I watched a 3 part series a few weeks ago called ‘Are our kids tough enough?’ It was on the BBC and it’s a documentary on some chinese teachers trying to teach UK kids the Chinese system. There were a lot, A LOT of flaws of the experiment, but it’s a real eye opener.
Firstly, the program describes the school as one of the top schools in the UK. No way. It’s something like 230th. If they had actually got a good school, half of the problems wouldn’t be a problem! In the program, the kids were messing around and playing up to the camera. Yes, any kid would be not to the extent they did. Get a school at least in the top 100 and the experiment would have gone much better.
The Chinese system teaches children that after school, there is massive competition which is very true for China, so teaching kids that to do well in the outside world, they have to work hard is actually a good thing. I do think that the Chinese children are deprived of a school life as we know it-a relaxed environment, where students are encouraged to just do there best, but again, the Chinese way is the most realistic down to earth style.
The experiment was on a Year 9 class who learnt in a massive class of 50 (like in China), and after a month of learning the Chinese way, the whole of Year 9 would take a test and the results would be compared, and see which teaching style is the best.
Now, the program was cleverly edited, as for the first 2 episodes, they convinced viewers to think the Chinese was rubbish, the kids were unruly and clearly weren’t learning anything. This is because Chinese teachers are used to teaching perfectly disciplined students, and the teachers were faced with quite silly and undisciplined students, which is where the “top school” bothers me.
Anyway, the Chinese school ended up winning in EVERY subject!!
I can’t see the UK ever changing the system as I think if they did…well it wouldn’t last long, but it really shows why we are behind in the International race.
Did you see the series, and what did you think of it?