This is a discussion on Does science mean something different in China? within the Members' Club Room forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; I would say each education system has it's good side and bad side. Western education system is very good for ...
I would say each education system has it's good side and bad side.
Western education system is very good for people who are self motivated, who knows what they want to do or people who are just late boomers who didn't figured out what they want to be almost until they enter college.
Despite the fierce competition, eastern education actually tries to pull as many people up as possible through the different stages of learning.
I came to NZ when I was around 9. In Taiwan I am a black sheep. I get physically disciplined almost everyday. I have a special seat reserved just for me right beside the teacher. I don't follow rules because no one bother explained to me why certain things has to be done certain way.
Here in NZ I had no sweat all through to university. First year in Uni is where the culling began in western education system. There is no one to guide you, you are expected to figure out everything yourself, study for yourself. 20% drop out rates in first year and even those who barely hang on would not enjoyed it if you are not a self-motivated person. There was the cream of the crop in every year and the rest were mediocre even if they managed to get their degrees -> those are good for going into companies and work their way up from following orders to the T. The cream is what lecturers look for for the PhD kind.
I don't think I would have gone very far if I stayed in TW.
Good thing about eastern education is, even if they failed to make some people academically good, they pressed them enough that they don't become as much of a problem to others in society. If they have to go down, they typically self destruct.
And actually I think western societies follows rules and regulations more strictly and inflexible.
Last edited by no_name; 07-24-2012 at 05:07 PM.
For example, I've seen instant meals sold on trains in China where they make use of those heating pads that heat up when you bend them. If that's not innovation, I don't know what is.
Those are sodium acetate pads.
Last edited by vesicles; 07-26-2012 at 11:50 AM.
Take Apple, the poster child for Western innovation. Is it really innovative, or is it simply responding to market demands?
Then you look at Chinese electronics companies that make cheaper knock-offs. A knee-jerk reaction would be to dismiss them as unoriginal and not innovative. However, if we think about it, the question really should be: why *wouldn't* Chinese companies make knock-off products?
Original product design takes a lot of resources. Apple is rewarded for that investment by being the leader in its industry. However, in China, Apple products are luxury items, much like LV bags: only the rich can afford them.
This leaves a market of hundreds of millions. A company that caters to this market doesn't need to invest in R&D, all it has to do is copy a few interesting features and price its products much cheaper than Apple.
Why doesn't that happen in North America? It's not just because of stricter patent laws. In a way, the current tablet market is much like the cell phone market in China. The iPad 2 is the leader, and there is a plethora of much cheaper tablets, from Blackberry to ASUS to Kindle to the defunct HP (which once went on sale for 99$).
So why are those cheaper tablets struggling for a market share in North America, while the cheap iPhone knock-off are selling like hotcakes in China? It all comes back to the market. The iPhone 4S sells for 5000 RMB. To many families, that's 2-3 months worth of income. To my in-laws, for example, a comfortably middle-class small town family, this is an entire month's salary. A knock off might cost 1000 RMB, by comparison.
On the other hand, an iPad 2 sells here for 700$, which is only 20-30% of the monthly income of a middle class family. People are much more likely to pay more for a better product *when they can afford it*. If we multiplied the price of all tablets by 4, I bet people would be much more willing to buy 1000$ Kindles than 3000$ iPads!
So in the end, the whole argument is not about innovation. It's about the market.
In inflexibility I mentioned is a bit like the sort of inflexibility you get when you go through customs. Also the division of work and responsibilities is very clear cut, like someone is not going to help you out with something when it is just a matter of convenience, because it is not part of his work. Stuff like not going to stay behind to help out the last couple of customers when the shop closes at 5, even if it just takes half more minute.
Last edited by no_name; 07-26-2012 at 04:31 PM.
Not advocating it being right but the US stole from Europe left and right in the 19th century which built its economy. Laws and rules are designed to protect those that wrote them. Like I've mention before, the US and the EU are planning to declare the C919 is built on subsidies. It's not competive with their airliners and it's not going to steal their market share... except in China. That's what it's all about. They don't want Chinese building their own plane that they will buy thus will not buy Boeing or Airbus. So under the "rules" they can violate the sovereign rights of another country. Just like rare earths. Nothing is preventing anyone else from producing them. They just want the cheap China price at the expense of Chinese slave labor and health risks associated with producing them avoiding the costs to their own countries. If their rules were fair, could China file a WTO complaint forcing the US to sell and at a cheap cost it's most advanced technology to China?
solarz, you make a good point about Chinese companies making products for a different market. But the question remains: why can't Chinese companies develop products for the highest end market? Why are all luxury goods made by non-Chinese companies?
Here's another, albiet older, example of bizarre "science" in China. AFP
Chinese athletics doctors clearly were not aware of the latest scientific research into the harmful effects of steroids. They just saw the technology, not the knowledge and context behind it.Xue Yinxian, the former chief doctor for the Chinese gymnastics team in the 1980s, said steroids and human growth hormones were officially treated as part of "scientific training" as the country emerged as a sporting power.
I just read this thread from bladerunner's post #36 and I found especially that post and the first posts following very interesting. I think teaching in all countries can be greatly improved.
First an anecdote. The woman who introduced me to my future wife had a minimal education although she was manifestly very bright. Well, she had earlier told my wife that she couldn't do arithmetic, actually she could do anything but division. She had been told that division is determining how many times more a certain quantity goes into a larger quantity. She understood so that if you divide 16 by 4 you get 3, because you already have that first 4. She was very obedient so she got all divisions wrong and none for her teachers, more than half a dozen until she left school at fifteen, was bright enough to recognize her trouble. My wife said if their positions had been reversed she might have been bundling roses and Esther might have been going to University. Since then the Dutch government has saved a lot of money on training teachers.
This set off my wife in developing a computer program to teach children arithmetic. It should be possible for bright children to learn primary school arithmetic in a few weeks, and let them go on to secondary school maths if the want to. For the less bright ones a few months should be enough. Computers have endless patience, can be programmed to recognize mistakes and point them out. Then school time can be spent on other things like, perhaps, philosophy? What about athletics, or making things?
It should be possible to have all subjects taught by computer except such things as practical experience with chemistry and physics, going outside to look at plants and animals &c.