PISA Test, Education System Ranking and Thoughts Behind China’s Education System

Read Constantine Zou's answer to Is China's education system a good model for the United States' education system to copy? Has any U.S. politician ever thought of this idea before? on Quora

Typically, in this article, I compared the two superpowers public education systems, the US vs China. And deep in heart we both know that the two’s public education systems are troublesome. 


As far as I know, the States has its own worrisome public education system.

PISA test of recent years, China(taken from mainland Shanghai) is the number one country comparing to every other nation on this planet. This most utterly surprised me.

As a sophomore that has received all the earlier Chinese public education, this education system worries me the most. It’s an education system that kills off receivers’ creativity, innovation and the ability to think individually, let alone critical thinking and judgemental thoughts.

China and the States suffer the same problem, not enough funding for the education department.

There’s only, 2%(or 4%? can’t remember correctly) of GDP is in use of Chinese public education system.

I saw and listened to lots of Chinese talked about the subject, either supporters or opposers.

After all, it’s not really an education system, it doesn’t educate, it’s functionality is to compete “the best” amongst the whole. The “winners” in this competitive system could receive a better future and higher platform, literally.

I heard Americans complained about their education system, saying that the subjects learned in school are completely no use in real life. Well, my condolence, but we are on the same boat! Dude, I feel you!

It’s a system of competing the best of all, even though I personally question and doubt the so-called “best”.

I feel like I can write a very long analysis of this topic.

And another important part needs to acknowledge is that the culture difference. This can be found out comparing the primary/elementary school education.

American elementary schools are more tending to, … tolerate the kids, how do I put this, to shovel the ways for and hope the kids can grow under this kind of free environment. But the fact is that teachers are underpaid and the infrastructures suck and are massively dependent on different/each school.

Chinese primary schools are a little different, even though, we are saying that kids under this age should be living freely and do whatever they want to explore as much as they can to discover the world on their own. But the shackles of this crazy society’s procedure is already on their bodies. I was very lucky needn’t to compete my ass in primary school, nowadays kids start to compete each other so hard even in primary schools. They do tests, they contend for the best middle school, and the reason for the best middle school is the best high school, and the high school is for the best university. No kidding here, the traditional elevated position of education of Chinese can be seen from here.

A down to earth example is, kids after school need to do heavy extracurricular if they’re not succeeding in school, and they are kids! Only under 13 and have no time to play and do their own things.

A contagion that spreads onto even younger students.

But one thing needs to be noticed is that teachers in china are regarded as domestic officers, meaning their welfare are actually pretty good compared to average people. So being a teacher in China could possibly be better than American’s.

Afterwards, I took a research into PISA on why such a worrisome and suffocating education system could score the best in the world. Turns out, there’s only 3 segments in PISA test, and it’s most related to science ability. Meaning, mathematics, reading, writings, and comprehension ability. And this is the reason why East Asian countries all excel on this test. “Oh, because he’s Asian.”

The western world has doubted the system, and did try out. And the result is satisfactory. The United Kingdom has taken the formula and applied it to their local primary kids for the purpose of improve their math ability, if anything, it was experimented in Manchester. Result is good, and the kids’ math ability does have improved. But the parents start to complain about the methods in use, they think it lifted too much burden for their kids, and they love the way their kids are. (God damn it such good parents) So the local authorities decided to take it into fields and try out a time. I haven’t followed the news since.

With more research, some voices advocate the Finland’s education system – PISA #4 or #6. Saying that is the ideal education for the western cultures. I think there is a point, after all, not every system could simply be applied to present one, and you need to take cultural differences into serious consideration.

Bernie Sanders, the former candidate of the States proposed a very good policy -liberate the heavy college/university cost for Americans. Unfortunately he wasn’t granted the olive branch, this could possibly save the America.

On news and reports, it says that the States has literally 14–16% of adults illiterate, and 20% of illiterate students graduate from high schools. I’m not sure the correctness of the source, but if it were true, then it is god damn horrible. 1 out of 10 can’t read, for christ sake can you imagine that? China has been into a fight with illiteracy and it won by educating 1.3 billion people into a population only has 2–3% illiteracy rate, and these people are mostly from the older generations.

I can’t really conclude anything on this topic, my present view is the modern education system is toxic and it needs to be changed. Otherwise it’s not education, it’s just schooling.

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