On Education in China
It's been a solid minute since I've written about China. Over the coming months, I'll have a lot to say about my home for the past 4.5 years and why I'll likely never return there, but for the time being I have a few more things to say. Americans simply don't have a great grasp on what life is like in China - there's too much information, too many bad actors. I don't have illusions of fixing that, but if I can change a few minds, then at least I've done something.
I'm starting with the education system, as this is a part of life in China with which I interfaced on a regular basis. Most of what I've done lately concerns the differences between Chinese and American culture, how that influences the schools, and how the schools in turn color what the students are like.
I’m singling out high school because that’s where the deep thinkers focus most of their attention, but a lot of this is true for students of all ages. Suffice is to say that no Chinese student thinks that these are the “best years of their lives,” and many common educational practices in China are things that American parents would never tolerate.
As a teacher at any level and subject, one of the biggest challenges is dealing with students from very different cultural backgrounds. Expectations, norms and priorities can all vary across countries, and the nature of classes is going to be different wherever you go.