Huang Quanyu: Education should not only train "candidates", but also train "students".
Education Thought Network was published in Beijing at 12: 03 on November 30, 2023.
The following article comes from Guangming Society educator and author Li Xiangyu.
Guangming society educator.
Educator is an education weekly headed by Guangming Daily. Spread powerful ideas and influence aspiring teachers.
Why did the children who started first fall behind? Why did my son and other Asian children abandon American children for seventy or eighty blocks, but they were caught up in high school? Why do most of the top 100 universities in the world "sit in rows and eat fruit" in the United States? Why did the United States win 333 Nobel Prizes in Science by 2021? Why is it that in the United States, where basic mathematics education has been suspended all the way, by 2021, only "Harvard people" (including alumni, on-the-job workers, part-time workers, etc.) have won 18 Fields Prizes, the highest international prize in mathematics … In the new book "Fundamentals of Education", the author Huang Quanyu has stripped the cocoon of silk, focused on the educational stories, educational phenomena and educational concepts observed in China and the United States for more than 30 years, and analyzed the complexity behind it.
Education should not only train "candidates", but also train "students"
Educator: There is a core point in your new book Fundamentals of Education: Education should not only train "candidates" to learn the knowledge of the known world, but also train "students" to explore the unknown world. What do you think is the key breakthrough to change the "test-based" learning style and thinking mode?
Huang QuanyuThere are two breakthroughs in "exam-oriented": one is mechanism, and the other is concept. The mechanism can be changed when the time comes, such as "double reduction" But people’s ideas, without a trace, follow like a shadow … The mechanism has changed, and ideas often lag behind.
Many Chinese (including me, a "quality education expert") have come to the United States, and the concept of "exam-oriented education" has also swept over Haiti. When I first arrived in the United States, I thought American primary education was too trifling, so I bought different versions of math textbooks and asked my son to teach himself four pages a day. In the second grade of primary school, he taught himself mathematics in the eighth grade (equivalent to the second grade). We ask the school to let our son skip to the third grade to listen to a math class every week. There are three unforgettable sentences in the teacher’s letter: children are good at "arithmetic" skills; What the school teaches is "mathematics"; We should "cherish mathematics". At that time, I was extremely unconvinced.
My son finished college calculus in high school, and got almost full marks in mathematics in SAT-II, the national college entrance examination in the United States, but after going to college, he talked about the color change of "number". Recalling the teacher’s letter that year, the teacher seems to have expected more than ten years ago that this kind of "volume" would keep children away from mathematics that had brought him countless glory.
In the eyes of many people, "taking an examination" means "recording", and there is no distinction between "taking an examination" and "recording". If you pass the exam, you will be admitted; The test score is the admission standard.
Marlin McGrath, director of the Admissions Committee of Harvard University, said: "Harvard receives about 500 applications from SAT perfect scores every year. For example, in 2015, the admission rate of Harvard was only 5%, which means that only 20 of these perfect applicants can get what they want. This shows that grades are not the most important part, it just reflects a student’s performance from an academic perspective. " It is reported that at present, 70%~80% of American universities no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores (equivalent to applying for universities without the "college entrance examination").
Education should not only train "candidates" to learn the knowledge of the known world, but also train "students" to explore the unknown world. We should start from the end, change the "exam-oriented" learning mode and thinking mode, and implement the separation of "recognizing both points and people".
Educator: "Quality education" was first put forward in China in the mid-1980s. Nearly 40 years have passed, and now many parents still question, "Why is it that the more quality education is advocated, the greater the pressure on children to study, the more anxious parents are, and the more time, energy and money families spend?" What do you think of this?
Huang QuanyuActually, "exam-oriented" and "exam-oriented education" are two different concepts. As the name implies, "taking the exam" means "coping with the exam". Examination is the helplessness of education. As a means, it has to be used, but it cannot be overused. Therefore, even quality education needs to "cope with exams". But exam-oriented education is an educational mechanism, and examination is only one of the means to test teaching. When this means has become the only purpose of the whole education, the essence of education has been subverted-it has become "what to teach and learn".
