method used to get there is not beneficial to the students. They commonly use fear of failure and punishment as motivation for their students to do the absolute best. This practice is harming the students mentally and inducing PTSD that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Now Americans want to adopt this system to improve our academic performance.
    Americans are always looking to improve the educational system with California Common Core and Standardized Testing. We believe that the Chinese have (nearly) perfected their system. But is it really okay to use fear as motivation to do well? Valerie Strauss supports my argument by stating that “‘…Soong Qing Ling, easily one of the best schools in Shanghai, which has perhaps the best schools in China, once again exposes the problems of Chinese education: rigid, authoritarian, and unhealthy competition’” (quoted in Strauss 2) and calls them ““world-class experts at fear-based motivation”” (quoted in Strauss 2). The trauma of school would be balanced and diminished if the student’s home life did not reflect their schooling. However, most parents chose to reinforce what their children learned during instruction. They are forbidden from making their own conscious decisions and become fearful of disappointing authority. Once they mature and become working adults, they are “robots”: repetitive, mindless servants that have no willpower of their own.
    Americans cannot adopt the Chinese educational system due to its harmful nature and effects. They practice in an emotionally traumatizing matter that induces constant fear and the lack of ability to reason. It would be an unwise decision for Americans to adopt this practice.

    Word Count: 279

  13. 王守娜
    CHIN 101
    October 16, 2018

    Destigmatizing the Chinese School System

    School systems play a huge part of shaping society. This is one of many reasons why American culture and Chinese culture are different. The Chinese school system is more rigorous than the American school system. This is not socially acceptable due to its lack of art and physical education, which make a well-rounded student for the American school system. American students are taught to be “learners” rather than “robots.” There is a stigma tied with the Chinese school system, in which the system does not prepare students for interactions with the world. However, I disagree with that statement because my school followed the same methods as the Chinese school system and I don’t feel like I’ve been turned into a robot.
    When I was in middle school (中學) and in high school ( 高中), I attended American Indian Public Charter School. It heavily enforced the importance of college, which made sure 100% of its students graduated and were accepted to a 4-year-university. To ensure this to their students, the school provided classes to fulfill the A-G requirements and nothing else. It focused mainly on academics, which is argued to be not good for forming a well-rounded student.
    Over the years, this method worked for a while until it didn’t anymore. Faculty began to realize the flaws in this method and started to evolve by adding to it. My school started incorporating other activities within the school experience. School dances, sports events, and other student-run activities became the norm while still using the methods similar to the Chinese school system. These two systems can co-exist! I think the Chinese system takes getting used to and by adding the art and physical education can make things even better. I don’t think one is better than the other since I’ve dealt with both.

    Word Count: 303

  14. Reading Angela Fang’s article “Chinese Education System vs. U.S. Education System” and Valerie Strauss’s article “There is a new call for Americans to embrace Chinese-style education. That’s a huge mistake” has strengthened my view that American education should not adopt Chinese education values, specifically authority and rigidity. Considering that China has a very strict government system and restricts basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech, I am not surprised that Chinese-style education is heavily based on fear-induced good behavior. Regarding personal connection, my grandmother had the option to go to college either in Hong Kong or the United States. She chose to attend college in Hong Kong because she wanted to do something good for her country, however she was never respected as an equal there even though she studied silver engineering and helped build railroads. My grandma’s younger sisters went to college in the United States and gained the benefit of being more financially secure and the ability to speak English. Looking at her younger sisters’ accomplishments, my grandma has regrets about choosing to go to college in Hong Kong instead of the United States. When my grandfather and grandmother immigrated to the United States, their main purpose was to settle down and have my mother and aunt go to college in the United States. Not only would it be easier to apply to college in the United States, but the American government was not as restrictive and harsh as the Chinese government. Based on this personal connection and these articles, I know that even though it may seem that American education lacks proper authority, it is not right for it to take on the same rigidity and authoritarian stance as extreme as China.
    Word Count: 285

  15. In America, the words “global classroom” often pops up, but only superficially. Unlike China, whose education has gained global recognition, American students are often thought of by their global peer as less intelligent, even if we are considered more creative.When I visited Spain back in high school, I was shocked to discover students two years younger than me studying physics, learning two other foreign languages. I was amazed that they had classes on philosophy, and some, even afternoon academies dedicated to music or painting. In the face of such a reality, it was hard not to wonder how “globally” competitive I really was in this “global” setting.
    In her article on why America should not adopt “Chinese-style education”, Strauss critiques the education in China for its heavy reliance on “rote memorization” and fear induced learning. Yet, despite China’s infamy, in America, for producing “homogeneous and compliant” students, I think there is at least one characteristic from China worth adopting in the American educational system: it’s rigor. For instance, I believe that making academic norms such as afternoon academies, or expanding the boundaries of our college entrance exams to include a foreign language, could really improve the education within America.
    Although I agree with Strauss that there are some serious repercussion that can arise from a “Chinese-style grit”, America should not shy away from placing students in challenging environments or exposing them to new fields and requirements: I don’t think there is anything wrong with the 高考 exams, or even expecting incoming freshman students to declare a major in either the Humanities or Sciences. Life is sometimes rigorous and requires one to be resilient, in academics it should be no different.

