Every student in the world is unique. However, the environment always shapes the personality of people. The main factors that affect the uniqueness of students include: family circumstances, national culture and values, education system, etc. It is undeniable that every country and region attaches great importance to cultivating students so as to utilize their potential and make them be promising and honest citizens.
Although every student is unique, Chinese students are generally regarded as disciplined, hardworking and respectful. Under the influence of Confucian culture, Chinese parents and teachers tend to apply Confucian educational thoughts to teach their children when they are very young so as to train them into members who contributed to Chinese society. Although some lagging educational ideas have been eliminated, we can still find the shadow of core Chinese culture in the behavior of Chinese students.
Students Hold Teachers in High Regard
In Confucian teachings, education is regarded as a means for one's progress and teachers play a vital role in students' learning. Chinese students are taught to respect teachers from an early age, like "The teacher is the second parent of the student." and "The teacher is superior than their students." which involves the rule of hierarchical system. This traditional thought often makes teachers become students' dogma causing students lose the ability to think critically.
For example, in the classroom, when a teacher asks a question, students usually need to stand up before answering it; calling the teacher’s name directly is not allowed at any time; some schools even discourage students from questioning to teaching materials and teachers’ standard answer. Although these practices can well maintain classroom discipline, obeying all instructions from the teacher may prevent students from thinking critically and independently.
The “Face” Culture (面子“mian zi”)
China's unique face culture also greatly affects students' behaviors. "Face" (面子“mian zi”)in China is closely related to dignity, prestige and reputation. For example, Chinese people often say, "You think I don't want face." to protect their self-esteem. For them, losing face is a shame. For students, this is mainly reflected in their classroom performance:
1. Chinese students usually do not take the initiative to ask questions, because this behavior may show that they cannot understand the material and make them feel ashamed;
2. Students do not question the teacher's statement most of the time, for which may cause the teacher to lose face if they also do not know the answer.
These behaviors will make Chinese students appear quiet in class, and will also prevent them from conducting surveys after class.
Studying Toward Perfection
Chinese parents and teachers have been educating students from an early age, "Your outstanding performance is not only for yourself, but also for the whole family and even the country." Therefore, almost all Chinese schools encourage their children to be the best one among the class, school and even the community, and rank them according to their grades to make them realize their "status" among their peers so as to encourage them to study harder and constantly surpass themselves.
In order to achieve the goal of "becoming the best", Chinese parents usually enroll their children in various tuition classes and interest classes to help them utilize their full potential. The good result is that many Chinese students have good memory and special skills, such as playing piano, violin, calligraphy. The negative effect is that students have to spend a lot of time on homework, rarely do outdoor activities, and have poor hands-on skills.
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