Chinese schools remove individuality
China's education system is robbing its young people of the chance to become unique individuals, according to a leading educationalist.
Sir Anthony Seldon made the comments in a speech at the Institute of Education during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the UK.
China's state schools start at 7am and the teaching style is focused on note-taking and repetition, otherwise known as rote learning. This is in contrast to England's more interactive teaching style, where pupils are encouraged to participate in class and make judgments for themselves.
Sir Anthony said: "China has some of the top schools in the world and is leading the way with maths and science.
"But many schools are robbing the young of the opportunity to blossom into the unique individuals that they are because too many teachers think that solely cramming pupils' heads full of facts is education.
"Many education systems focus on exams being the sole validators of school, but recent research suggests that jobs with a big growth in salary have been those that require a high degree of social skills," he said.
According to the most recent global school league tables, published in 2013 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Shanghai, China comes top for maths, reading and science.
In comparison, the UK ranks 26th in maths, 23rd in reading and 21st in science, out of the 65 countries and regions in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) rankings.
A further study from the OECD found that the children of factory workers and cleaners in parts of the Far East are more than a year ahead of pupils from wealthy backgrounds in the UK in mathematics.
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