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Chinese teachers say British welfare makes our kids lazy

(84 Posts)
TiredOfPeople Mon 03-Aug-15 06:14:34

I went to this school and it was awful to be honest, but having lived in the far east I understand where they're coming from. China doesn't have the buffer of a welfare system to fall back on so the kids know they HAVE to study to get a good job, because if they don't they simply won't earn the money to survive. Which is why they have some of the hardest working, and smartest, students in the world (along with South Korea and Japan). When you KNOW you have a buffer to fall back on, you simply don't apply yourself in the same way (I was on benefits). If you KNOW you will not get any help, as "cruel" as many say that is of a Government and as much as most disagree with, there's no doubting the fact that it gives you that fire underneath you. You fight to survive. I feel though many people here don't want to have to do that, seemingly according to the comments sections on the daily fail and here on MN, because they feel like they "shouldn't have to" fight to survive. They shouldn't have to go off to another city to earn money to send back for their kids, or shouldn't have to go to a whole other country to do the same. Because that's "not fair" or whatever. Life in China is TOUGH, but, they sure do study hard no?

antimatter Mon 03-Aug-15 06:46:23

they have some of the hardest working, and smartest, students in the world
there's 1.35 Billion of Chinese
64 millions of British
just to simplify - 20 Chinese to one Brit

so if you think of statistics around 10% of population of Britain is in secondary education, 6.5 Million
in China there would be an equivalent of 130 Millions

if we just think that China still has a one headquarter for each big company then the competition for each top job is 20x greater
that greatly contributes to how education is seen by everyone there

I think you'll find that suicide rate amongst young people in Korea and China is higher too.

Just here:

Suicide is the number one cause of death for people 15-34, and the top for teenagers as well. 6-10 percent of young people, according to The Journal Adolescent Health, have attempted suicide. Many speculate that the increase in youth suicides is due to the amount of stress that a young person can feel as an effect of the one child policy, and also in part to the inability to get jobs.

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 07:13:57

I Think there is no question that discipline/ behaviour in UK schools is not the same as China.

And also no question that some UK students don't try in school and are marking time till they can leave.

And equally that countries without a welfare state the attitude to education is different.

It IS a problem. But not sure what the solution is.

FishWithABicycle Mon 03-Aug-15 07:17:44

Yeah but if it's in the daily mail it's basically bollocks.
(a) most kids know very little about the welfare state
(b) even if they did, most kids have very little concept of the reality of one day being an adult. A seven year old doesn't think "I shall work hard at my maths so that one day I can be an accountant" - they think "how can I get through this boring maths and go and play" - this will be equally true in China.
(d) of course there is a safety net - it's called family. Even poor families help each other
(e) I can't believe anyone would believe any statement that comes out of China about why China is better than the west. Do you know any Chinese history from the past 100 years
(f) I can't believe anyone takes anything written in the daily mail seriously. They don't report news or care about proper debate of issues, their business model is to generate sensationalist hyperbole that will get lots of people frothing at the mouth about how dreadful X is purely to get people clicking their links as that is what boosts their advertising income.

TiredOfPeople Mon 03-Aug-15 07:21:44

Fish, the chinese teachers went to the school and spent time there. This was their opinion, not the Fails.

Scoobydoo8 Mon 03-Aug-15 07:21:50

of course there is a safety net - it's called family. Even poor families help each other

This has been lost here in some cases, the council or the government is the fall back solution.

It needs to be reinstated due to the cutbacks but seems to be slow in changing.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 03-Aug-15 07:27:43

So you think it would be a good idea for school children to be so afraid of starving to death that they work really hard at school?


SheGotAllDaMoves Mon 03-Aug-15 07:29:47

I don't think the lack of engagement in education has anything to do with the welfare state.

But I do not doubt the lack of engagement. When the head of the school said there is no low level disruption in his school normally, I wondered how bad things had to get beofre he even noticed!

QueenOfNothing Mon 03-Aug-15 07:30:23

If their parents don't work and live off benefits then they know about the welfare state. They know it's possible to not work and to have food a house etc.

These weren't 7 year olds. They were secondary school pupils.

The fact this article was in the DM is neither here nor there. If you don't want to debate the topic (UK secondary students vs Chinese secondary students) don't contribute to the thread.

HagOtheNorth Mon 03-Aug-15 07:31:20

It's one of the many flaws in the argument of those saying that we are falling down the international tables and schools ought to change so that our results are top of the league again.
You can't get 'Chinese results' or 'Singapore results' unless you change a lot more than the teaching.

