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Western pupils lag behind Asians by three years: study

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© 2012 AFP

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China, Korea, and Singapore, I can see, yes. Japan? Definitely not. They have fallen to VERY low levels due to complacency and a complete lack of discipline in schools, as well as focus on outdated entrance exams (which require only rote memory), and complete dependence on cram schools to educate instead of public schools (which cannot because they are baby-sitting bad kids while the kids who actually want to study have to suffer and wait).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Totally agree smithinjapan. I think it is also time for the summer vacations in the west to be lessened. The current 2 month vacation just means that Septemeber is used mainly for review.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All thanks to Confucius & his teachings. Read the 論語.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Agreed Smith. Also, what are they comparing? Cramming facts and figured but when it comes to thinking for themselves, looking after themselves and being aware of what is going on, I think Asia is very, very far behind.

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Yawn.

The math advantage is real, but how are those critical thinking skills coming along? How are we doing on creativity and flexibility? Are the kids learning more material, or just learning how to take tests better?

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"Western schoolchildren are up to three years behind those in China’s Shanghai and success in Asian education is not just the product of pushy “tiger” parents, an Australian report released Friday"

Shanghai is not all of China.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shanghai is not all of China.

and China is not all of Asia, misleading headline !

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No surprise the study found no correlation between higher spending and improved test scores. Higher spending only correlates to higher pensions for the teachers. Where I'm from two out of every three new dollars raised for education goes to finance teachers pensions. Not mentioned in this report from the Anglosphere (no surprise) is the ethnic correlation. Since the West can't undo the damage its leadership has wrought, the solution to equalizing test scores is to promote Third World immigration to China, South Korea, Japan, etc. But for some unknown reason, these nations have resisted this. Clearly, the Far East exceeds the West in survival instinct, as well.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Parents delivering their children to live military-style lives packed into dormitories, risen before dawn and pushed until late evening: little robots to be shaped to their parents' ideal for use by corporations and for national glory, bereft of nature and romance and wonder, with even the small solace of achievement nullified by a constantly raised bar.

Nah, I'd rather give my child a normal childhood. Academic achievement is important, but not at the expense of one's life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the pension? Hahahaha! That was great for a laugh. Teachers are so underpaid and under respected it is unreal. If the US and the like want better scores, perhaps they could treat their teachers better and raise their kids to be polite, interested in learning and stop with the entitlement issues. That being said, China has an issue with little emperor syndrome. Give them 40 years and they'll be just as messed up.

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Students in South Korea were a year ahead of those in the U.S. and European Union in reading and seven months ahead of Australian pupils

How is this evaluated? Very strange.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Quite right: Shanghai is not an independent country but a part of China, as is Hong Kong. The Churchill's remark about statistics being worse than damned lies is appropriate here. They beg the question: What about the rest of China? What about the starving provinces? if one is going to single out specific cities then why not single out Manhattan, Palo Alto and Princeton? That would put the US on top of everyone.

Another thing. These highs are new. Between 2000 and 2006 Finland was tops in Reading, Maths and Science. Check this article out:

<http://en.wikipedia.or /wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment>

At best, the statistics tell you who is on top now. Furthermore, you need more than test scores to assess the overall intellectual, scientific and technological vitality of a nations and regions.

All this echoes the Japan as Number One boom of the 1980s, which, among other things, glorified Japanese schooling. In 1983 the Reagan crowd published A Nation at Risk which warned that American education was sending the US to its doom. The hidden agenda was a right-wing reorganization of schooling along more authoritarian lines. This became apparent in the pile of stupid and downright phony books about Japanese schools Americans and Britons. Meanwhile American hippies and college dropouts in California were creating the personal computer revolution. By 1993, ten years after A Nation at Risk was published, those hippies and dropouts were heading companies and expanding the young Internet. Japan's economic bubble had popped and it was in the third year of its two decade long slump.

Does anyone outside Japan care about Japanese schooling now?

The elite students are no doubt doing well in Hong Kong and Shanghai. They are also doing well in the elite schools in New York. But so what?

The major problem with Asia is that it lacks the social soup (if you will) to foster cutting edge creativity, be this from outright political repression or stifling institutions.

Internet did not come from Asia. Neither did Facebook, Wikipedia or the iphone. If there is any cradle of all that is in the San Francisco Bay Area, possibly one of the most free spirited and accepting areas of the world. The fact that it happens to be situated in the most powerful nation on Earth is no accident.

Test scores are one thing. Elements that transform the world are another.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't find Japan in the list, does this mean she has successfully westernised?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China, Korea, and Singapore, I can see, yes. Japan? Definitely not. They have fallen to VERY low levels due to complacency and a complete lack of discipline in schools, as well as focus on outdated entrance exams (which require only rote memory), and complete dependence on cram schools to educate instead of public schools

I'm afraid to say that not many nations are resting hope in the public school system for sending top university enrollment, a disproportionate number of independent school graduates make up a large proportion of Oxbridge undergrads. Also cram schools other 'outdated educational methods' are used throughout Asia except for "we're so British Commonwealth" Singapore. Japan has just lost the game that it used to own.

Internet did not come from Asia. Neither did Facebook, Wikipedia or the iphone. If there is any cradle of all that is in the San Francisco Bay Area, possibly one of the most free spirited and accepting areas of the world.

If gay pride is the driving factor for innovation, Japan is not far behind.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@LoveNot

How is this evaluated? Very strange.

http://www.pisa.oecd.org/pages/0,2987,en_32252351_32235731_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

Standardised tests, while good at giving an overview do not depict the whole picture. Korea, Japan, and the Chinese diaspora all have an emphasis on rote learning over the western creative model. This has advantages, but if you want disadvantages, below is a link to criticisms of Chinese students studying abroad - these lessons can be applied to many students who study overseas, but it is much more prevalent among students from asian countries.

http://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/01/chinese_students_in_america_why_do_they_even_bother.html

Somewhere else, either on this forum or elsewhere, an ESL teacher was talking to her students who were all parents, and highly critical of the education system in that particular western country. The teacher asked the class two questions: "What are the top 5 countries for innovation?" followed by "What are the top 5 countries for copying innovation?". The complaints decreased exponentially.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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