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Tag Archives: Shanghai

Chinese Curriculum: Plenty of math and science – with English taught from the first grade.

Thanks to DAvid Barboza of the NY Times for his December 30, 2010, article, page A4 "Shanghai Schools’ Approach Pushes Students to Top of Tests".

Zhou Han, age 14, studies the erhu (pronounced R-hoo), a classical chinese instrument something like a large violin. She has a math tutor. She entered writing and speech making competitions. She started studying English language in the first grade.

Her school operates from about 8:20 a.m. to 4 p.m., and attends extra credit courses after school or on Saturdays.

She attends Jing’An middle school, affiliated with Jing’An Teachers’ College in Shanghai, China. This is arguably the best middle school in China.

It a test of math, reading comprehension and science ability, 5,100 Shanghai 15 year olds outperformed students from 65 other countries. American students came in between 15th and 31st out of the 65 countries in these catagories.

"Discipline is rarely a problem", said Ding Yi, vice principal at the Jing’An middle school.

There is a complaint that the Chinese public schools emphasize wrote learning and preparing for tests, according to Jiang Xueqian, deputy principal at Peking University High School in Beijing, writes the NY Times’ David Barboza. Mr. Jiang would like to see more emphasis on critical thinking, curiosity and independent thinking.