Education in China (English Sub)

Uploaded by xingfenzhen on 02.04.2011

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Anyone that took Math Olympics raise your hand
Basically doesn't test what's on the textbook just the Math olympics question
I'm completely against using it as a filter for school placement
-That's the gurantee policy-wise -s/he will get priorty on tenure and evaluations
We need to satify people's need for quality resources
Chengdu: After Math Olympics Stops (Chinese Education Reform)
Not long ago, Chengdu announced 5 bans on Math Olympics
One of them to Ban use of Math Olympics for middle school entry
The reason why Math Olympics has been so popular is than many parent it is a way get into a good middle school
So school placement is directly reponsible for Math Olympics fever
That what behind the problem of school placement, how to solve that problem, so that kids don't have to worry about placement to get a good education
For this reason, we have arrived in Chengdu city.
In Oct. 2009, Chengdu re-ordered it's education system to tackle the math olympics fever
After a month, has the once popular supplemental school stopped operating?
We have visit a 6th grade class in Paotongshu Elementry school
Anyone that took math olymics raise your hand
So all of you?
How many your like math olymics?
so are a few you
anyone hates math olympics?
so many huh
why are you taking it?
my parents forced me!!
it's cause of my parents
so what's their reason to do it?
it's to get into middle school and get fundamentals
-whatelse? -That those entrance test, many of them use math olympics problems
So you must learn it first
I saw many of don't like it, so do you understand those stuff in those classes
yes we do
then why do you hates it
just don't like it
In your memory, when did it get so popular?
It got popular when school placements got very popular (When people test their way to better school in another district)
so the primary reason that parents are having their kids take olympiad is to get into a better school
In the past few year, the math portion of the middle school entrance test, don't test what in the textbook, it basically all math olympics
So the parents have no other way
But according to the rules there should be a middle school entrance test, so how they do it?
It basically tests created by the schools themselves
And they don't use the word "test"
It called interview questions or qualifier questions
-But the content are math olympics questions -yes
At this time, more and more younger kids starts taking these classes
They sends to their kids to supplmental classes earlier and earlier
Ji Dahai, is a research at Sichuan education commitee he specialized in international comparative education
as early as six years ago, he wrote a book critizing Math Olympics's effect on education
There was a time when Math Olympics is extremely popular in all levels of society, so are there any other countries like that?
It's full name International Olympics Math Competition They do have these in other countries, but there is major difference
In our country, it is a stepping stone for better education It your get some kind of awards, you could get into a very good middle school
But in other countries, it is purely a personal persuit based on interests
-So it is because of this system, so people starts a fever on these -yes, yes
I'm completely against using it filter for advancing students and evoluation schools, it is wrong
But I'm not against those with gifts in Math or have STRONG interest in math to persuit these endeavours
So an olympics competition has been morphed into a tool for school placement
In 2009, Chengdu issued new rules banning use of Math Olympiad for school placement
And banning all publiclly employed teacher from participating in Math Olympics supplymental classes
In my true heart, I think as they are so young, I'm happy that math olympics isn't taught anymore
But I worry that as all public classes has stopped teaching it as per rules
In those of my kids and all fees has returned, but then a lot of ads has came our way
And a lot of education companies has started opening classes
-These are private classes -and they are taught private school teacher and retired teachers
The parents feel pressured and confused
Should kids go to these classes, it has became a problem perplexing and worring many parents
-Did talk to your parent about Math Olympics? -I talked to my mom about it
At the time mom wants me to take it, but later it's said that Math Olympics is not in entrance exam anymore. So I didn't go
We are truly powerless, really. If say it should really add points to entrance exams, I'll sign him up tomorrow
That's the truth
-What grade is your kid in? -5th Grade
-Are these classes still availiable? -yes they are
-Wasn't it banned? -But he already signed up, then it got cancelled
-So since you kid signed up, so you decide to continue -yes
-So it's now in another school? -Mingshitang
-Is it a private school? -yeah
Many of you still taking math olympics?
-Everyone -Why you guys still learning it?
-Who is teaching you guys? -I'm leaning it myself -Some teacher do it in private
-Some teachers went to student's homes -as a tutor -yeah as a tutor
I interviewed a entire class, and they are still learning math olympics
It reflects a worry for the parents even though it is cancelled for now, but what if come next year it still counts
They shouldn't worry about that, policy is policy
Elementry to Middle school entrance, we have start that it should be a consideration factor
In past it added bonus point, now it is not allowed if a principal do it this way, he'll get fired
if a teacher did it, he'll need to write confession, he continues the wrong way. and starts supplemental classes
Then he shouldn't be a public school teacher, and take a government salary just go to a private school and make money
So you can stop of thing in daylight, what about those in dark?
