This is the time of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher who introduced China to the Royal Examination System, which is used to select imperial officers. Chinas education was very rigid and it focused highly on technology thus China has a high rate of illiteracy. Early Chinese students were not very well rounded; they were limited in what they could study. For example a student of science would not know much about Humanities, and vice versa, a student of Humanities would not know much about science. This approach of learning narrowed the range of knowledge that a Chinese student might have.
This would limit the students thinking and restrict their future development. When a student is limited in what he of she can do then that will dramatically decrease the number of jobs that they have to chose from. American education is a lot different than the early Chinese education. In America, school is for developing critical thinking skills. American education teaches students to apply what they learn in the class to the outside world. They teach students to think outside of the box and how to think deep and to apply critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking is expected in America, as for China they are more knowledge focused. The Chinese function more on memorization of knowledge and facts, again this limits them in their thinking. Chinas education is based on training for entrance exams for college; this time of exams is known as black July. They memorize a lot of facts and then repeat them on a test. In America they teach how to apply what we learn to many different problems, to see if the students can figure them out. Chinas system is very competitive.
The students compete with each other because there is limited space in college and there are limited jobs, in their marrow fields. This increases the pressure on the students, students at times commit suicide or run away from home and often suffer form depression because the pressure is so great on them, form their family and also themselves. Unlike most American students Chinese students are eager to learn and work really hard, they want to be the best that they can be for themselves and also for their family.
China is making a lot of reforms on their education approach today. They are slowly adopting some of the western worlds principles. They are beginning to encourage students to study in more than one field, such as if a students is studying mathematics they also can, and often do study another subject such as science. This is broadening the students horizons and allowing them to be more rounded in their capabilities. This also increases the job types that they might be able to do.
The Chinese are beginning to put more of an emphasis on critical thinking than they have in the years past. This takes some of the pressure off of the students and evens it out a little more, because if the cant find a job and all they have is one skill then they will suffer and be left out working maybe a low rate job. If a student has more flexibility in what he or she can do then there will be more options for them in the job field. The education systems of China and America are more and more beginning to resemble one another.
A few differences that still exist today are that the American schools are more centered on the students and interaction learning while the China schools are more teacher- focused and lecture oriented. American schools also encourage the students to debate with the teacher and ask questions during class. China has a phrase called saving face; this means that the students would rather not know the answer than to ask a dumb question. Teachers dont encourage questions during class and dont allow much debate. There are both strengths and weaknesses to both Chinese and American education methods.
Chinese students study hard and often. They are viewing school as a privilege and a competition while most Americans view school as boring and tiresome. While Americans struggle with memorization and discipline, they are strong in critical thinking. American students are more rounded and able to apply what they have learned too many different things, whereas the Chinese are somewhat limited. I would have to say that all in all both systems have their positives and their negatives but as the years progress, improvement in each country will also.