An Analysis of China’s exam-oriented education system ENG 104 Presentation Zhiao Li
Outline The thesis What is exam-oriented education? My memory “Master Examinee”—An extreme example of “good scores, no life skills” Two sides of the coin—positives and negatives Interviews—the reflection of a teacher and an employer Further analysis Possible solutions
The thesis While China’s secondary education system is good and efficient, a big problem exists. It is an exam-oriented system because grades are the only standard to be evaluated. This lets student focus on extrinsic goals and task completion rather than learning as inquiry, reflection and process and finally results in “high score but no life skills”. The core reason lies in the selection mechanism of university entrance. Therefore, a more comprehensive selection mechanism is needed
What is an exam-oriented education system?—terrible memory in Beijing, my hometown
teachers taught about test content every day to make sure students got to know how to solve problems
students have to deal with tons of examination papers every day
scores are the only standard to evaluate students
high scores will be rewarded while low scores will be punished
great competition occurs among students because no one wants to be left behind
“master examinee”—an extreme instance Konggu Zhang is jokingly called as “master examinee.” In 2003, he was admitted to Peking University .But in 2004, the school persuaded him to quit the college, because of getting addicted to the internet and failure in all his seven compulsory classes. Funniest: In 2005, he got the best grade in his area and was admitted to Tsinghua University. As before, he was persuaded to quit again for the same reason – getting addicted to the internet. Konggu’ character was strange since he was psychologically a child and could manage nothing except study This story reflects the miniature of China’s secondary education system
“good scores, no life skills”—Many a students could not behave themselves in university This guy has played computer game for seven days!
The positives Students study hard and improve their own knowledge Students can avoid contact with some harmful things, such as drugs and alcohol, and become virtuous. China's education focuses on basic knowledge and basic ability training. Let’s students know they should obey the truth and subordinate their personal interest to that of the collective. The system enables students well-disciplined so it is simple to manage student, because they are able to tell right from wrong. After dealing with tons of problems, the system hones students’ spirits and makes them hard-working, which benefits their future career.
The negatives an exam-oriented education system distorts student’s motivation and learning by over-emphasizing the importance of the scores as outcomes and measures of students’ abilities[Paris, ] Students lack personality and creativity and are not qualified enough to fulfill future careers the heavy learning makes students tired of learning and unconfident Worst cases: some students even develop psychological problems and student suicide rates have increased a lot in my hometown high grade but with low ability
Are teachers satisfied with the exam-oriented system? my uncle is a teacher in middle school in Beijing [Li, 2011]. “this system enable student getting knowledge quickly and get perfect scores rapidly” However, students “do not dare to talk with me. They get used to having blind faith in authority- for both teachers and text books”. “ it definitely cause student become lack of personality and creativity. As a conclusion, he insisted that we should reform the system
What do employers think of this system? Kai-fu Lee, the former vice president of Google, has his own ideas about the current education system [Huang, 2006]: students can always get help from their parents and teachers and are not willing to do things by themselves and do not know what to do in the future. Therefore, some companies do not want to accept this kind of gradates, because First, they keep waiting until someone tells him want to do. Second, they always rely on other people. They do not have strong abilities but wish to have high salaries.
Further analysis—why choose this education system? The modern examination system of China evolved indirectly from the old imperial examination system which, in the past 2000 years, helped to select the best administrative officials and maintained the peace of the country. In a country where connections are imperative in doing anything, it is difficult to find other fairer ways than the college entrance exams. However, this choice established the root of exam-oriented education system.
Further analysis—why students have to follow this system? people with high education background will earn much money. And students with high scores will get the chances to receive higher education. the average annual wage of government officers in Beijing was 661 yuan in 1978 and raised to 10, 048 yuan in 2000, an increase of 15.2 times. the average annual wage of workers in Beijing was 652 yuan in 1978 and rose to 7870 yuan in 2000. the average annual wage of intellectuals in Beijing increases to 13,729 yuan in 2000. No wonder everyone treats grade as the most important part in secondary school. Have they any other choices?
US education system—could be a good reference America uses quality-oriented education, and it has various ways to evaluate students. The scores of SAT and ACT, but they are not the only standard to choose students. The academic performance in secondary school. Social and other special abilities. Personal statement. Interview scores” (43). Enlightenment: it is difficult to quantify the overall quality, so using a variety of ways to examine the overall quality is a good idea. Quality-oriented education focused on students’ comprehensive abilities, so this is the system the Chinese government should adopt.
Possible solutions The core reason for the problem caused by the exam-oriented education system is the selection mechanism: one exam determines all. First, we should concentrate on regular grades; all grades will be evaluated, including the college entrance examination. This long-term assessment mechanism will make students treat every exam seriously, avoiding one exam determining all. Secondly, if students are able to take the college entrance examination several times a year, it would avoid student playing below par. Thirdly, use a comprehensive evaluation system. Not only the score, but also all the abilities will be used to evaluate a student. That will help avoid some strange instances like high grades but low abilities.
References Ames, C. & Archer, J. “Achievement Goals in the Classroom: Students’ Learning Strategies and Motivation Processes.” Journal of Educational Psychology. 80.3(1988): 260-7. Print. Chen, Junke. “Why American does not choose exam-oriented education.” Journal of Educational Development. 45.7(2008): 42-2. Print. Huang, Guangming. “The Chinese education problems in my eyes – Talking with Kai-fu Lee.” Li, Zheng. Skype interview. 9 Apr. 2011.
References Paris, S.G. “Why Learner-centered Assessment is Better than High-Stakes Testing.” How Students Learn: Reforming Schools Through Learner-centered Education. Ed. N.M Lambert and B.L. McComb. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Thinkbeyondborder.”Chinese education.” Youtube 02 Dec 2008 Web. 24 Apr. 2011
Other drawbacks of the system The governments want to get people with comprehensive abilities, but under this system, the people who are good at exam will be chosen. Students are unwilling to ask question and give advice, we are taught to obey others. Students just concentrate on theories, but they do not know how to use them in reality. All these drawbacks cause “high score but less creativity”, which will finally hinder China from being a real economic power