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StChris

BBC Show: Are British Kids Tough Enough to Handle Chinese School?

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Johnny20270
The first was the flag raising ceremony. I don't know the situation in other western countries, but Britain really isn't nationalistic in that way, so I wasn't surprised that the kids felt a bit embarrassed by the whole thing.

 

I'd agree with that. Its quite a shame actually. The Union jack seems to be symbolized more and more with right wing facism and BNP etc. 

 

I think some Chinese (whose own history lessons seem to emphasise their "5000 years of civilization" and the 百年国耻) 

 

I've found it quite unusual how some Chinese "interpretation" of history is and how they were taught, typically relating to WW2. In my opinion British education system might beat the Chinese education system hands down on historical education (from my limited knowledge)

 

Likewise: a lot of compelling evidence to show that Chinese had discovered many parts of the world earlier than Europeans. The European historians and text books do not like to even contemplate that.

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geraldc

Watched last nights episode, It's a stupid show, designed to show culture clash.

 

If they really wanted to look at high education achievement, why not look at Singapore, an ex colony so the syllabus and education system is based on the UK model, medium of education is in English, and they top the world charts.

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Flickserve

I looked into this interesting paper comparing the PISA math results of Shanghai students vs Australian-born Chinese students.

There does seem be an anomaly reported in the paper. Austrlian-born Chinese students' lead over other Australian students' math score have increased dramatically over the last decade: from 563 vs 528 in 2003, to 605 vs 499 in 2012. The paper's author doesn't suggest an answer for this. I suspect that it has to do the new influx of mainland Chinese immigrants in the last decade. But since the Australian Chinese study subjects are supposedly born and educated in Australia, the sharp growth in the gap remains a puzzle.

Australia has a significant number of Malaysian Chinese immigrants. They work very hard. I am unsure if Mainland immigrants outnumber the Malaysian Chinese.

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Angelina

This show is scripted like a bad movie: the first third introduces the characters, and the second third manufactures some kind of crisis or conflict to create drama, setting the stage for a feel-good reconciliation in the final third (I'll be shocked if it doesn't end like this).

 

I hate the way the students (and the English maths teacher when he was observing the class) vocalise their thoughts. Do they normally do this, or only when they have a camera stuck in their face and a microphone nearby. It makes you wonder whether what they're saying are their own words or not. 

 

It's a shame really, as there is a good documentary to be made comparing the Chinese and western education systems. Unfortunately this isn't it.

 

Too bad. 

 

I didn't get the chance to see the new episode. Sounds like it is more of a reality TV show and less of a documentary. 

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Angelina

If they really wanted to look at high education achievement, why not look at Singapore, an ex colony so the syllabus and education system is based on the UK model, medium of education is in English, and they top the world charts.

 

Singapore is number one on my list. 

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Shelley

There has been an awful lot of discussions about all the different aspects of this topic, but IMHO the simple answer to the question

Are British Kids Tough Enough to Handle Chinese School?

is no.

 

If British kids were put in a classroom in china in a Chinese school they would not be tough enough.

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StChris

 

 

Watched last nights episode, It's a stupid show, designed to show culture clash.

 

This just about sums it up unfortunately. Maybe I'm a little naive and have been out of the country for too long, but I expected more from the BBC. They are currently having their funding reviewed. If this is the kind of stuff they regularly come up with then I don't see any reason why a good chunk of it can't be sold off. They should leave this kind of trashy programming to the commercial  channels.

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roddy

Anyone who's enjoying this show should check out the producer's other work, such as F*** off, I'm Fat and Extreme Beauty Queens.

 

I'm a staunch defender of a lot of the BBC's output, but not stuff like this. However it's probably also very cheap to make - cooperative school, few camerafolk, bit of editing. Probably cost the same as 15 mins of costume drama. 

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StChris

Hmm, when compared to the producer's previous work I suppose this represents a marked improvement! (F*** Off, I'm Fat currently has an IMDb rating of 1.0).

 

Because of studying Chinese I've been restricting myself to only a few English language shows (Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Family Guy, thinking of taking a look at Channel 4's Humans too). Maybe that's skewed my perceptions of how good English TV actually is. 

