Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 5 years 4 months ago

I hardly know anything about education specifically in Xizhou, but I do know about education in general. Education is the process of giving or getting instruction. In SAS, we are educated using many tools, such as whiteboards, projecters, and since it's a 1:1 laptop school, many different types of technology. In Xizhou, I would expect blackboards, chalk and normal paper-pencil. Personally, I actually like using old-fashioned tools, and I want to see the difference in how the children learn using THEIR technology and how it affects their learning. Would they be smarter or learn quicker if they had the type of technology we have?  I also know that Xizhou is a old-fashioned place, so I'm not expecting any technology. 

This is all basically general knowledge! I do not really know anything about education in Xizhou. I know about education itself because being a teacher was one of my to-do things when I "grow-up," so I'm always interested in teaching methods and if I could change anything, what I would do. 

I want to know about the classes in general. I would like to know how the teachers are, what they learn, how it corresponds with the timing of the things we learn in Shanghai, and also how the materials they use affect their learning. 

It was actually very hard to find information about Xizhou education on the internet, or in the library. However, with some help from one of the students' in the Puxi group's work, I have generated some background information about my topic. Check out Phase 3, or this link: http://sasmicrocampus.org/node/3701 for more background information. The following is all information about education in Xizhou:

My sources are:

http://www.chinaeducenter.com/en/cedu.php

- China's education system is the largest education system in the world.

- According to Chinese law, it is compulsory for all citizens to get at least 9 years of education.

- Unlike in some other countries, teaching is a very highly respected profession in China.

http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/Brief/192133.htm

- Most of China's population lives in rural areas, so 95.2% of high schools, 87.6% of middle schools and 71.5% of elementary schools in China are in the countryside

- In 2006, the Chinese government was supposed to equip 40,000 junior-high schools in rural areas with computers that had internet accessibility and multi-media classrooms.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2013-02/26/content_16255616.htm

- In 2012, Yunnan Province invested 67 billion RMB to improve their education system.

These 10 questions are my major questions, as of now, that I'm going to find out about once I get to Xizhou, and maybe I'll have to change them. 

- What type of tools or technology do the kids in Xizhou use?

- How does the technology affect their learning?

- Are the 8th graders there ahead of us?

- How long is each school day?

- How many students are in one class?

- Do the students have to go and work after school?

- Is lunch provided in school?

- Do the students like coming to school?

- How qualified are the teachers?

- Do all children of Xizhou go to the same school

I tried answering my own questions, to see how accurate I am, they're probably not all the "right" answers, but I tried!

- What type of tools or technology do the kids in Xizhou use?

The kids in Xizhou use pencils, pens, erasers, paper and probably have one or maybe two computers

- How does the technology affect their learning?

The technology greatly affects their learning, but in a positive way. Pens and paper should help them remember what they're writing, instead of when we use laptops and forget our homework or concepts very quickly!

- Are the 8th graders there ahead of us?

I think the 8th graders will be at the same level as us, or maybe a little below, but not above, because we have more resources than them, so I think we will be a bit ahead. 

- How long is each school day?

I suspect each school day would be 5 - 6 hours long, as it is stated above that the children in Dali don't really like going to school. 

- How many students are in one class?

I think there would be only one classroom for each grade level, so maybe 20-25? I'm not really sure about this one

- Do the students have to go and work after school?

I'm pretty sure that students go to work on weekends, atleast once, but I think only some children will have to go and work after school... definitely not all of them!

- Is lunch provided in school?

I think students must bring lunch from home, because in a small town like Xizhou, I'm afraid there's only one school, and they need to focus on teachers and supplies, maybe even uniforms. But maybe they do serve lunch, I'm not sure again!

- Do the students like coming to school?

In Step 4, I found out that the children in the Dali area don't like to attend school and often have to be forced to stay, but it can be different in Xizhou. However, I fear that that they most probably don't. 

- How qualified are the teachers?

I think the teachers will have attended university to become qualified to teach the children, as stated above, according to the Chinese Government, only 9 years of education are mandatory for all Chinese citizens, and university graduates would have the knowledge to teach for 9 years. 

- Do all children of Xizhou go to the same school?

I'm almost 100% sure that there's only one school in Xizhou, because it's a small village, and honestly, there's no need for two schools.

I think I know a lot of what I need to know, like the number of mandatory years that Chinese children must attend school for, whether they like school, China's education system is the largest in the world, and that teaching is a highly respected job here. However, I think I need to know a bit more about maybe the Xizhou and Dali area specifically to be able to dig deeper. Below I've written some questions that I would like answered BEFORE I go to Xizhou.

- How long is each school day?

- Do children have to work after school is over?

- Is there only one school in the district?

- How many students are in each grade?

- On average, does each family have one child? (It is mandatory for this child to go to school)

With this information, I feel like I would be pretty ready to go to Xizhou, start reseraching and understand the school system there!

 

Hey Everyone! I'm Aakshi, and I was born in India :) Unfortunately, Xizhou is now just a memory, but an amazing one at that. I miss the blue skies, the conversations of the birds, the slow pace of life and the people! Microcampus will be something I will never forget. Cookie Monsters in Xizhou '13 was definitely a success, and I wish we had the chance to go again! I hope the next groups that go have as much fun as we did :)