Educational Culture Battle (02:02)
Five Chinese teachers will teach a British class for a month. Afterwards, students will be tested against their schoolmates to see whether high pressure learning and competition are more effective.
Bohunt School Challenge (02:09)
Chinese education is based on authority, discipline, and competition— opposite from child centered learning. Chinese teachers will teach 9th graders for a month; exams will assess which method is more effective. Head teacher Neil Strowger is concerned about global job competition.
Collective Spirit (01:58)
Students don track suits and start the school day with exercises on the field. Ms. Yang enjoyed mass calisthenics as a child in China. Mr. Zou explains the team concept.
Student Behavior (03:26)
Mr. Strowger worries British children will challenge the authority of Chinese teachers. Mrs. Yang lays down discipline rules, introduces Confucian philosophy, and explains that teachers are automatically respected by Chinese students. Winning over talkative students like Sophie will help them manage the classroom.
Math Lesson (03:54)
Chinese school days last 12 hours; students have two meal breaks. British students lag in math, a subject used to measure intelligence in the Chinese system. Chinese students memorize lecture material, while British students discuss material in groups and are separated by ability.
Science Lesson (04:10)
The science department emphasizes self-discovery; students experiment in groups. Ms. Yang uses a traditional Chinese lecture format but students have trouble focusing. Sophie explains what drives her to misbehave. Ms. Yang singles her out for talking, but the punishment backfires.
Prioritizing School over Hobbies (03:19)
Bohunt students have a second meal break as their schoolmates head home. At the end of the day, they do two hours of homework. Ms. Li explains that Chinese students spend extracurricular time on studying and discusses the difficulty of getting British students to focus.
Physical Education, Chinese Style (03:09)
Exercise is included in the Chinese national examination system to keep students healthy during long school days. Ms. Yang will test and rank Bohunt students; many are worried about passing.
Physical Education Baseline Test (04:03)
Ms. Wang ranks Bohunt students according to their time running 1000 meters. Joe struggles to finish the task. Ms. Hogg encourages him to do the best of his ability, in contrast to the Chinese emphasis on competition.
Slow Teaching Progress (02:06)
Bohunt students cannot keep up in Mr. Zho's math class; some believe trigonometry is pointless in the real world. By age 15, many Chinese students are three years ahead of British counterparts.
Trigonometry Tutoring (02:14)
A group of Bohunt students frustrated by Mr. Zho's rapid teaching style visits their British math teacher for help. He discusses why British teachers tailor lessons to student ability.
Observing Chinese Teaching Styles (03:25)
Mr. Strowger drops in on Ms. Zhao's Mandarin lesson and Ms. Yang's science class. Both teachers expect students to memorize lecture material; some students thrive on this approach but most lose interest. Mr. Strowger says they lack engagement and understanding.
Physics Quiz (03:30)
Mr. Strowger approves of morning exercises; students enjoy the activity. Ms. Yang gives a surprise test. Luca has trouble finding the answers, loses focus, and distracts classmates.
Losing Classroom Control (02:29)
Ms. Yang's class does poorly on a physics test. She asks science head Vicki Gough for teaching advice, and blames herself for their bad behavior. Three weeks before exams, Chinese teachers are worried their methods will fail.
Reconsidering Teaching Methods (02:29)
Chinese teachers discuss slow progress and student behavior issues. They create a full cultural immersion program, including energizing face massage, fan dances, and cooking lessons. The aim is to introduce students to the Chinese way of thinking.
Chinese Ring Puzzle (04:21)
Mr. Zho gives students a traditional task designed to encourage patience and concentration. Joe deciphers the pattern and teaches his classmates— boosting his self-confidence. Mr. Zho hopes the students will become more engaged.
Class Monitor Election (02:13)
In Chinese education, classes are partly run by student committees; monitors help control discipline. Mr. Zho says the system also helps prepare students for life.
Credits: The School That Turned Chinese: Episode 1 (00:34)
Credits: The School That Turned Chinese: Episode 1
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