Any policy decision, according to democratic centralism. most of the comrades will follow
But there alway be people not following the rules, then it would require instituion, decipline and laws to enforce it
Parent take their kids to Math Olympics is because of school placements
And school placements is so that kids will learn in a good education envirnment
Because good education rare, so people.. well olympiad is basically like a key it opens doors
So if good education is more common, then I believe this phenomenon would go way
-People have equal rights to education -Right
So currently, how do your judge the current education system?
I personally believe that education in China lacks fairness
another way to put it, our equal development is very lacking
The difference in education is a result of social stratification
Another way to put it, it's result of our unequal social development
Second, it is historical unequal developement and focus in school, and it reflects on our current education system
So everyone is calling for more equality
Taking out Math Olympics is just one of many policy Chengdu has enacted towards education equality
As early as 2003, Chengdu started experimental reforms of its educational system
So what are its policy and what are their effects?
Because the largest inequality in Chinese education is those between city and country side
So this is where the reform starts
They decided to combine education development in urban and rural areas
It is aimed to break the "dual standard" system
And the first thing to improve infrastrucure development and standardization
Thus Chendu standardized school facilities, budgets, quality and evaluations
Thus set the fundation for balanced educational development
We first started standardizing facilities, beginning in 2004. Chendu invested 1 Billion RMB
And improved school structure in rural and remote areas
This narrowed the gap between urban and rural schools, at least in hardware
From 2004 to 2007, Chengdu build new, consolidated, improved 410 schools in rural areas
thus rual school area per pupil and facilities availiable is at urban levels
After hardware improvements, software become important
It's only end of this year, we are able to give deciplined training to all 1000 principal in the school district
why do you start training the pricinpals first?
Because the principal is the most important element for school to succeed
Only when the principal is a great education then he can lead a great team of teacher
a great team of teachers then can educate great kids
After the facilities are competed, then it's teacher than need balancing
Thus Chengdu concentrated on training principals, afterwards, they picked principals from strong schools to work in weaker ones
Chengdu Paotongshu Elementry is very top school, over the years, their deputy principal has been premoted to rural schools
7 of my deputies has been "exported"
they went to organize work in those schools
and so far these school are developing quite nicely
Are these principals willing to leave?
some are willing to go, some are not very willing
what are the reason, both willing and unwilling?
Those willing is because it give them an platform to realize their ideas and dreams
those not willing has many reason, as these schools are difficult and future uncertain
In 2005, Paotongshu Elementry deputy Zhang Youling became principal in Wenwong Experimental School
This is an rural school furthest from city center
In the sweep of reform, the government spend 20 million RMB to rework this school
So new school building are built, and a new principal has arrived, but teacher are the same as before
But how could one change and improve it fundamentally?
When I first arrived here, I did not act as condecending principal
say that I'm here to change you, and what you have done before is wrong and now it's my way. No
-This way there will be resistance -yes
So I must take it from a Local "native" view to understand these teachers
So I would observe the teachers to why the teacher were discouraged
so world changing so fast, and I can't change myself
so why so distant and don't think much of the future
So the conclusion is that, previously we really didn't invest enough in this area
And people paid too little attention to them
The teacher's mentality are either trying desperately to get out of here
or " being a monk for day, and strike the bell for day" (i.e. just go though the motions)
how to restore the confidence and passion for the teachers?
Zhang Youlin first worked on changing the teacher's mentalities
She started an teacher's forum, any topics of interest or concern, the teachers could discuss in these forums
Many teacher shifted pacitating passively first to active engagement and exchange later
A while ago, Teacher Gan paticipated in a traning session in the city
About how to make powerpoint animation for class instruction (I HATE powerpoint, animated or not. though did do one for Economics. kinda cool to shift curve and all)
After his training is done on sunday, he give me a call
He said the training is very good, and it would benifit the students a lot if all teachers learned how to do it
So he asked to teach it to other teachers, and I agreed
Then all the teacher went to his "class", and it was quite effective
Does the teachers increase their self-esteem in this process as well?
Yes of course, before I think there is little chance of getting out of here
But now, the opportunities are more and the leadership give us these opportunities as well
And give us a change to show off as well, for example in exchanges to other provinces
And teachers from other provinces come here as well
Also before, there is very little self-improvement trainings, and now we could have them so yes we are more confident
For example, when we went the city for class exchanges before
When they call Wenjia Central School, do you know that feeling?
