The previous misunderstandings of the cultural difference between my city (Hong Kong) and the fellow-citizens (Mainland China) brought some of us to the hatred to them; however, after understanding diverse viewpoints, I started to alter my halted into curiosity and determined to find the causes and solutions to the education development in China. To start with, I acknowledged the most obvious problems, corruption and economic inequality. Afterwards, I narrowed down the problems to their politics on population control (One Child Policy), as well as other crime commitments among the entire country. This discussion leaded me to think educating moral reasoning as a solution to those problems, and in the recent two blogs, I have tried to identify the role of family and school to moral development and suggested teaching strategies.
A brief summary of the social problems that potentially hinder the China education development is:
- The uncontrollable condition of corruption in China reflects individuals having low sense of the integrity of society and obey to the corruptive officers and employers;
- The impassive help in emergent situations can be explained by the frequent fraud commitments in public;
- There was a sole focus on politics in moral education during Cultural Reform in China, implying that what the politicians say is justice;
- Economic Inequality can only be reduced through increasing salary, but instead of improving the average education level; it builds up an unhealthy atmosphere for study and leaves the Chinese government a good question to sort out;
Concluding the above problems, they are mainly attributed to moral deficiency (point 1-2) and conformity (point 1 & 3) as the underlying reasons. It is a fail not to mention the impact of the former chairman of China, Mao Zedong, and his Cultural Reform (1966-1976) to the society in my previous blogs, because the post-Mao thoughts have been implanted solidly in individuals who are estimated to be the parents or elderly in relation with our generation.
As mentioned above, Mao has reformed the teaching curriculum in moral education into solely politics, educating the youths that his values were the right conducts. It is unnecessary to understand every piece of details in his policies, but an article from The Guardian can demonstrate enough evidences of his ambition and moral deficiency (Branigan, 2013). This news article reported that during cultural reform, a 16-years-old adolescent was taught with Mao’s values, and he then denounced his mother for criticizing Mao. As a result, his mother was beat and bounded, finally shot to death. Approximately a million people died from Mao’s period making this same mistake. Besides, Mao disapproved the traditional Confucian teaching, which aroused my interest to research in relation to this theory.
Apparently Confucianism is said to be the biggest influence to the Chinese education system in some webpages, so as Adrian who previously did this module (Adrianyktan, 2012). The society changes across time, so are the concepts of Confucianism applicable within the current system? Liu, Meng and Wang (2013) examined the acceptance towards Confucian values in Taiwan and China respectively; revealing their findings, the Chinese participants are now less likely to accept Confucian values in comparison with Taiwanese participants. This can be explained by the denouncement of Confucian teaching during Cultural Reform in China, which inhibited individuals to be exposed to a Confucius prime. In general, those Chinese participants were inclined to an increased risk-affection and impatience, as well as a decreased loss-averse.
The following is the solutions that I have suggested for a change in China education:
- Openness to opinions is important to build up a deep bounding between parents and children;
- Disagreement in moral views should be tolerant as to experience diversity;
- Satisfying students’ affective needs leads to the success in moral education;
- A change in the assessment of moral education is needed.
Aside from Confucianism, the application of its rival theory Mohism has not been discussed actively. Therefore it is worthy to mention Mohism and its teaching theory to see if it can fit in the current moral education system. Further investigation should be done to see the association.
- Adrianyktan, (2012). Asian Education Myth5: Confused by Confucius. Retrieved from: http://adrianyktan.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/asian-educationsa-myth5-confused-by-confucius/
- Liu, E. M., Meng, J., & Wang, J. T. (2013). Confucianism and Preferences: Evidence from Lab Experiments in Taiwan and China. Retrieved from: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/2013-199-49.pdf
- Branigan, T., (2013). China’s Cultural Revolution: son’s guilt over the mother he sent to her death. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/27/china-cultural-revolution-sons-guilt-zhang-hongping