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Expert Critiques Lack of Emphasis on Critical Thinking in Chinese Education

Expert Critiques Lack of Emphasis On Critical Thinking in Chinese Education

It’s no secret that China's students regularly outperform other developed countries on global assessments like those administered by OEDC. Chinese teachers are praised for their mastery in the profession and frequently tour the world to showcase their skills.

Still, while China’s students may have the standardized test figured out- Quartz has spoken to an expert that says the lack of focus on critical thinking and communicating is putting Chinese students at a disadvantage.

Both American and Chinese students have their strengths and weaknesses, says Xiaodong Lin, a professor of cognitive studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College, to Quartz.

American students aren’t receptive to negative feedback, and overconfidence can be an Achilles heel. They work “pretty” hard, Lin says, but not nearly as hard as their Chinese peers.

But Chinese students, while they wholeheartedly outwork most students in developed countries, are not taught the benefits of communicating and coming up with original ideas, skills that are often required in the modern workforce.

"Lin agrees that this rigor is good—her Chinese students are better at deeper thinking than their American counterparts—but fostering independent thinking is also important,” said Quartz.

"When she asked Chinese students why they were so quiet in class, the responses included statements like 'my parents told me that I should not speak unless I have correct answers' and 'I am afraid of speaking when my ideas are different from the class,' she wrote in the People’s Daily.”

Indeed, China’s students may not be “woefully prepared” for the real world like Quartz’s article title might suggest, but there is certainly room for improvement in emphasizing desirable 21st century skills.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/3/2016

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