Because we are the most remote school in the Qingyang district, so when we are called out, I don't wonna to called out. (cause I'm embarrassed)
Before we are only audiences (at those meetings), but now we could also be the lecturer
Now when people talk about Wenwong school, they say I saw it on TV or read about in the news paper or something.
I hope people would know about our school, so we can proudly say we are teachers from Wenweng
Before it feels like we are stepping backward, now it feels like we are RUSHING forward
Where do fundamental change is, I keep thinking does changing the building and principal really matters this much?
-I think it's a change in mindset, it's the attitude -It's because the teachers are more motivated
After the reform, there more opportunities for us teachers
Before there are only very few senior teacher, but now if you have the ability and willing to learn, anyone can be a senior
This give us room to improve, and give us motivations
After 2003, Wenweng experiental school has become a school with a good reputation
Exspecially the classical studies here became a unique point about this school
Every week, students will come here to study the classic scripts
Look even the stairs are illustrated with classic virtues, why did the school choose classics as the focus?
This is because of two concerns, one it is undercover the cultural heritege of the wenjia area
Because Wenweng is the first person in China start public schools, he was the governor of Shu
and his fiefdom is in this exact area, want this tradition is be know and we can pass Chinese traditional culture to our kids
There is a lot of classical elements in here, look at all this calligraphy
There poems are choosen for the kids, and here are the 4 main of school of Kai script and some Wei Script as well
So we hope in recess time, the kids would take brushs get some water
practice right underneath? -correct
So if I wonna practice Ouyang style script, so I just take a brush and practive here? -correct
The classical studies to very helpful to become a better person
It teacher the kids to be respectful, and I feel he become more mature. respecting elders and communicate with parents.
95% of students at Wenwong School are from farming families
After Chengdu started urbanization program, their land are sold off, so they no longer farms
Most of the farmers earn a living in cottage industries or become migrant workers
My kid going to that school, I feel he is no different from other kids in the city
He is enjoying the same kind of education as those city kids
I think it is very good that they can enjoy the same education resources as the city kids
-Didn't this would happen? -Not at all, can't imagine this school could become this nice and this good
In the early stages of reform, this measures seemed very effective
The next step how to standardize these measures and scale them
In 2009, Chengdu started a program called franchanizing the famous schools
The franchanizing means we use a good school as a core, and let it lead several other school. Thus form a group
And though this group, it could scale its best practices and education methods
Paotongshu Elementry also lead, as a core, several rural schools, new schools and weak schools
This is the head campus of Paotongshu Elementry, or South district campus
There is another one in the North District, our first rural campus is Dongpo villege Elementry, it's call West district campus
There is also school in the border area, it was a very weak school
The newest campus was a completely rural school, it now call Liuzhou (green boat) Campus
So there five campus form the Paotongshu Elementry Education Group
How do you interprete this Franchaize deal, it sound a bit corperate to me
At first our interpretation is let schools like our to take on the responsebility for the rural schools and weak schools
But how does it implemented in reality?
In our system, all the same body. All five campus have one trustee, me
And all school have executive principal, and we put the best administrators to these campuses as principals
After franchanizing, the administrator would bring best practices from the good schools to the outside campus
Also, they will sent some of the best teachers to these campus to help their development
So when the head campus export these administrators and teacher, is it a worry that the education quality here would go down?
Us and the parents are worried about this. The exports, or in words of the parents, the loss will impede our education quality and school development
However, it has its advanteges too, like old saying goes, running water will not rot. This dynamics allow a new generation of teachers shine
It give people a wider stage to play, and a new group of teacher and administrator could distingrish themselves.
This also give teacher more opprotunies and more room to grow, thus it become a motivating factor
The franchaise allow schools to optimaize their resource and allow quality of each to grow. And grow internet communications allowed sharing of resources
We could for example have meetings, experimental classes, and teacher learning session right on the internet
Also we use our website to share our education resources to each teacher and each student
The Liuzhou (green boat) campus was a typical rural campus
After the reform, the campus was recontructed
Now the education facilities are no different from those in the city
But quality of the teaching corp still needs improvement
"A flake of snow have six subdivisions"
"How are represent it using multiplication?"
After the reform, the best teachers in the system started "famous teacher" workshop
And regularly analyses and discuss education issues with other teachers
"When we did that class yesterday, I have a worry in my heart"
"With all those different methods, will the students achieve our expectations. That's my worry"
"But with the class today, let's review what happened in reality"
-How often do you come here? -At least once a month
What's your primary duty here?
