Chinese Schools vs. American Schools

Chinese schools and American schools are really different from each other, but in recent years Chinese schools have become more westernized in terms of how and what they teach, although they have still been criticized for censoring a lot of information, but it’s not like American schools don’t do the exact same thing, but I just think American government is a little bit sneakier about the information they censor. But all in all Chinese schools are pretty different than the United States schools, and this particular article is going to highlight some of those differences and go in to extreme detail about these differences and what they mean and how they can make a difference on the education in general for the youth of both nations and how these differences can be visible today with our grown young adults who live in both countries.

One really major difference between Chinese and American schools, especially in early grade school levels, is that the Chinese way of education is pretty much based on the looping scale, which is how we would call it in the United States of America. What we mean by looping is that when a group of students in a certain age group first come into a primary school they are matched with a teacher, and that teacher will then teach them all their subjects for one grade and then move up with them for the next year all the way until they leave for their equivalent of middle school. This is really different in the United States where students move up grades and get another teacher for that grade, but this difference is really interesting and has pros and cons for both ways. In one way the Chinese students have been known to really come close to their teacher and learn a lot from them because they’ve grown up with their teacher and they are kind of like a third parent to them, whereas in the United States you only get a teacher for one year but end up making bonds with a group of teachers who become several different role models for a young student. These can be good role models and bad ones, because everyone knows that in America kids tend to not like their teaches a lot, but just imagine being a young kid in China and not liking your teacher. You’ll be stuck with the same teacher for several years! That would be terrible!

So this difference is pretty drastic if you really think about it and it speaks volumes about what both countries value more in terms of the education they want for their young children. What it says for the United States is that they value subject matter and the variety of teachers and influences more than the student actually learning as much as they possibly can in a given day, while in China it’s all about getting as much information in children’s heads as possible so they can then become as smart as humanly possible.

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Asian Students

There’s no denying that a lot of Asian students in the United States are highly intelligent, and there’s got to be something behind that that a lot of Americans just aren’t picking up on so well. We kind of just say, well they’re Asian so they’re disciplined or something like that and just leave it at that in terms of the intelligence of Chinese men and women. But there’s got to be something to the education systems in China that are just different in the United States that makes them harder and more effective than the type of education system that is pretty bad in terms of the international community like we have in the United States. When we look at recent rankings of intelligence among the world we see that young Americans aren’t as smart as the other nations around the world.

So this article is for those people who are interested in knowing more about the differences between schools in China and in the United States, and what we’ll see is that there are a lot of unique differences between the education systems in these two countries, but that there are also a lot of similarities between the education systems in these countries as well. But the truth of the matter is that China schools are merely bigger than the schools in the United States, and this makes sense given the huge differences in the population of both places, and this also makes a big difference somewhat in the way that people learn in schools, and this is consistent for all age groups and grades all the way from grade school into graduate schools.

In China school classrooms usually have somewhere around 55 to 65 students per class and the teachers will typically teach two subjects at a time for each period while there are 8 different periods in a day, so each student is learning somewhere around 16 subjects per day on any given day. In the United States the size of classrooms is typically around 25 to 30 American children who are all well behaved, not, and the teachers usually teach all the subjects that the kids learn all in one day, or they switch around from class to class and each subject.

In the United States all the kids are together in their classrooms no matter how smart they are and they don’t get separated by cohorts, but in China that’s exactly how the students are separated, and although the United States has advanced classes and smarter kids in general it is a little bit different than how the Chinese do it. Pretty much the Chinese education system separates kids into cohorts, and unless you get different test scores you’re going to be stuck in your cohort and with the same small group of kids who are at the same level as you in your cohort. The cohort system goes through all levels of the Chinese education system and they also use this form of separation at the university level.

In Chinese classes all the teachers switch around from room to room and come to the students while they stay in the same room, while in the United States it’s a lot different. In the United States students are able to walk around the hallways and they go to the teachers in their classroom, but that could be pretty hectic in China with so many students in the hallways, so that kind of makes sense that they do it that way. Because Chinese students aren’t walking around from class to class they don’t typically have hallway lockers like American students always do. What Chinese students do for their storage is that they put all their books under their desk top in a small shelf, and a lot of times they make their desks a little bit more like an American students would keep their lockers.

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Speaking Perfectly

Chinese schools are pretty much really unique in a whole bunch of different ways as opposed to schools in the United States and the schools even across the entire world. Although they may be similar to other Asian schools, just think about being a young child who is just beginning to learn Chinese and learn all the characters of their alphabet and be able to speak and write all of the characters in Mandarin or Cantonese. This to me seems like an impossible task, and even as an adult it would take years upon years to figure out all of the words and figure out how to speak and write perfectly, but that’s just how it is for every single boy and girl who grows up in China.

