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Education in China. National Consortium for Teaching about Asia Study Tour July,2004. If you think about education in China, what images come to your mind? You may have images which are no longer valid, I know that I learned a lot about modern China from seeing these schools.

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education in china

Education in China

National Consortium for Teaching about Asia Study Tour



If you think about education in China, what images come to your mind?You may have images which are no longer valid, I know that I learned a lot about modern China from seeing these schools.


As teachers touring China we had the opportunity to visit several schools. We saw their best schools and sat down to talk with both teachers and students. It amazed us how fluent their English was compared to our Chinese!


Two groups of American teachers, about 55 people, visited the Changping # 1 High School outside Beijing. We spent about 2 hours touring it and talking with students and faculty.


School is out in July, so the students and faculty returned just to talk to us. The students English was very good but many were very worried they would not say something right and were very shy as a result.


Entrance to Beijing Universitry is by exams given in early July. Our Beijing guide was one of 200,000 who took the exam from her province. Only 22 were accepted to study at Beida. It is China’s Harvard, MIT and Princeton all rolled into one university . Admittance carries enormous prestige and can also bring excellent job offers after graduation.


Beijing University is one of the few reforms made in the 1890’s which survived the Empress Cixi’s scrutiny. It’s creation was controversial but it managed to survive and grow.

The center of the Forbidden City is the Hall of Supreme Harmony where the Emperor held his audiences.

The Forbidden City sits on a north-south axis. It has an “ man made mountain “ created at the north called Coal Hill. The city is surrounded by a moat because a water feature is required for good Feng Shui. This was considered the center of the world by the Chinese and symbolized the power of the Emperor.


Professor Yang is a living treasure in China and celebrated for his exceptional talent as a master calligrapher. His poetry has been carved into a mountain to celebrate this. He has incredible energy which he attributes to practicing calligraphy every day.

chengdu china
Chengdu, China
  • Chengdu is in far western China. It is the gateway city to travel to Tibet.Many foreigners only stop here to get the needed permits to enter Tibet. Chengdu is an industrial city with a long history of silk production. The river running through Chendgu is called the Brocade river because it used to be brightly colored by the process of dying silk brocades.
chengdu primary school
Chengdu Primary School
  • This primary school takes children 2-6 years of age. It combines daycare and pre-school and is extremely expensive .
  • It has a teacher to student ratio of 1 teacher for every 5 students. No class has more than 20 students and children help to grow the food they eat at snack and lunch in a small garden plot.

Pre school children are constantly shown written Chinese characters so they become familiar with them. This is the beginning of learning how to write them .


This school has every possible advantage and a very low teacher to pupil ratio. The tuition makes it unaffordable for the majority of people in Chengdu. The environment was creative and designed to make students more creative.


What questions do you have about Chinese education after seeing these slides? Do you have more choice about your education or do the Chinese students ?


Each students who is accepted into a college or university has to pay for it but it is much less expensive than our own system. There are few scholarships so often families go into debt to help pay the fees.


Upon graduation, you have to find a job yourself, the government no longer gives you one. It is a very competative market. There are financial incentives for people who will work in western China since few want to do so.