The fundamental difference between exam-oriented education and quality-oriented education is that "test" students VS "study" students. The former repeats the knowledge of the known world, while the latter explores the unknown world. The core of quality education includes stimulating innovation, emancipating personality, respecting human nature, encouraging independence, being brave in questioning, daring to seek differences, being good at discovering, promoting scientific research, applying what they have learned, rooting in society, nurturing leaders and strengthening their physique … The exam-oriented education around exams is essentially different from the quality education that develops children’s potential.
We need to be alert to two anxiety misunderstandings. One is to "climb vines" as the goal of life, which is a kind of exam-oriented education in disguise (just like I asked my son to teach himself four pages of mathematics every day, and he learned the content of the second grade in the second grade of primary school), so he was anxious. Second, I mistakenly think that climbing vines is not bitter, and quality education is not bitter. Many foreign students from famous universities in China find that the United States is miserable with a quiz every three days and a big exam every five days.
But the exam has a thought-provoking trend: one day, I was shocked by a string of data! In Ohio, the passing rate of students in all subjects from grade 4 in elementary school to grade 12 in high school is: the lower the grade, the lower the passing rate; The higher the grade, the higher the passing rate. Once again, it was a national phenomenon. For example, the score of the "Iowa Basic Skills Examination" in the United States is "the higher the grade, the better the score", except for the score of "Mathematical Calculation" in the eighth grade, which is lower than the score of 72 in the seventh grade. This trend goes against our common sense: the lower the grade, the lower the study intensity and the better the grades; On the contrary, the higher the grade, the higher the study intensity and the lower the grades.
One goes up, the other goes down … After the two directions meet, the reverse gap will get bigger and bigger. "Double reduction" corrected the phenomenon of violating the law of educational development. We should take advantage of the "double reduction" to reflect on the "leaders" at the starting line. Only if we are not afraid of "double reduction" and "slow down first" can we "fast after" in the future.
Don’t be involved in the "in-house" volume, but realize it outside the "in-house"
Educator: Many students studying in the United States or their parents said that education in the United States is also very "rolled up", and "climbing vines" is not necessarily more stressful than "college entrance examination". Please combine your observation and research on American education to talk about your views on this.
Huang QuanyuIn fact, Chinese, students studying in the United States and their parents are a bit confusing. The New York Times once launched a long commentary, pointing out that my book TheHybridTiger has answered the question that puzzled Americans for many years: Why do Asians only account for 4.43% of the American population, and prestigious schools such as Harvard set an invisible admission ceiling for Asians, but the top 20 universities in the United States still admit about 20% of Asian students; Asians are the ethnic group with the most master’s and doctoral degrees per capita, and the average annual family income is the highest in the United States. I use the "dual-core theory" to refute the "tiger mother": only by absorbing the essence of Chinese and American education can a "hybrid tiger" emerge.
At the same time, I put forward a heart-wrenching question: although Asian students account for about 20% of the top 20 universities in the United States, why are the Asian students in the top 20% (Nobel Prize winners, great scientists, professors, barristers, big entrepreneurs, etc.) far from 20%?
When my son was 5 years old, the first English sentence he learned was "Where is the bath? (where is the toilet) ". He is now the youngest trial lawyer and holding partner of a world-renowned law firm, and was awarded the honor of "Star of Tomorrow" trial lawyer in 2021 by Law360. In 2022, Business Insider listed him and 15 other trial lawyers as the "stars of tomorrow" of the year. But he always wins in the bureau and "plays" under the legal provisions designed by others. He never thought of being the top 20% outside the bureau-to design and formulate legal provisions and let others "play".
We like to play games and win games in the office. Exam-oriented education is also about seeing who has soaked in the sea of questions-fighting for the win or loss of the known world in the "bureau", rather than jumping to the "outside" to realize their own things. Many children aim to go to a prestigious school or above. Since they have achieved their goals, who has the motivation and courage to "break the game"?
