Chinese Schools are changing from the bottom up. In 2010 the government released a 10-year educational reform plan that’s slowly seeping out to the masses. It is intended to change the massive Chinese education machine from a ridged, pressurized, rote memory challenge to an exploration of knowledge that is more prevalent in the best of western schools. It is the kind of learning environment that fosters creative thinkers.
To understand the change one must envision the classroom like the one we all experienced in which the teachers was in front of rows of students. But add to it the image one in which the highest ranked kids are in the front rows and the slower learners are in the back. Class rankings were posted. Imagine an alphabet of 10,000 characters, 3,500 of which must be committed to memory by middle school. It is hard to imagine a better way to squeeze the thrill of learning out of children and a way to demoralize the kids in the back of the room.
Today, as a result of the new approach, some schools are able to build up to 20% of their own curriculum. The eight hour school day, followed by tons of homework, are being peeled back and class sizes are being limited to 25.
The goal is long-term and strategic. Develop a sub-population of entrepreneurs. Change China from a country that follows orders to one in which some people are free to create new commerce. These changes are predictable and are welcome, still China is not a liberal democracy and it is moving with caution. Source: New York Times