China has one of the oldest education systems in the world. It is known for its rigor and a strong focus on merit. Chinese education culture is a unique phenomenon formed under the influence of the traditions and philosophy of the country.
If you are planning to continue your education in China or looking for ways to understand Chinese mentality, this article is for you. Here are five things you should know about education culture in China.
- Notable Levels of Responsibility Among Young People
From a young age, students in China are taught responsibility for their success. Therefore, education is highly valued in the country. It shapes the opportunities a person will have in their life. Therefore, students often go the extra mile to excel because they know it will translate into their professional and personal success in the future.
Learners use every free minute they have in school to study. They do it to prepare for the Gaokao, which is the National College Entrance Examination. The Gaokao score alone determines their chances of getting into their dream university.
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- Hierarchy Matters
In the West, informal communication among teachers and students is often accepted as a norm and seen as a way to build a friendly and trusting environment in the classroom. In contrast, Chinese schools take a completely different approach and maintain a strict hierarchy. This way of establishing teacher-student communication originates from Confucian philosophy. Teachers stand higher in the hierarchy than students and are to be respected.
This extends beyond the classroom and manifests itself in all interactions and even such little things as greetings. For example, instead of a simple “hello,” a student is supposed to bow their head a little and address a teacher by their title in addition to a greeting.
Hierarchy often results in a lack of transparent leadership and communication. Students cannot simply contact senior school administration to bring up a personal issue. They might also not get news or updates in a timely manner because of bureaucratic and hierarchical connections among departments that take time to navigate.
- High Expectations
The Chinese people place great emphasis on education. Academic achievements are a top priority and a crucial factor in evaluating one’s success. This is where the strictness of the curriculum and sky-high expectations come from. If you are looking for ways to get an A from a demanding teacher, you can find an academic helper based on the best essay services reviews by NoCramming. It will help you deal with pressure and be prepared for classes.
Chinese students are expected to succeed both by their families and schools. Hence, a lot of effort is dedicated to nurturing discipline and diligence. These values also have a deep-level connection with Chinese traditions.
Students often work hard to achieve good grades out of familial obligation and duty. It’s no secret that family is one of their ingrained cultural values.
- Modesty Is Valued and Encouraged
To shed more light on the education culture in China, we also need to consider mentality. Reserved and quiet behavior is viewed as a virtue in China, as a comparative study on student behavior reveals. Students are not supposed to show off. Instead, modest behavior is preferred.
Generous praise is also not common in Chinese schools. It is thought to make a student proud and decrease their motivation to work hard in the future.
- Teacher-Centered Learning Approach
The Chinese style of education is teacher-centered. It focuses more on memorization and hard skills as a core learning method. Teachers often deliver lessons in a lecture format, and students are expected to listen, take notes, and follow the instructions.
Again, we return to Confucian philosophy, where teachers are higher in the hierarchy and are supposed to lead the class and be in charge of all important decisions regarding its content and progression. They are the center of knowledge.
Teachers have full control and maintain order in class. At the same time, students are passive recipients of the information. Teachers do not prioritize creativity or individuality and encourage students to follow the rules instead. Teacher-student discussions or collaboration are not common, and neither is content co-creation.
To Sum Up
Despite various global influences, China continues to preserve a distinct education culture of its own. It makes the Chinese learning experience different from any other country in the world. It might not be what we are used to seeing in the Western world, but this is definitely an interesting thing to explore and learn from.