On the issue. First we need to put aside the issues with the Chinese themselves and that of the Japanese. They certainly have issues of stress, among other things.
On the other hand, having been in Russia, I can underscore the comments. The English teachers, of course, hit back, saying that one has to tailor the programme to the student.
To a point. One has to take into account those not coping and give extra assistance, further tutoring, which the Chinese felt was mollycoddling. But by saying the material has to be mediocritized to bring it down to the LCD is an entirely different matter.
There’s no way that should be done because it is devaluing the currency, devaluing the material. Nor should teaching material shy away from the cognitive, in favour of the “find myself in this society” and “how women have always been oppressed”. Chanting tables has a positive effect, which traditional teachers have always known but now society, which threw all the good out in the late 70s, is coming back to it again:
And in Britain, you can imagine how an attitude such as mine would go down with Oftsed and the leftwing teaching paradigm of today. When the Oftsed inspector saw me doing exercises from First Aid in English, he wrote that my methodology was antediluvian.
I noticed that my standard of English was far higher than that of the Oftsed inspector and that all bar about 5% of the pupils could actually read, write and count. He never criticized that aspect.
By the way, for any teachers reading – yes, I know there are issues with Maciver in places and usage has changed, e.g. on the apostrophe “s” but in general it’s still the same.
What Macivor does is introduce the rule, then the examples, then the exercises. Just as the British teachers reacted badly to the Chinese, calling them boring, so that is the N1 criticism of Macivor by today’s teachers.
It’s all a question of mindset. I’d rather have a dozen examples and copious exercises to make sure I’d got it right than pretty pictures of how Jack and Jill are not the only sexual relationships children can have.
Our school was popular with parents from overseas – parents, remember them [?] – because we were not compromising on standards – that’s what we were selling – they called it a “British education” and it cost them a pretty penny to have something which a few decades back was pretty universal across the country.
Thus we were at odds with the inferior national curriculum when it was rammed through in 1990 to 1993. We preferred the 11 Plus.
Question is how to reverse the shoddy education today. Yes, I’ve looked through IB and know IELTS well, which raises even more questions about standards. If you demand these standards in the final exam but never teach towards them, then what do you expect?
Parents are being shortchanged today, let alone the fight for places at good schools.
H/T also to Wiggia.