Mehitabel6 Mon 03-Aug-15 07:32:49

The children admitted that they played up to the cameras. It was reported that the cameras were just left to run without an operator. The pupils said that they didn't normally behave like that.

Mehitabel6 Mon 03-Aug-15 07:33:53

Some were bound to want to stand out and have their 5 minutes of fame!

honeysucklejasmine Mon 03-Aug-15 07:39:12

How sad is that? They way to become "famous" in a classroom is to misbehave like an idiot! We reward it! Eugh.

SweetCharityBeginsAtHome Mon 03-Aug-15 07:40:10

There are a ton of countries with no real welfare state who still have crap educational results. Even the U.S. has less welfare than us and relatively poor educational outcomes.Finland OTOH has a perfectly good welfare system and outstanding results. And the Chinese world league table results are highly suspect - last I checked they came from a handful of cherry picked schools in Shanghai, rather than a broader national sample as they're meant to.

HagOtheNorth Mon 03-Aug-15 07:45:32

Again, if we want Finnish results, it requires a radical rethink of how schools and families operate.

SheGotAllDaMoves Mon 03-Aug-15 07:45:50

Th head says there is no disruption in class normally. The kids played up because the chinese teaching was boring.

A pupil said they played up because they knew they were being filmed.

Frankly, this sort of lack of responsibility is the problem not the welfare state. Teachers are expected to be street entertainers. Learning is meant to be fun, fun, fun. Otherwise 14 year olds cannot be expected to extend basic manners, curiosity or commitment to their own education.

Ubik1 Mon 03-Aug-15 07:45:58

are people seriously holding up China as a good example?

HagOtheNorth Mon 03-Aug-15 07:47:33

'are people seriously holding up China as a good example?'

Not me, I'm much happier with the Finnish model.

fustybritches Mon 03-Aug-15 07:48:33

OP are you suggesting it's admirable and something to aim for when your citizens have to fight to survive and live away from their children?

Nope, I want no part in the global race to the bottom. A humane society exists for the good of its citizens.

SheGotAllDaMoves Mon 03-Aug-15 07:49:30

I think we have things to learn from many systems.

The knee jerk reaction against other cultures/educational policies is making the UK state system alarmingly parochial.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 03-Aug-15 07:52:51

Learning is meant to be fun, fun, fun.

Yes, learning is meant to be fun.

If it's boring, you're not doing it right.

But sure, let's motivate our children with fear.

After all, all our best schools are the ones where the pupils are afraid that if they don't work a life of poverty awaits.

Oh no... hang on...

mathanxiety Mon 03-Aug-15 07:55:47

I agree with Hag and Sweet Charity.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 03-Aug-15 07:56:22

Putting a bunch of Chinese teachers into a school and filming it does not provide any kind of scientifically valid data to draw any conclusions from, as others have pointed out above.

You could equally take a bunch of English teachers and put them into a Chinese school and still get negative comments about what is going on there (and you would if our Chinese exchange is anything to go by)

juneau Mon 03-Aug-15 07:57:30

Having seen a trailer for this programme even I was shocked at the lack of discipline and 'don't give a shit' attitude in that classroom and I went to an English school and remember things being pretty bad at times. I'm not surprised the Chinese teachers were horrified. I think things are just very, very different in China. I have a Chinese friend and she said school in China was really tough and that parents are much, much stricter and don't tolerate children doing poorly at school. Regardless of your natural abilities you do your best and work hard. Slacking is not in the national consciousness in the way it sadly is here. Children are expected to have self discipline, to listen and work hard, and they're punished if they don't.

And its naive to say that children don't know about the welfare state. Seven-year-olds - no probably not - but when you're talking about secondary level of course they do. If their parents have always had a council house and benefits to live on, regardless of whether they've been in work, naturally the children will accept that if they fail at school the welfare net will catch them. My children's babysitter, who is a trained nursery nurse, cannot see that the state doesn't owe her a flat with a parking space in her home town. Why is that? Because her parents have always had a council house. They've worked in low wage jobs, but the council has always housed them and she absorbed that as 'her right' from birth.

SheGotAllDaMoves Mon 03-Aug-15 07:58:50

Bath learning cannot be a constant round of shits and giggles.

In most subjects there are times when you just have to knuckle down and work your way through something that might not be particularly engaging, it might even be boring shock. But there is no meaningful short cut.

Giving young people the idea that this is not so is detrimental to their learning. They should certainly get it by year 9!

And yes, the schools with the best results (public schools usually) understand this point perfectly.

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