    Word Count: 281

  16. America’s education system is, in my mind, undoubtedly better than China’s. There are so many faults in the Chinese education system due to the fact that “the education system works for the country it was built for” (Fang). While this is argued as a good thing in Angela Fang’s article: Chinese Education vs. U.S Education System, the problem with this statement is that, because of this, the system fails to recognize their students as people and instead as pawns in their game. Consequently, students are robbed of a well-rounded learning experience and of individualism. They are literally forced to take the same standardized classes until high school, or upper secondary school, and even then most institutions still don’t provide classes in the arts or physical education. The Chinese education system doesn’t value learning, only bettering its country, but how can you grow as a whole when there’s hardly any individual growth?
    Test scores and numbers shouldn’t be the (only) determinant in defining one’s intellect, yet they’re everything in China. Students must test into high school, making schools exclusive. Unlike America, where college admission is based upon a variety of factors– extracurriculars, GPA, test scores– admittance is primarily based on a standardized national exam in China. Drones have even been deployed above the testing arenas to monitor cheating, which goes to show how unforgivingly harsh their system can be. Take it from a person who used to go to school in China and believe me when I say that it sucks! I used to have to stay after school for hours studying with my Chinese teacher, who’d occasionally make me cry and hit my hands when I messed up. America’s system’s far better because it’s neither black or white. Here curiosity’s valued. Students are given opportunities to explore personal interests and, unlike China, our system has boundaries.

    Word Count: 306

  17. Both the Chinese and American education systems differ in many ways, but there are things that we can learn from both of them. I believe that a well rounded education is very important- it is important to take core academic subjects, STEM, and standardized tests, but also to learn other subjects such as art and music. Although it appears to be brutal, I believe that some qualities of the Chinese education system that were mentioned in the article are good- for example the longer lunch breaks and the options to take evening classes. It was very hard for me in school to jump from class to class for 7 hours throughout the day with only a 30 minute lunch break. It is also good to enforce discipline with the students, but there must be a balance between being strict, and being kind and supportive. Teachers may put too much stress and pressure on their students, causing their self esteem to lower. I had a Russian piano teacher that I took lessons with from age 4 to age 15. She was extremely hard on me. She made sure that I practiced for 50 minutes a day, and would slap my wrist whenever I played a wrong note or made a rhythmic mistake. I shed countless tears, and I wanted to quit so many times, but my parents pushed me to continue with her because they trusted her, and knew that the classical training would pay off. So I did, and I am glad that I did. I owe much of my piano success to her, and I know that underneath her hardness, she just wanted the best for me, and wanted to shape me into great pianist.

    Word Count: 286

  18. Sinification of American education is not the correct remedy to our academic woes. The cultures and issues facing each system are unique to each country – as Strauss correctly highlights, the so-called “one-size-fits-all” model simply does not work. Chinese-style education simply will not mesh in America. Our cultures are too different, as are our expectations of academia.
    For example. In East Asia in general, the school day does not end when public school is dismissed. Students are simply shuffled from their primary school to a so-called “cram school” that they will then study in for hours on end, often into the night. In America, we do not expect this – a student will come home shortly after the bell rings, pending optional activities such as sports, clubs, or social events. In any circumstance, a student staying in a scholarly setting, routinely until after dark, is completely unacceptable here.
    Additionally, the strictness of the Chinese style of education is not something that would work well here. American schools should not be a place of memorization and harsh punishments – we tried that, and we banned it. It’s quite hard to find a school district that still endorses corporal punishment, after all. It simply doesn’t work well for our needs.
    American education has plenty of issues. It’s underfunded, there are enormous gaps between poor and rich schools, and the quality of education is wildly inconsistent – not to mention the college preparation process has been entirely left to a private, for-profit industry, when it should be part of our public education process. None of these problems would be addressed by making our schools stricter and more like our rivals. America has prided itself on being an innovator – instead of copying China, we should instead look to their style as references for what works and what doesn’t.

    Word Count: 300

  19. One of the reasons I think that the US is such powerhouse of social and political change is because the US education system actively teaches students, especially at the higher levels of education, to ask questions and challenge authority within and without the classroom. This prepares young Americans for the open political system that we live in and encourage a thriving civil society. By contrast, China is an authoritarian regime that restricts individual freedom and their education system mirrors this attitude by emphasizing obedience to authority and neglecting the development of critical thinking skills.

    In Yong Zhao’s article, he stresses that Chu’s child’s success relied on an equal split between the authoritarian schooling and a nurturing family. Zhao gives several examples of these: the lack of genuine virtue through a reliance on fear-induced behavior, student reluctance and disillusionment with learning due to rigorous “force-fed learning,” and a rejection of the idea of talent in favor of “grit” and hard work. My mother’s attitude toward learning has touched a little on all three of these problems. When I was little, rigid surveillance of grades taught me to fear my GPA and forcing me to write several pages about Abe Lincoln’s life resulted in me learning absolutely nothing about him and avoiding his biography for years. In short, every authoritarian action my mother took to make me learn has failed miserably.