I hope there will be clear questions, and those questios would come from the students
from the classes, real questions in the teaching process
Say a teacher from a strong school would only come here once a month, and don't spend a lot of time. how effective is it?
Say last time, the topic was developing good studying habits in our students
and their concentration in class. We dicusssed different methods that the teacher can use in class. after a while we have to see it is effective or not
If it's not effective, then we have adjust our methods and iterate again. We just have to keep going at it
If we are persistent, then it will be effective
Have you thought be how this union will work out. How two are school which are far part in many way would unite together
I'm a transfer teacher from the city, basic I share what worked in my school with teachers here
and because I worked here for a long time, together with the staff here and can figure out ways that fit the best for the students here.
This would close the distance between the two schools
-But you're only here for a year -every year someone new will come here
it's a cycle, and perhaps even more peple will come here
So which school do you think you belong to now? Paotongshu Elementry or Liuzhou Elementry?
-I belong to Liuzhou -Sure? -Very Sure
-So I have to ask everyone, do you guys think she belongs to here? -Yes
Of course we treat her as one of us
Basically we're all learning, for example from the award winning Miss Wu
To teach us how to teach, and help the students focus
And teaching methods in the classroom, we learn a lot from teachers from the city
After the few month of learning from Miss Lu, I think the student paid a lot more attention in class
And thus it made the class a more instructive place
-So before the teacher just teaches, and don't mind about if the students are taking stuff in -yes
So how does these reform effect you guys personally?
I still what I care the most is people's mind
I think that I could get the new idea from Pao. Elementry stir my stagnante mind
You used a strong terms, stagnant -yes, that how I felt
we are a rural school before, so we did care about many things
After we joing up with Pao. Elementry, I think every class is important
So each 35 min. class I have to give a lot of effort so as to keep in step with this group
In the persuit of reform, other than franchanize the school, Chengdu also sought after other methods
Such as the "chain" and the "bundle"
Chendu 7th "Yucai" middle school is a example for the "chain" style
I heard many different explation, how do you explain the "chain" style?
A chain has a head, which is one of the good schools
And the weaker schools form rest of the chain
They are all chained together, that is our model
In this system, every point in the chain has its relative independence
-So they have seperate trustees? -Yes
This system shows are we repect that school's devolopment history, their philosophy and direction
Chengdu 7th "Yucai" middle school leads a of Chendu Xudao middle school, Sansang middle school
Sansang middle school is an rural school, 75% of its students are from farming families
It's resources are thin
After it become part of the chain, Yucai High sent a principal over to strengthen its administration
-So you come here as a permanent principal? -Yes
-There is no time limits -Yes
If you don't come here, you might not be focused. Since I'm here I'll be competely focused on my job
How do you pick your teachers, those you bring to here?
I just give general guidelines, such as which subject I need and which subject are most need at this school
And then she'll select the appropiate teachers to sent here
In the past year, we sent 3 teachers each to these schools
These teachers go there for 3 years, afterwards they come back to this school
So when you sent the 3 teachers and 1 principal over, do they just answer yes or..
It was hard work, it's easier to send a administrator over. For him, he can see his values become a reality
But for teachers, its more difficult for them to see.
So the work is difficult, but I guess is a duty and responsibility for this school
And it is a quality a good school should obtain
So they eventually accepted
So in HR terms, what are the institutional gurantees?
The teachers that go through this program will receive priority in tenure and promotions.
The incoming teacher acted as pioneer and leader in Sansang Highschool
But if a school want to truly develop, it needs innovation from the students and the teachers
In the past, the good teachers drains away from this school, and the students has very narrow field of knowledge
and the student often lacks self-confidence
So the most important thing is to change the mentality of the students and teachers
Since we are in a chain with a good like the 7th, then it would have many things we could learn from
Especially their ambitions and the straive for quality
In this chain system, we showed our strength
Our advanteges are our school culture and teamwork as well as our desire for what's best for the students
and our sense of responsibility to the world, etc.
