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realmayo

How do Chinese students study poems?

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realmayo

I know that memorisation of poems is an important element of how poems are studied at school in China, and I think it's great. I'm also interested about how poems are discussed in class, at school or at university. To be honest, I'd assume (happy to be corrected) that it's often more about listening to the teacher than student discussion. But what is talked about? Is it mainly just background information about the poet, the contents of the poem, what certain words mean? And also the overall 'meaning' of the poems? Or: is there much in terms of what in the west would be 'practical criticism', looking in depth at the poet's choice of words and asking whether ultimately, such choices are successful or not?

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rainyu

We usually assume such choices are successful and discuss the advantage of these choices. There is no criticism.

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Publius

Not much discussion. Just rote memorization. At least that's how it's taught in high schools. Poetry is only a small part of the curriculum.

If a student is interested in poetry, he has to find books to read for himself, with titles like XX選注, XX賞析, etc.

EDIT: I think this saying reflects the philosophy of Chinese art education, whether it's poetry or calligraphy or other art forms: 熟讀唐詩三百首,不會吟詩也會吟

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Minotaur

Is it mainly just background information about the poet, the contents of the poem, what certain words mean? And also the overall 'meaning' of the poems? 

 

Pretty much those things. Critical thinking does not exist in Chinese education system.

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