China, U.S. taking notes on education – Mitchell Landsberg
American educators are starting to learn from China and other Asian nations good at math and science. Chinese are also learning from the West, but not so quickly, according to the Los Angeles Times (photo: a student reading from textbook in Gaoyakou Central Primary School in suburb Beijing, via latimes.com):
In many ways, China and the United States represent the yin and yang of international education. Whereas China’s top-down system places supreme emphasis on tightly structured, disciplined learning, the United States has a highly decentralized system that places greater importance on critical thinking and “student-centered” learning.
Still, in recent years, the Chinese and American systems have been taking baby steps toward each other, learning and adapting what the other does best.
American educators have been exploring why Chinese and other Asian students do so well in math and science, and trying to apply some of their findings to U.S. classrooms.
The Chinese, in turn, are trying to distill the American genius for innovation, recognizing that, for all its faults, the U.S. educational system is unrivaled at turning out creative minds ” inventors, filmmakers, rock ‘n’ roll stars and Nobel laureates among them. [Full Text]