My argument topic is “The difference between Chinese and American education”. And I want to use two different sides to talk about this issue. So I interviewed two different people. First one is one of my friends from China. She is also study in Purdue now. Based on her high school experience in China, and then study abroad, I think she has a deeply reception on the education difference. And the other person is my high school math teacher, he is from America, and has teach me math for 3 years. I think he is a really good teacher and has lots of teaching experience. So I think he is the most suitable person for my interview. I have asked them the same questions, and they gave me the different answers based on their experience. The first question I asked them is about how they studied when they were in high school. My friend told me that when she was in high school in China, she had a lot of homework every day, and if she didn’t turn in the homework next day, the teacher will gave her some punishment. And if she didn’t turn in the homework for 3 times, the teacher will call her parents. And she always had a lot of texts to memorize. And the homework is always to memorize the texts, the English words, the formulas from math, chemistry, and physics. And recited those to her parents, and her parents had to sign their names on her notebook to let the teacher check whither she has finished the homework or not.
And for the exam, it will always had some questions like “could you please wrote __ poem down from memory?” or “Use __ formula from your memory to solve these problem below.” She has to memorize all the things, the formulas, or the texts which she thought would be in the exam. She said that Chinese students always have a good memory, but they do not have the good ability at create things. Lee, my high school math teacher from America, did not say a lot for this question. He said that when he was in high school, he did not learn much knowledge from school. He was busy to have a girlfriend (ha-ha), he was shocked that our school do not allowed us to have a girlfriend or a boyfriend. He thought it was wrong. So when he knows that some of us have a girlfriend or boyfriend, he won’t tell other teachers, he just makes jokes about them sometimes in class (ha-ha). Back to the question, he told me that he did not have too much homework, and the school always ends at 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and he had lots of time to do the thing which he is interested in.
But in China, school always ends at 6 p.m. or later the students will have a nigh study and it is mandatory that all the students have to join in. The second question I asked them is how their teacher taught in high school. My friend said the teacher who taught her only focus on the students’ grades, she did not care other good qualities on a student; she only cared about the grades. If a student whose grades are very good and a student who does not have good grades are not lesson to the teacher in class, they are chatting during the class time. The teacher will only punish the bad-grade student, because she thinks all is the bad-grade student’s fault. Lee talked about the different side of the question, He told me that in America high school, usually when it’s the time for class, the teacher stay in the classroom and waiting for students to come in, but in China, the students always stay in one classroom and waiting for teacher to come in. And the size of every class is different, in America, the obvious class size is made up of 20 students, but in China, one class often has 60 students.
When he first came to our school, he was startled. And the most different thing he thought is American teachers focus more on student’s practice ability; they think the students’ comprehensive ability is the most important. But Chinese teachers focus more on student’s study ability; they think the student’s grade is the most important thing. Last but not least, I asked them about how their parents treated them when they were in high school. My friend said when she was in high school and even younger, her parents had send her to a lot of extracurricular classes, and wanted her to learn albums, or calligraphy. So she didn’t have much time for herself, and do what she really wants to do. She said she always passive learning, and pushed by her parents and teachers. She feels so tired about that, and she wants freedom. So she came to America. Lee told me when he was young, his parents used to send him to some extracurricular classes, but he did not want to.
He told his parents and they had a long talk together. Finally, his parents compromised to him, but they suggested he to learn something specially, that would be very helpful for him about making friends and social contact. He thought it was right, so he learned violin, and now he can play the violin very well. I have the same experience with Lee, but the result is different. When I was young my mother used to send me to the piano class, but I hated to practice the piano all day. Then I gave up. Now, when I were seat in the lobby in Meredith Hall and study or chat with my friends, I always heard the voice of the piano, and someone really play it very well. So I were regret, I really want to play the piano as well as others, but I can’t. Sorry for digress from the question again. Because of these two people I interviewed, I have a deeper understanding about this problem. And I think these two different education ways both have their advantages and disadvantages.