E8: Comparative Education

Slide 1: Education in China vs. United States

By: Adrianna Blanchette

E8: Comparative Education

November 10, 2014

Slide 2: History of Chinese’s Education

“In the course of the past three decades of development, the Chinese government has put forward a series of policy documents with regard to the reform and development of education.” (Wenbin, 2012).

Slide 3: History of Chinese’s Education (cont.)

“After 1976, elementary mathematics education quickly returned to the pre-1963 track. The teaching quality improved greatly. In 1977, the national college entrance examination system was restored, and students showed unprecedented enthusiasm to learning. Elementary mathematical education entered a new era through exchange with western countries. New educational methodologies were introduced from overseas: the practice of “standardized tests” was adopted for the Chinese college entrance examination.” (Zhnag)

Slide 4: Education in China

“The Chinese government has placed priority on developing education, putting forward the strategy of revitalizing the country through science and education, making constant efforts to deepen the reform of educational system, and implementing the nine-year compulsory education. Governments at all levels are increasing investment in education and encourage people to run education through different channels and in different forms.” (Beijing International)

China’s school education includes:

  • Pre-school
  1.                   For students who are 3-5 years old
  2.                   This takes place in kindergartens
  • Primary
  1.                   For students who are 6-11 years old
  2.                   Typically ran by local educational authorities and provide free tuition
  3.                   Private schools that are owned by enterprises and individuals are offered

Slide 5: Education in China (cont.)

  • Secondary
  1.                  For students who are 12-17 years old
  2.                  This education is ran by local governments and various business authorities
  3.                  The first three years of secondary school are compulsory and tuition is free
  4.                  Senior middle school is not compulsory and students must pay minimal tuition fees.
  5.                 Graduates fro secondary professional schools are see to have achieved a higher level in some ways akin to a university education
  6.                 Students graduating from junior middle schools usually go on to senior middle schools where some move to vocational high schools or secondary professional schools  for 3-5 years of study.

Slide 6:Education in China (cont.)

  • Higher Education
  1.                 The opinions for higher education include vocational courses, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees
  2.                 These are offered in universities, colleges, institutes and vocational colleges
  3.                 Conduct academic and scientific research
  4.                 Provide social serives as well as offering courses to students
  5.                 To enter a university or college, students have to take the national entrance exam
  6.                 This exam takes place every June and is now open to people of all ages
  7.                 Entrance is based on each student’s marks on the exam and due to the number of people sitting the exam

(Beijing International)

Slide 7: Comparing U.S. and Chinese Public School Systems

  • Teachers in China are given more respect than teachers in the U.S. Some examples of this are that teachers do not pay taxes on their salary, and they receive their own national holiday. This holiday is called “Teachers Day” and is celebrated on September 29th.
  • Chinese schools have a hard work ethic, resulting in student success.
  • Chinese schools do not segregate high achieving students from lower achieving students through tracking levels. They believe that all students can succeed if they put in the effort.
  • The U.S. universities and colleges are the best in the world. Students from all over the world come to receive a high quality education in American universities.

(University of Michigan)

Slide 8: Comparing U.S. and Chinese Public School Systems (cont.)

  • The Chinese education system uses high stakes testing in order to pass into the next grade. This testing results in many students being left with no other choice but to drop out of the school system all together.
  • American and Chinese students have the same amount of allocated time. The amount of engaged time spent in school is dramatically less than their Chinese counterparts.
  • If schools in the U.S. public system were to incorporate the positive aspects that make the Chinese school system so successful, schools in the U.S. would in turn be more successful.

(University of Michigan)

Slide 9: Math curriculum in the U.S.

  • For more than a decade, research studies of mathematics education in high-performing countries have concluded that mathematics education in the United States must become substantially more focused and coherent in order to improve mathematics achievement in this country. To deliver on this promise, the mathematics standards are designed to address the problem of a curriculum that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.”
  • These new standards build on the best of high-quality math standards from states across the country. They also draw on the most important international models for mathematical practice, as well as research and input from numerous sources, including state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, professional organizations, educators, parents and students, and members of the public.
  • Slide 10: Math curriculum in the U.S. (cont.)
  • The math standards provide clarity and specificity rather than broad general statements. They endeavor to follow the design envisioned by William Schmidt and Richard Houang (2002), by not only stressing conceptual understanding of key ideas, but also by continually returning to organizing principles such as place value and the laws of arithmetic to structure those ideas.

Common core math is set up into 11 sections:

  • Counting & cardinality
  • Operations & algebraic thinking
  • Number & operations in base ten
  • Number & operations – fractions
  • Measurement & data

Slide 11: Math curriculum in the U.S. (cont.)

  • Geometry
  • Ratios & proportional Relationships
  • The number system
  • Expressions & equations
  • Functions
  • Statistics & probability

(common core math)

Slide 12: Math curriculum in China

  • Arrangement of offices for teachers of different subject areas ensure that teachers can learn from each other
  • Provides opportunities for teachers to share useful teaching techniques, design effective lessons and discuss students’ problems
  • School typically has two daily sessions. The morning session of four classes start at 8am and finish at 11:30am. The students have a two and a half hour lunch break. They then return for two more classes. Classes end at 3:40 which is followed by an hour long after school homework session.
  • Each week teachers have in-service teacher training for a half day.
  • During this time the trainers provide one centralized standard curriculum. This curriculum serves as a guideline for teachers’ daily lesson plans.


Slide 13: Comparing and Contrasting China and U.S. education systems

  • China:
  1. Chinese education system is broken down into 6 years of elementary schools
  2. 3 years of middle school
  3. 3 years of high school
  4. High school is not mandatory is not mandatory in China
  5. Being excepted into high school is a competitive process dealing with an exam and vocational studies.
  6. There are few extracurricular or athletic programs that are available for students
  • U.S.:
  1. Four years of high school where high school is mandatory
  2. All students are excepted into high school where no exam is necessary to get into high school
  3. There are many extracurricular and athletic programs that are offered
  4. Colleges look for students to be parts of these programs while maintaining good grades.

Slide 14: Bibliography (1)

Slide 15: Bibliography (2)

  • Beijing International. I want to learn about Chinc’a education system. Available at http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/Elementals/InBeijing/StudyingInBJ/t1017556.htm.
  • Common Core: State Standards Initiative. Available athttp://www.corestandards.org/Math/
  • Han, A. (2011). National Council of teachers of Mathematics. China’s Mathematics Pedagogy and Practices: What can we learn?
  • Fraser, D. W. (2013). 5 Tips for Creating Independent Activities Aligned With the Common Core State Standards. Teaching Exceptional Children, 45(6), 6-15.
  • HAKUTA, K., SANTOS, M., & FANG, Z. (2013). Challenges and Opportunities for Language Learning in the Context of the CCSS and the NGSS. Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 56(6), 451-454. doi:10.1002/JAAL.164

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