Education as a Path to Conformity

From The NYT: ““Why does China produce so many clever people, but so few geniuses?”
“Our children learn to calculate fast, play the piano, to do everything well. They have a lot of skills. But when they grow up they are lost, because no one ever asked them to think about what they want.”
…Chinese school … demands obedience to hierarchy, bone-hard study and uncritical thinking.”

3 thoughts on “Education as a Path to Conformity”

  1. As someone learning Chinese as an adult, I have come to realise that the only way to learn Chinese characters is by brute force rote memory. I see young Chinese learning characters the same way.

    In my opinion, the necessity of brute force memorisation then goes on to affect every subject in the curriculum.

    It’s a terrible generalisation, but that’s how it seems to me.

  2. Many of the authors I’ve read speculate about the relationship between Chinese characters and Chinese thinking/education, usually saying that the necessity of memorizing so many characters unavoidably shapes education. There’s no way around it; brute rote memorization is necessary, which is why I’m so bad at reading, let alone writing!

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