Just given the complexity of language starts off the schooling in a very different way, and if you can teach young kids Mandarin, then at that point you have hammered in a way that you can teach young kids anything and you can do it in an efficient way just like you taught them the language. We do the exact same thing in the United States when our little kids are in Kindergarten and then start to advance up to first grade and so on and so forth, but it is just simply different and a lot less stressful for young kids because they aren’t in such a hassle at such a young age just learning how to read and write, but Chinese kids are in that boat because that’s just how it is there. They all have to learn to read and write just to be able to live in their society, so it’s already a huge learning curve just to be a little kid living in China.

I think this drastic language barrier is what starts off the differences between schools in China and in the United States, but that really is only just the beginning of the whole story as to how schools are much different for young kids in both countries. But let’s be honest, young Chinese students are all coming out of school really smart compared to the other American kids and the Chinese kids who are really smart are coming to American universities and getting their degrees in whatever it is they are studying, it really is a cultural phenomenon, and anyone who’s been on a major university campus recently understands that there really are a lot of kids from China who have come over to study.

So really the major differences between the schools in China and the US have a lot of different variables that make the students different, but it starts at a really early age, like five years old, when Chinese kids learn Chinese and US kids learn English and take nap time every day.

But that’s just the beginning, because this starts a whole different emphasis and pace of learning that is different, and as the students learn at different speeds there are pros and cons of both ways, but Chinese students at American schools sure are smart.

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The Best Place For Tourists

China is a really wonderful place for all types of tourism and I highly recommend that you go there if you have the means, and if you are a student than you should definitely try to study abroad there if at all possible. When I was studying journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder I won a scholarship to study abroad in Beijing for free and live at CNU in the middle of the city for a summer and study journalism while I created my still photography documentary called The Streets of Beijing, which dealt with the importance and lives of people who made their livings working on the city’s streets.

It was a really wonderful experience and I learned a lot about schools and education in general in China and really how much different and similar living and learning in China can be as opposed to the United States, and the truth is that education is education where ever you live no matter what and it will always be the most you make out of it personally. But that being said there are some actual, physical differences to the classrooms in China in terms of size and a whole bunch of other types of curriculum, and to be honest my schooling was pretty much Americanized looking into Chinese culture from a foreigner’s perspective, and that’s how I took on my documentary as well, and it went well.

There is another city although that is a little different than Beijing and is also well known for its education systems and numerous amounts of schools and universities, and that city is Chongqing. Chongqing is a city full of different types of large universities and what is so unique about the selections of these schools in this city, especially in terms of the national universities is that there are a few schools that are very specific in the things that they teach, and they are really a way to know what you want to do and where you want to go before college so you can get the really best education possible for the specific field that you’d like to enter.

For example the Southwest university of Political Science and Law is a school that is specifically for people who are interested in becoming lawyers, and it is also the sixth ranked law school in the entire country of China, which makes it a very hard school to get into for any aspiring lawyers. But this school is also really oriented in political science, which means that it is also a school that helps groom China’s next politicians, and everyone knows that in China there is only one political party, The People’s Party, and that means that these types of schools are also creating more politicians for the communist government so that they can become a parrot of their party leaders and do whatever they’re told by the higher ups in general. But there are a ton of different jobs in the Chinese government because it’s such a huge country and they need a lot of government employees to help the people out as much as possible.

Unique Place

China is such a unique place in the world because it is a country that has grown from the developing world and into the developed and industrial world in a real fast amount of time, and oh yeah they’re bringing a billion people along for the technology ride. China is still such a large land mass that it still can be considered the new Wild West of the world where anything goes and consequences aren’t as severe for anything really. But the other side of the Wild West China is the new, emerging generation of young Chinese girls and boys who are growing up in a China that is very different than the China that their parents grew up in, and because of this we are seeing a whole new type of Chinese demographic and education system that is helping children develop extremely quickly and helping all of them become very successful men and women in a country where competition is everything and only the best can get to the top, although everyone can get to the top if they try hard enough in China, but it can be difficult for those who lag behind in intelligence, but education is getting really good all around China, especially in the city of Chongqing.


Chongqing is a really big city that has a whole bunch of different types of schools and universities that help out the Chinese government and educate young Chinese men and women in all different types of fields and helps them prepare for their future careers where they will give back to the People’s Republic and make a difference in their communities.


One of the large national schools in Chongqing is the Chongqing University, which was founded all the way back in 1929 and is a pretty old university for modern China. Chongqing University, or CU, is a really great liberal arts school that teaches young Chinese men and women all different trades and other skills to help them study and prepare for what they’d like to do for their careers once they are graduated from school.


Going to a university in China is much different than going to a university in the United Sates, but the Chongqing University is a really great school to learn different languages and other types of governmental practices to help the People’s Republic out as much as possible. Chongqing is known for their stellar business school, their disciplines in all forms of digital technology as well as computer sciences, and all forms of engineering as well as environmental disciplines that are somewhat unusual for schools in China, although in recent years has become a major influence on the curriculum around schools everywhere. With twenty eight different undergraduate schools as well as a few graduate schools, this university is definitely a really prestigious one throughout all of China and it is really difficult to get into this school, although around 50,000 students go to this school, and in the United States that would make it one of the largest schools in the entire country.