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In elementary and high school there were immigrants and international students from China who often got top marks. I asked one of them about an algebra test I found difficult and he said “Oh I already learned it last year in China! So everything the teacher talked about this term is like review to me”.
I also remember children who could do arithmetic in their heads really quickly at age 10 compared to other kids in class who still had to stop and think.
Is the Chinese math curriculum often taught at a faster pace and students introduced to more advanced concepts compared to public schools in North America?
I hear there is a gap in math education through primary grades to high school but then it evens out starting from university.
It is not advanced as in ‘further’ but advanced ‘drilled basics’.
Endless shit with trigonometry and solving problems where you have a bunch of triangles only 2 measurements and need to solve the length and angle of all line intersections for example. This is rigorous absolutely but at the opportunity-cost of much more.
But no calculus.
That’s deep sure but not advanced as-in ‘further’ (unless taken as an option which it is for some). Mind-numbing remembering a similar problem covered before.
Then what I’d call advanced stuff like number theory proofs not covered at all. Little statistics no decision math little linear algebra (certainly not n-degree matrix stuff) and because no calculus no things like curvature.
OK I took further maths options in 6th form (high school) but much of the above I understand is also in other countries’ maths curriculum.
No calculus? It’s a joke?
There are two Gaokao (national high-school exit examination) streams: Science and Art.
Science includes single-order derivatives type. f'(x). You know adding one or subtracting one from the power. That’s it. That’s easier than algebra. Minuscule number of points on the total Gaokao score.
Art includes no calculus.
A school may teach it but given the overriding importance of the Gaokao probably won’t unless maths is a specialism for them.
Calculus and statistics are offered as ap courses at good u.s high schools. Students who pass the ap exam with satisfactory marks get corresponding university level course credits so they can go on to enroll in more advanced courses in their freshman year. Nowadays it is not unusual for incoming college freshmen to already have obtained half a dozen or more credits.
And then there are hs students who enroll in college classes and earn even more advanced college course credits while still in hs. None of these advanced options is available in a typical Chinese school which does not have a credit system and is much more rigid in their curriculumin and course sextions in general.
in France or Russia the level of maths is largely comparable..
France and Russia are significantly below China in PISA.
Pisa with Chinese characteristics.. It’s easy to get higher scores when you only allow best students to take the tests.. 79% of Chinese pupils are in.rural schools but you only allow Shanghai pupils to.participate..
Chinese math standards are good but I also think Canadian and American standards of math are just really poor. I immigrated as a child and remember being 2 years ahead of my peers in math. This was coming from a Mexican education I am not exaggerating.
The curriculum is more rigorous than in the US but note that the Chinese kids who study abroad are not a random sample.
I transferred from China to the West at age 7. My maths skills was good in China but then become exceptional in the west. They were at least 3 years ahead of my peers.
English problems aside at the time I was instantly placed 3 years ahead of my level. Which I maintained allowing me to take university level Mathematics at the age of 14.
This is of course anecdotal evidence – as I was always good at Maths (I found Maths in China easy already). However I was surprised at the abysmal level of mathematics in my classmates.
14 is like 2nd year in middle school in China students are barely leaning geometry and solving quadratic equations. college math your ass.
The US education in public school is problematic starting from the first grade. It’s a systematic issue involving not just the student and the school teacher but the administration of the education district and government. You can’t feel good just because you are three years ahead of the peers some private school students are better and they are competing with you for the opportunities.
My strong maths skills allows me to blitz through University as well. I found private school kids relied too much on external motivation and tutoring…. I skipped 3 grades ahead and managed everything myself. So when it hit University and everyone was on a even playing field life was pretty simple.
It is a legit question. But judging from the other posts I am sure people here are not in a position to answer it just because this is /r/China they hate anything China.
In a word yes Chinese math education starting from arithmetic is more advanced than in the West in general. Although China is a large country there has to be students that do not have good scores.
From elementary schools the math is more related to music rhythm because the Chinese language because Chinese text have one syllable. For that reason the first day of school (3rd grade???) the teacher will require each student remember the multiplication table by the end of day. You “sing” the multiplication table by heart not different from a hip hop music. That is the beginning of the divergence of China/West in terms of math education. So the next time a chinese student sees the number 560 he/she knows immediately it is factored into 7x8x10 which is then further factored into 7x2x2x2x2x5. He/she can do this because just like an old song lingering in your head all the time: “7 8 56” is the part of the multiplication table song he/she remembered from childhood
Math is a repetition game. Not just to remember it but also to know the exceptional cases. Chinese schools stress the importance of practicing this resulted in a lot of homework as well as a culture that requires everybody work hard. Once you have experienced certain problems and know how they are solved you then apply the same method or slightly modified method onto other new problems. I can’t say if the net result is good or bad. You may want to talk to some professional educators
Some of the more advanced topics were taught in Chinese schools sooner and with more practices even the less intelligent students should remember some basics. I was in the other thread about high school textbooks. If you take a quick look at there: http://www.dzkbw.com/books/rjb/gaozhong-all/ For example probability and statistics is part of 10th grade curriculum (standard)
The curriculum does contain higher math in elementary and middle school but I wouldn’t say the teacher teaches it. They just hand out homework. It is then the parents problem to make sure they learn it. That is why many kids have after school classes.
Background: my son attended local school for 1st grade.
Came from the country which tops PISA anyways acing mathematics exam is due to practicing more or less.
Since Chinese people are faced with immense pressure to compete with their millions of peers they are generally pushed to be hard working. It’s a very stressful system…
And since hard work=doing more practices/spending more time understanding they obviously do better than those who don’t.
Anyway it’s just a theory.
Take a look yourself: http://www.gaokao.com/zyk/gkst/lnsxgkt/
These are the college entrance exams that Chinese high school graduates are expected to take. I would say compared to the corpus of knowledge that an American high school graduate is expected to know it’s pretty rigorous.