The link, above, is to an audio recording of part of the discussion.
Yesterday morning during clubs, we had the exciting opportunity to invite fall IELC members, and the Global Discussions club to come together with the Chinese students in order to have a discussion about education in an increasingly globalized world. We talked about the best time and partition of education, the role of arts and sciences, and how to move away from “teaching to the test”. Both Chinese and students from collegiate alike said that both educational systems could improve. Chinese students mentioned that they have an SAT class as well as in TOEFL class in which they prepare for these standard examinations as part of their school curriculum. Their school, they said, has a duty to prepare the students for applying to American College, which is why they place such a strong emphasis on synergize test that they have two separate classes for preparation. Some students said that they would be interested in having the more electives like those that Caroline W. ‘15 described while we were comparing educational systems, but when asked if both the American and Chinese systems were adequate for college preparation, both leagues of students said yes. A strong point reverberated throughout the Octagon when both Katherine G. ‘15, Kyra G. ‘15, and Katie B. ‘15 as well as other students in the room said that in order for traditional high school education to blossom into one of supporting creativity and freethinking, the system has to change from higher institutions down.
We came to a consensus that, since both Collegiate and our partner school in China are preparatory schools aimed at getting their students into college, it will be somewhat impossible or not strictly feasible to change the way at which we look at education unless the process for getting into college is modified or otherwise changed. Collegiate students were baffled by the Chinese schedule, in which students said that they begin classes at 7 AM and continue until their self study ends at 10 PM. Unlike here at Collegiate, there is no time for sports unless you go to a sports centered and sports specific school.
The system in China, they say, is one of choosing one’s educational opportunities based on what their job prospects are early on. The students from their school are generally high achieving students trying to go to colleges in America. They said that they are unsure as to whether they will continue to stay in America after graduating from college here, and it is an individual decision based on their individual experiences, in terms of their education here and their familial preferences. We will continue to talk about educational differences and reform throughout the week as well as public policy politics and economics systems.