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The reasons why China can lead the world in education

By MichaelM ( Updated: 2014-07-07 15:56

As soon as I arrived in the US a few days ago, I received a message from a Sino-Western educational think tank in Beijing interested in my thoughts and consultation regarding education in China. They have a desire to employ my services in advising them regarding the improvement of schools and teacher training. This think tank has been commissioned by the Ministry of Education and has apparently been established to work towards the goal of making Chinese secondary education the best in the world.

My first thought was a bit overwhelming in what they wanted to accomplish. That is, answering and discovering how China can lead the world in education. I feel I have so many things to share with them. I did let them know that my best contribution would likely be to share with them what I've observed for the past three years of living in China. I am always committed to being as objective and fair in my observations. I did tell them that I likely can only give them observations for their judgment, assessment and consideration. Of course, as we proceed with this, I'll offer suggestions for improvement. I'm not one to be so adamant in 'right and wrong ways' of doing things. Consideration must be given to what is effective and beneficial.

The first suggestion I offered was to set aside the whole mindset of most who believe that Western education is superior to Eastern education. If you read my popular blog about this subject, you will see some of my observations and hopefully recognize my fairness and objectivity. It is not about superiority of this nation versus that nation. It is more about looking at what is working best and what is not. Then, do more of what is good and less of what isn't working so well.

Another initial observation I offered was the consideration that what might be effective in the West is not necessarily what is going to be most effective in the East. With all integrity, my best contribution will be offering a fresh set of eyes to what I see in China as a westerner. In no way do I think that myself nor anyone else can 'fix' whatever is perceived to be wrong with education here. To do justice to such a task requires honesty, openness and fairness. I will always endeavor to remain faithful to these guiding principals.

I would invite any of the readers here on this blog to give me feedback regarding your observations and thoughts about education in China and how to make it better. I am focusing on the structure and intent of secondary schools and teaching methods, attitudes and styles. I want to thank you in advance for whatever you desire to offer.

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