these strength are what supports us all these years, and they should be quality and the two other schools should learn from
and these school could turn it into their core values as well and become their advantages
Sansang Highschool inherites these quality from 7th Highschool and focused their reform in the classes
This reform is on the act of teaching itself and it completely changes how a lesson is taught in School
In the past, the teacher lectures on a podium and student participation is limited
Now we try to let the students take an active and so they are participate in the teaching process
This class has blackboards on three sides students and techer both can write on it
Students are grouped in sixes to develop teamwork and it's quite different from orderly lecture rooms
During the class, the teacher acts as a guide, while the students are the main actors in the class
Group 4, show your pre-class work
plug both S and Y into the function so we get a + (-2)b =5
So we obtain the vaule this way
-Attention, is the analysis clear? -It's clear
-Is the speaking good -good
But also pay attention to penmanship as well
-Is it something we should focus on? -Without a ruler, circle and squares can't be mades (a chinese saying)
-Is that lecture new materials -Yes
-And students can learn by themselves? -They can
And can they express their feelings about these materials and share with the class
And if he encounters problems and other feels it's not right and the class can contribute
So it's really different from when we went to school back then, new materials are lectured by the teach and we then go take practice problems
And now even new materials are taught by students
This is central to our class reforms
First, the students much take an active role students as the core, and teacher are the guide
and it fosters student's creativity
So your group set together face to face when did it become this way?
-After the reforms -What different about this arrangement?
-It's easier for dicussions -It develops teamwork and making it easier for discussions
-How are the groups selection, by yourselfs? -No, it's assigned by the teacher
-What are the basis for assignments? -It's by averages, so each group has both high and low score students
-And there competition between each groups? -Yes
After a test, the scores are averaged. and we have a competition to see which group has the highest averages
-If there is a student that get bad scores all the time and drags on the goupe, do you complain?
No, the groups are evenly distributed. And we have mentor programs for students seat face to face
And if there one student that is really bad, then it's the responsibility of the group leader to tutor that person
you have to make the material easier to understand otherwise, the group leader are not doing their job
In the groups, we are united. because we have to go for the points together so we have to help eachother
-So is it a drag have to take care of other students? -No
It's actually easier than before, because you understand better when you teach others
Now, every class in Sansang Highschool has undergo these reforms
And the school mandate the class be returned to the students and each class are taught by the students through cooperation
In my view, once a student become integrated into society other than basic moral values. there are other importan values as well
No matter which field the student get into, he must have self-confidence. once you have that, everything become easier
Also communication skills and teamwork skills are extremely important as well
These skills are not something to be taught, but it is something to be experienced through a long period
In every class, the student is able to participare, work in groups and teach classes. after 3 years of school, he will aquire these skills
So this is a chain system, and the teacher work there temporarily
What do YOU gain from this experience?
In the two years since the reform, we feel two things very strongly
While we are giving out a lot, we also gained a lot as well
I tell you story, one of our teacher went to Sansang High, and later he set in two of our class.
Afterwards, he told one of our teachers: "your class is too orthodox"
Just that sentence, it really affected our teachers
If I feel shocked. Afterwards, we had a school meeting and everyone is shocked
It feels that perhaps we are trapped by our own sucess and stopped the innovation process
while the teachers we sent out are rejuventated by new experiences I think these teachers are feeding back the mother school
It made our school feel the competition, the challenge and a sense of danger
That event affected me a lot
After implementing the Chain model, Sansang middle school's educational quality has improved
And even parents from the City are senting their kids to here
I have friends who sent their kids to the Main School
Though our interaction, I feel there is no real difference
So I'm very Satisfied. you can see that the he's grades are improving and he is setting higher goals in life
This school teaches kids first on how to be a good person, then how to improve their studies
In Sept. 2009, Wei Lai got into Chengdu Shensi Highschool
She said, the current Sansang middle school changed life trajectory of many students
-So you belong to the first generation that tested out after the reform -yes -How is it
It's glorious, our grade has the best scores since the founding of this school
-Most kids here never planned to go highschool before, right? - yes
Most people would go to a vacational school or just directly join the job market
Now most people can go to highschool, it was unexpected
-How does the community feel about this? -They did very well in the highschool entrance test
So they supported this school they feel it's assuring to sent their kids to this school
In April 2009, Chengdu become Urban-Rural unified education experiment area
Now Chengdu aim from improve districal-wide balanced education development to municipal wide equal education development
In end achive a unified Urban-Rural education development
To satisfy people's desire for education, then you need to evenly develop urban and rural schools
So people can enjoy high quaility education not far from where they live
When they know the best teachers are teaching their kids, they become reassured
So what's driving the reforms is the people's demand
Their strong demand for good education
To concentrate scare resources into a few key school and produce the need talents, was for a time the education strategy in our country
The ammendment to education laws three years ago cannceled the key schools
Though they gone in name, but they stayed as famous schools and strong schools in reality
If in those tough times, key school was a choice forced by history
Then today support for weak school and drive for equal education is also such choice
History tells us the keys school are important to product a few needed talents
Then future will tell us that equal education will bring harmonus development for everybody