Is there a question mark (question) or a full stop (conclusion) in the question of education? In my opinion, it is illogical and contrary to common sense to think that "solving problems" is more important than "asking questions". From a psychological point of view, it is depressing human nature not to cultivate children’s ability to find problems, but to emphasize the ability to solve problems. I teach American students and always leave time for questions. If the teacher asks "Any more questions" and the students say "No problem", it means that the teacher has a problem. Guided by "questioning", the more problems arise, the more students’ curiosity, exploration spirit and subjective initiative to solve problems can be stimulated.
Educator: You think it is flawed to regard education as a "trinity" (the "trinity" refers to family education, school education and social education), because this conclusion excludes people’s self-education. Suhomlinski said: "Only education that can inspire children to educate themselves is the real education." And our education has shortcomings in this respect. In your opinion, what levels and subjects should be exerted to stimulate children’s awareness of self-education?
Huang Quanyu"Question mark first" or "period first" convey different educational views. Self-education can also give feedback to different educational views: either stimulate the awakening of self-education consciousness or delay the development of self-awakening.
The "class-taking system" is the most perplexing, tormenting, struggling and uncomfortable part for China students in American universities, so here I try to analyze the relationship between the class-taking system and self-education.
On the one hand, individuality and creativity are inseparable.. Therefore, the premise of cultivating creativity is to protect and liberate children’s personality. The theory of multiple intelligences tells us that children have different personality characteristics. Therefore, the system of taking classes should emancipate the personality and give full play to the talents. Emancipating personality is a process of children’s self-knowledge.
On the other hand, independence can also awaken the self.. How to "take classes"? What "class" Why do you "walk" these "classes" like this? Children must complete this thinking and choice independently. When my son was 15 years old, he wrote about the confusion, pain and struggle in class. Taking classes is not a simple course selection process, but a difficult mental process of self-discovery, self-understanding, self-liberation, self-selection and independence, and starting to find an independent life plan for yourself.
Therefore, I suggest that places where conditions permit in China try to take classes from junior high school.
Educator: Education should lead the future and be forward-looking; The baton of education should not be the college entrance examination, but the demand for talents in the future society. Why do most people understand this view, but still fall into the vortex of "involution"? How do educators find a balance between "basing on the present" and "focusing on the long term"?
Huang QuanyuYou can’t live today without grades, but you can’t live tomorrow with grades. To achieve "balance", we need to think about the following three issues-
First, what is the basis of education? ChatGPT was born, only rote memorization and brushing questions, but today it can’t do AI! It is the foundation of education that robots are "helpless" such as criticism, independence, creativity, spiritual nourishment, personality cultivation, moral cultivation and socialization.
Second, what is the standard of talents? If schools, families and society all think that they are experts in brushing questions, the so-called "foresight" needs "general education" to balance. Drawing lessons from the practice of European and American universities, general education is given before sophomore year, and then majors are divided, giving "self-education" a buffering and self-adjusting judgment opportunity.
Third, publicize the pluralistic concept of "360 lines, each line is the best". No matter whether you go to college or vocational high school, you should seriously think about the two difficult problems of "what you want to do" and "what you can do" when you leave class.
In order to avoid falling into the vortex of "involution", you can refer to the following practices-
First, one day of the year is designated as "Take Children to Work Day". Let children know their parents’ ways of living and their joys and sorrows.
Secondly, one day every year or every semester is designated as "career shadow day". Children can go to the institutions they are interested in, such as police stations, hospitals, barbershops, etc., and follow their "ideal professional models" to observe and experience life.
Third, classify all walks of life through "career interest analysis" to help children plan their lives.. Teenagers often don’t know the relationship between "what they want to do" and "what they can do". What they want to do may not be capable, and what they can do may not be. For example, my son wanted to be a doctor, and later he became interested in lawyers. His final career order was law, medical care, science and art. Ten years later, he went to Columbia University Law School and became a lawyer after graduation. Many of his colleagues are inherited from their fathers. But our family has nothing to do with the law, which also reflects the potential significance of "career interest analysis"
Even if the problems of "what you want to do" and "what you can do" are solved, you will often go through four stages of "social and cultural shock" after entering the society (honeymoon stage, depression stage, recovery and adjustment stage and adaptation stage). This kind of forward-looking homework can shorten this stage for children and find a "balance point" as soon as possible.