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StChris

Getting back  to the show itself, I hope that the Chinese teachers realised what they were letting themselves in for. Although Chinese TV has a lot of these kind of set-ups too (寒韩 describes being set up in 《青春》), the teachers might of mistakenly believed that the BBC would be different. While a couple of the female teachers are definitely hamming up the authoritarian Chinese teacher stereotype a bit, some (the male Chinese maths teacher in particular) seem to be genuinely involved in making the experiment work. The programme claims his a teacher at one of the best schools in Beijing. I hope the yesterdays episode (where he loses control of the class while being observed by one of the English teachers) doesn't damage his reputation.

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Silent

 

 

Why being from a poorer background relates to lower grades? It's up to a individual to want to learn and succeed and not ones social income.

 

As already pointed out by others it's pretty pointless to deny the statistics. But it's statistics, so we're talking about averages it's not a law.

 

Their are many factors that influence educational performance. Some are individual such as talent/intellect and motivation. Some are financial, quality of teachers, teaching materials and extra classes over the regular school curriculum but there's also a very important social component. Stimulation or discouragement from parents, peers etc, learning by example and straightforward aid.

 

This social component is in part linked to the economic status of the family/parents. Educated parents that comming home from work do some work at home, watch documentaries and news, do evening studies, visit museums etc give a different example to their children then parents that are unemployed or come home from work, sit on the coach watching some soaps on TV and drink a case of beer. Also, parents that had an education themselves are likely better capable of directing their children when they have a 'problem' or stimulate critical thinking by asking questions rather then giving judgement or ridiculizing something. Educated parents are also more likely to explain why things are the way they are or how kids can figure out why things are then uneducated parents that possibly don't know the answer themselves and just resort to 'that's the way it is'. Also parents that are well of live generally in better neighbourhoods and often those neighbourhoods have better schools.

 

Education is complex, I don't believe the documentary really adds any new perspective or insight. The approaches are different and both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. Which is the best strongly depends on the child and which traits you value most. 

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somethingfunny

On the topic of discipline, I find it interesting that for all the talk about how the Chinese kids are much more disciplined than their British counterparts, this is not reflected in wider Chinese society which, in my opinion, appears to be characterised mainly by a lack of discipline: an inability to form orderly queues, total disregard for traffic rules, no fair legal system and a general "I don't feel like doing that, so I'm not going to do it" attitude.  When they banned smoking in the UK, it was overnight effective - literally one day everyone smoking inside, the next day everyone smoking outside (or just not smoking) - compare this to the repeated attempts to ban smoking in China.

 

So my question is this: The Chinese kids are well disciplined, so what?

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somethingfunny

 

 

If British kids were put in a classroom in china in a Chinese school they would not be tough enough.

 

Perhaps, but what about the other way around?  I'm not talking about British-born Chinese, but just taking regular kids and putting them in a British school.  In my experience, the main complaints about Chinese students, at the college level, are cheating and an inability to participate in class discussion.  No-one wants the Chinese kid in their group when doing joint projects.

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Lu

Going back for page 5: I found this surprising:

 

BBC (British Born Chinese) came highest and Indian came 2nd but Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani lowest. Of course many factors to this, English being first language in the household, higher percentage of black kids being from poorer backgrounds, over influence of religion in Pakistani schools etc.
Indian-British kids scoring second best and Pakistani-British kids among the worst. Not even 100 years ago this was one country, with (presumably) the same school system (or lack of one, I don't actually know). It can hardly be because of religious Pakistani schools, can it? Many (most?) of these children would be born and raised in the UK, going to English schools.

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geraldc

Big differences in the various ethnic minorities of the UK.

 

A lot of Pakistanis in UK were rural people from Mirpur who got displaced by the building of a dam, so came over to work in mills. A lot of "Pakistani" immigrants were pre Bangladeshi independence, and also from rural areas. So the immigrants weren't from families who placed high value on education.

 

A lot of Indians in the UK were the merchant class who were kicked out of Uganda by Idi Amin, so they were already middle class, with a strong value on education. They already spoke good English, etc, so had a head start when getting to the UK.

 

The Chinese in the UK prior to the 1990s were mainly from the New Territories of HK, so were remarkably homogeneous.

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realmayo

Most Pakistani immigration was from one particular area in Pakistan, so you shouldn't expect that much similarity in the cultural background between them and the broader mix that arrived from all over India. Plenty of other reasons too I'm sure, not least when they arrived and where they settled in the UK.

 

Edit: yes what gerald said.

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Lu

Thank you both for replying, I didn't know that. Makes sense.

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