Characteristics of Chinese-style Education

Lack of Logic

I always find it surprising that the Chinese students studying humanities receive no education on logic.

Division of arts stream and science stream is an odd thing. Arts stream students do not study logic, while science stream students do not student history. The output is therefore skilled workers, but no intellectuals.

The weakness of Chinese in thinking is due to their superstitions in Classics. Even when you make an illogical statement, if you can quote something from the Classics to support your statement, many people dare not to criticize your words. While facing the authority of the Classics, be it real or fake, people just have no guts to challenge it.

That is the reason why illogical statements are so prevalent in the Chinese society. Chinese education in humanities discourages the study of logics Those who work on history and social issues in most of their lives receive no logic education. These people use the word “logic” in a causal way. They just label the word “logical” on the statements which is correct from their personal view. Such education system must be reformed.

That is why there are so many tedious and long articles in our Chinese society full of circular reasoning.

We always blame on the foolishness of the mass, and say that is the reason why they need to be ruled. However, our education system never focuses on turning the foolish people into clever ones.

Logic is not something that complicated. There are only few major rules. Chinese people have so much time to spend on educating students to love the ruling party and to love the country, but find no time to teach those few rules. Isn’t it ironic?

We always say that the politicians are shameless. Then why the people are always fooled by the shameless politicians, but are never convinced by those with shame?

Those who have shame will tell you something you don’t like to listen. Those shameless will try to tell you that the society will become more stable and prosperous, the future economy will just be good, the future prospect will just be great, and so on.

To a certain extent, the presence of numerous shameless politicians is due to the fact that people prefer them. People just can’t live without these guys.

Many belong to the group who has vested interests often lack of logics They just don’t know how to teach their children. Even they themselves are aware of their chaotic minds, they still don’t know how to deal with it.

Under this kind of education system, even the top rulers will become foolish.

We are just not used to think logically. In fact, logic is never taught in schools. Logic should be a part of moral education. I think logic should be taught at the early stage of life as a part of elementary education. This is the knowledge for people to judge what is right and wrong, what is real and fake. This is as important as the learning of language and writing.

Lack of Rewards to Hard workers

The change in socio-economic factors and the lack of opportunities of career development are the indirect causes to the present problems in education. What wait for a hardworking person with good virtue is not opportunity, but belittlement and helplessness. This society is rewarding those who are selfish but “smart” persons, while punishing who work hard with sweat and toil. This is also reflected in the minds of the students. Hardworking students are sometimes regarded as guys leading a hard life with nothing to envy.

Demeaning the Value of an Individual

Our culture discourages us from admiring an individual. A cleaner working hard to clean the streets gets no recognition. A scholar who makes achievements in academics gets no recognition. A programmer who can write good programs gets no recognition. Our culture teaches us to pick on the trivial matters of those who make achievements. If nothing can be picked on, that guy must be a hypocrite.

When we witness somebody making achievements, our society is keen on finding reasons to prove that “he is just an average guy with nothing great”. When we witness the failures of others, our society will celebrate on it. You will hear people say “he deserves it by taking risks”.

At the end of the day, we admire no one; we do not appreciate any ideals. What remain with us is no more than fear and the desire to acquire more. What we worship is nothing but the pure and undeniable power: may it be violence, power or money. We deny all other values except these three.

Encouraging Collectivism

Chinese people do not emphasize on the education of the sense of belongings. The sense of belongings is being neglected in different aspects of government policies. The policies are often lack of tolerance. Our education policies even serve to suppress the nurturing of the sense of belongings.

For example, self-motivated supports from students are not encouraged for inter-school competitions. Some schools neglect them, while some others make support compulsory (that is, to organize students to support and make it a compulsory activity), either of these is no good to build up the sense of belongings.

Besides, the absence of mother tongues in education (which is common to mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Among the three, it seems the situation for Hong Kong is better). This leads to the lack of identity of the students to their mother tongues. This also makes students to regard the language used in teaching as a more superior tongue (e.g. Mandarin or English), and to regard their mother tongues as something secondary, or no more than a dialect. This nurtures a mindset regarding foreign culture (usually the language used for teaching) as superior.

Demeaning the value of mother tongue and regarding it as the barrier to communication lead to more conflicts of values. This curbs the build-up of the sense of belongings. The sense of belongings is in itself exclusive: when you attach yourself to a certain identity, it necessarily weakens your sense of belongings to the others. Let everyone to have something unique to him, and to recognize it, is an important factor to nurture the sense of belongings. However, the Chinese society is repulsive to this kind of view.

It is quite apparent that our education is encouraging collectivism than respecting individual differences. We always want our children to be the same as the others. We don’t wish them to become unique or having a strong character. Likewise, we don’t wish our children to be different to the others in culture or language. This kind of education produces a group of people lacking of the sense of belongings. A very common example: we would force our left-hander child to become a right-hander.

This kind of teaching of course strangles any sense of belongings. Under this kind of education, the “self” has been strangled. An individual is nothing more than a member of a group. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all will solidarize under the group. This only nurtures a group of individuals who assume the authority of the group as his own, a group of individuals who wish to profit from the achievement of the group.

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