Friday, April 21, 2006

Learning Differences

The Globalist is running a two part article (may require registration) on the schooling and learning differences in America Vs. China. It naturally made me answer the question, "So where does India stand?". Well, its in between but more towards China....and here is why based on some of the differences discussed in the article:

  • Nationalized and Standardized tests: China uses them a lot. They think thats the only to ensure fairness and usually the exit from the dismal social fate in the country side. But standardized tests encourage the opinion that there is only one answer. India uses them a lot too. But the famous ones like IIT JEE do not grade the candidates based just on the final answers. They often credit the candidates with full marks when it is thought that the candidate had his/her thinking going right, but screwed up the calculation.
  • Capacity for memorization: Chinese have a capacity that can be described shocking by western standards. Indians have a tremendous capacity as well. Much of the ancient Indian education system was based on strict oral teaching, where comprehension in the first listening and memory played all the role. British system just carried on the legacy. To this day, most state board students can pull along with a good deal of memorization. But national boards like CBSE and ICSE leave some room for creativity and individual voice.
  • Tall nails get hammered: The article says that chinese society is massively conformist. While in India, its perfectly acceptable to voice out political opinions, however extreme they might be, its still conformist when it comes to yielding to older generations (and thats probably changing with new money).
  • In-class participation: Not many state boards encourage this. But central boards and many prestiguous universities encourage some level of class room participation.
  • and finally diligence: when it comes to diligence, Asians are all alike PERIOD.

I would love to see Indian education systems take a more center stance taking on some of the creative aspects of western systems and retaining indigenous diligence.


crisna da turtle said...

hey kesava,
nenu chaitu ni...nee ju..
howz life? its been reallllly looong time...shall drop you a mail soon..
take care

crisna da turtle said...

I'm with oracle now..still in hyd.. :)
gimme ur number..shall call you sometime...mail me at krishnaDOTatkuruATgmailDOTcom