The Chinese Way

The Government announced today that they are spending £11 million to have 32 hub schools, bringing Chinese teachers to the UK and sending our teachers to China so we can learn how they do so well compared to us in Mathematics.

Yay, there’s a magic bullet that means the children can achieve without hard work or behaving themselves? I know we’ve been fooled many, many times before but this time it’s really true.

But wait, what’s this?  If we look at the report released by Parliament – ‘Underachievement of White Working Class children



We see that the poorest Chinese children beat the richest non-Chinese children in this country.

It’s almost as if there is something else going on and the Chinese don’t have a magic way of teaching Maths at all.

The answer is of course that the Chinese have a culture of hard work and respect for education as typified in the ‘Battle hymn of the Tiger Mother‘ book by Amy Chua. They bring this with them when they move countries enabling them to come top in our country as well.

Maybe we need to be worrying more about copying the attitudes and culture of the Chinese parents and children towards Education and a little less trying to copy a mythical, magic, Chinese way of teaching.

5 thoughts on “The Chinese Way

  1. Complete with the levels of child suicide they reportedly have in those parts of China?

    Respect for learning and hard work is fine – but it is possible to over-do it.

      • No more you were, and it was, in my view, a very valid point. A pity that the politicians don’t seem to realise it. But it is still the case that parents can push their children too far, and in the case of the Chinese, the cultural differences would seem to go deeper than a simple respect for learning.

      • Totally agree that parents can push their children too far and children need a childhood full of play as well as study. However, I think we have a long way to go with many parents and children before we are anywhere near that stage in this country.

  2. Immigrants are often not accurate representatives of the country from which they come. As someone who’s lived in both Britain and China, Amy-Chua-style mothers are far more common in Britain than in China.

    In China itself, I think there’s a far simpler explanation for the strong Maths results: it’s more important in the curriculum. In the exams taken at the end of Middle School and High School, the three main subjects are Maths, Chinese language, and a foreign language (which is almost always English). That’s for all students. Other subjects are fewer in number than in the UK, and less important in the overall school. So naturally more class time, homework, and revision, is spent on Maths.

    That’s not to say they aren’t other factors in play, but it seems a pretty important (yet rarely mentioned) one.

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