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It was recently reported that Chinese math textbooks have been introduced to the United Kingdom. As a matter of fact, the UK’s Department for Education announced back in July 2016 that it would carry out educational reform targeting math. Half of all elementary schools in England are encouraged to adopt traditional Asian methods for teaching math and £41 million was allocated to schools for new textbooks and to fund teacher training.|
Over the past century, Asians have been learning from the Western education system. Education that promotes the “interest and happiness” of Britain was once the nation’s pride. However, in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) of 2009 and 2012, Chinese middle school students from Shanghai scored much higher in math, science, and reading compared to their British counterparts. The result pushed British educators to rethink their educational style: Perhaps relatively strict Chinese teaching is more effective in the development of students’ learning abilities.
In 2015, the BBC documentary “Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School” conducted an experiment in which fifty British teenagers in year nine spent four weeks in classes run by Chinese teachers. It was an exchange between Chinese and Western educational philosophy, with China’s “mastery after repeated practice” education program being imported to the UK.
Apart from the UK, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Malaysia, and many other countries have shown great interest in the Chinese style of teaching, which welcomes further tests in the international education market. Speaking of education, there is no definite right or wrong, what is in line with the actual demand is the key to successful education. At the same time the UK wishes their future to experience stricter teaching, China is working hard on alleviating the pressure from exam-oriented education.