Thursday, October 19, 2017

A glimpse of education...

Heading back here this weekend. You should join.

Ever wonder why school rules and Ministry of Education policies and regulations are so incredibly rigid? From Liu and Yang Between­ Class Ability Grouping, Cram Schooling, and Student Academic Achievement in Taiwan (Sociology Study, May 2016, Vol. 6, No. 5, 335‐341)
The practice of between-class ability grouping was quite prevalent in junior high schools in the past. At present, most schools opt for mixed-ability classes because of educational policies. Except for a small amount of students with exceptional exam marks at the time they graduate from primary school, most students get to be placed in a good class through influence peddling. Taking an interviewed school as an example, 3,000 students out of a total of 4,500 students are involved in influence peddling
The reason for the tightly controlled class intakes at universities (for example) that are centrally determined is obvious: if something is handed off to local control, and it involves resources that are widely needed but only have limited distribution, that thing immediately becomes corrupt as people solicit and offer gifts to obtain what they need. Note also the enormous size of the school interviewed, a junior high with 4500 students -- Taiwanese widely perceive large schools, which have stricter discipline in part to manage their large student populations, as better schools.
On the other hand, group instruction’s effects on students’ academic study are limited when
ability grouping largely focuses on main subjects such as Chinese, English, Physics, and Chemistry. Given such a circumstance, students’ participation in group instruction and additional teaching sessions arranged by a school is falling. Because of this, the time students spend on cram schooling is increasing. Speaking of cram schooling, high school principals stressed that more than 80% of students have participated in cram schooling. Most students who do not participate in any cram schools have given up studying.
All of my students at my university, one of the top universities in the nation by the MOE's accounting methods, went to cram schools in junior high school and high school. Part of the reason that Taiwanese students perform so well in international assessments is that they are in school from 7 am to 10 pm...
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