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A Discussion on China’s Recent Education Reform on CCTV 9

30 March 2010 558,106 11 Comments

When I was in China recently, I was asked to commend on China’s new education reform plan on China’s national TV network (China Central TV — or CCTV). The program is in English. While there are manly proposed reform measures, one of the most significant is reform on college admissions, which has to do with the infamous gaokao. I wrote about the reform plan in a recent post and here is the TV program.

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  • Chan Lü said:

    Dear Dr. Zhao,

    I have been following your blog and also just finished your new book, Catching Up or Leading the Way. Bravo!

    As BBS netizens say, ???????. Therefore, after watching and reading your materials, I am posting some of my (naive) comments/questions here.

    The first one is whether the educational reform effort is just to reform the National Entrance Exam, which I thought is perhaps only the beginning of a grand reform. Hopefully the reform of the test itself will promote changes in classroom teaching as well as assessment. To achieve the latter, perhaps a radical change in Chinese teacher education will be highly necessary.

    Second, in your video you specifically mentioned that one of the goals of the U.S. K-12 education is to close the achievement gap, which is essentially a question of educational equity. Yet, regarding Gaokao, whether the Chinese government and universities would pick up on this front and really address the widely discussed problem of educational inequity is another matter.

    Thirdly, the issues hotly debated in the video and in your book are more related to Chinese K-12 education; yet, we can’t deny the importance of university and graduate school education in fostering a country’s creativity and competitiveness. The Chinese post-secondary education, like anywhere else, also has many problems. Regarding this, I have two questions. First, will your future books be on this topic? Second, any thoughts on how the reform of Gaokao may affect the process and outcome of Chinese post-secondary education?

  • Dman said:

    Very interesting discussion, but the sound is really quiet. Is there anything you can do to pump up the volume?

  • Jesse said:

    Dr. Zhao, thank you for posting the link. The future belongs to those that open up enrollment not limit it by single measures of assessment. Neither China nor the United States appears to understand the role diversity will play in the 21 century. I agree that allowing for multiple perspectives would ensure greater diversity of ideas, innovation and creativity. I was hopeful for the future of performance-based assessments in the United States, but No Child Left Behind in my opinion killed the hope for this in my humble opinion. Race To The Top appears to be even more narrow-minded.

    I love the concept of multiple paths to cross the river Professor Xue Lan of Tsinghua University spoke about in the interview. While in China higher education appears to be opening up somewhat I have my doubts that China is willing to truly move away from one single entrance exam policies yet. As for the United States the focus appears to be more and more on single measures and national standards. I am seeing no move away from NCLB under Arne Duncan as of yet. Thank you for blogging and posting the link. It is extremely informative, and useful to see the larger picture from an international perspective. My wife and I are making our first visit to China this week, and your sharing has been extremely helpful to understanding educational reforms in the U.S.A, and China.
    Jesse Turner

  • Dede Permana said:

    Nice Blog. I hope this blog useful for us all, especially knowledge about cctv

  • Jason Rivera said:

    K12 education is always the best””~

  • strip that fat review said:

    Its education has always been the best

  • MengyangLi said:

    The voice is too small, but I really agree that if the selection criteria doesn’t change any kind of educational reform in China is vain.

  • Chenzi Wang said:

    Dear Dr. Zhao,

    How are you? This is the first time I visited your blog. Thank you very much for posting such wonderful information here. I definitely will come here often and learn more from you.


  • Yvonne Siu-Runyan said:

    Dr. Zhao,

    You are right about pressure for good test scores and cheating.

    This is happening in the United States and is not good.

    It is sad that the United States is running towards what China wants to leave.

    Thank you!

  • LJ said:

    Hi there, just surfed here after reading your article on chinese college grads in NYT

    i’m just curious, why does CCTV english persist with old school wade giles names for Beida and Qinghua, why call them Peking and Tsinghua? I feel like i’m back in the 80s, isn’t hanyu pinyin standardised in broadcast now?

  • Eric Fitzsimmons said:

    Hello Dr. Zhao,

    I really enjoyed the Keynote talk you gave at the Northwest Council for Computer Education this past week in Portland, Oregon. I am not sure how, but it feel that your position, which seems to resonate amongst the majority of educators and parents alike, should be put in front of a larger and larger national audience. This I feel would become a grassroots movement that would perhaps create radical reform from the local level, and in a very short time would transform the thoughts of those at the national level. Give some thought, but I feel that you could not only be the voice but the face of education at a Cabinet level for our country.

    All my best and I look forward to reading your books and comments,


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