Rote learning can take a toll on building creativity in schools. The nations that can strike the right balance will gain a competitive edge.
|Aiming higher on academics shouldn’t have to mean leaving deeper or more open-ended thinking skills behind. Above: A pre-algebra Math 7 class at Johnny Cochran Middle School in Los Angeles is seen. (Los Angeles Times / June 13, 2012)|
China is pushing for more emphasis on building creative skills and less on high-stress, high-stakes testing, according to a recent article in the New York Times. Under the existing system, a single entrance exam determines whether students attend college, and which one. Talk about teaching to the test: The last year of high school is often given over to cramming for the exam. In at least one classroom, students were placed on intravenous drips of amino acids in preparation for the test, in the belief that it would help their memories and provide an energy boost; in another sad case, a girl was not told about her father’s death for two months to avoid disrupting her studies.