    Both the Chinese and US education systems compliment the political atmosphere of each nation, and as such I do not think modeling American education after its Chinese counterpart would benefit American students. Raw test scores in science or mathematics would go up, but the innovation and ingenuity that American students excel at, a quality I believe to be infinitely more important to the US, would be tragically lost.

    Word Count: 297

  20. I do not think that I would do very well in the Chinese education system. In China children are required to test into their preferred high schools. I would not have gotten into my desired high school if this was the case. I went to a public high school and was lucky that I got in through the lottery system. It is a good thing that my high school career didn’t rely on a single test score. By the end of high school I was barely mentally prepared for the pressures of the SAT and ACT, I can’t imagine what it would have felt like if those were the only scores that mattered. I relied on my extracurricular activities and classes to get into college.
    The emphasis on tests is not a good thing for the community. Students that only focus on themselves are less likely to contribute to their surrounding community. In order to graduate high school I was required to have a certain amount of community service hours. I went to a public high school and I know private high schools required this from their students as well. I think that having a required amount of community service hours is a good way to get students thinking about their role in society and helps make their communities a better place.
    I was surprised by the structure of classes in China. I like the length of the school days for K-12 in China. From the way classrooms were set up, I thought that class sessions would be longer. I like the structure of spending private time working on your own. I think this would be an especially good system for the middle school. I spent most of mu time in middle school navigating the confusing social scene and was distracted from learning. People may argue that learning how to socialize is a big part of middle school, but it was survival not socialization. American and China school systems are very different and it is hard to argue which one is better. However, I personally believe that the American University system of learning is the best way to learn.

    Word Count: 359

  21. 卜世峰
    China v USA schooling opinion
    The argument over whether China or the United States’s school system is better is plain stupid. Each system has its place in the culture and tradition it’s used in. The American system places its strengths in creativity and singularity. This is because the American society is founded on the aspects of a “new” and innovative population. The Chinese system focuses on hard work and achievement. Chinese society honors innovation but to get to a point where you can innovate it’s required to pass these scholarly thresholds. Both systems allow for a smart population and many brilliant and world changing people come out of each. In Angela Fang’s article “Chinese Education System vs. U.S Education System” one sentence particularly stood out to me, “A nationwide standardized curriculum may be the best way to provide 1 billion people with a decent education, while providing equal opportunity”. I thought this was interesting because in the United States where there is a much smaller population it’s nearly impossible to honestly suggest that everyone is given equal opportunity for a decent education. Although there are many nationwide tests they do little to standardize an education and in some ways promote a system that discriminates based on wealth and race. The United States’s school system may produce more innovation, China has been able standardize a basic level of education in a way the U.S may never be able to. As I said before, both fit the culture of the nation they are incorporated in. I think I would never be able to do well in a Chinese school but I also struggle in an American.

    WORD COUNT: 271

  22. The education system in China as compared to the American education system differs substantially. While it could be argued how the Chinese education creates discipline and stresses the importance of education, I believe the U.S. way to get to the student is more productive by ultimately letting the student choose if they want to succeed academically and encourages creativity.
    In the United States it is required by law to attend school until 16-18 years of age. In the American school system there are many different schools of thought a student may follow. Private schools, liberal art schools, charter schools, home schooling, and public schools all provide different ways of learning and allows the student to pursue what they are interested in. In American education information is taught in a constructive way, implementing creative ways to encourage the student to do the work. In China, its often strictly enforced with disciplinary action if the student was to not do the homework how the teacher expected it to be done. This, I believe creates a hostile environment where the student encouragement to complete the assignment rests on the fear of how they might be chastised.
    The American education system allows students to engage in their education in a creative and more open environment in contradiction to the Chinese school system that is based more in hostility and competitiveness. Though they are two different approaches to learning I believe that the American way of educating students promotes schooling as an asset, while encouraging an enjoyable learning experience.

  23. In my personal opinion, no child truly benefits from a strict and narrow educational system. I don’t believe the Chinese educational system is better or should be implemented in the American schooling system. If anything I would argue the opposite, I would say more traditional American schooling values should be in place at Chinese schools. This is because of the stark difference between both educational systems. The Chinese education system limits the creativity and vivid imagination of children, it forces them to fit a mold and creates huge self-esteem issues in children. For example, if a child scores relatively lower on a test than others, they are isolated because they are seen as “dumb” or “incompetent”, they are judged by not only their teachers but their peers based on how well they can retain information rather than problem solve. Another issue is the fear students face when going to school. Education is to empower and shape children into the change they wish to see in the world. A safe, comfortable learning environment is what inspires children to reach for the stars and if children are worried about being threatened or shamed or under constant anxiety to exceed expectations then you are expecting a child to act like an adult. If you think a child should act like an adult that is your first mistake. Children as supposed to laugh, play, explore, and make mistakes. This is what improves a child’s character, and makes them better prepared to join the adult world. Therefore, I enjoyed reading these articles, but the American system at least always for individuality within children and allows children to be what they truly are for only a fraction of their life, it allows them to be children. That is far more important.

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