Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 6 years 4 months ago

Background Information (from Phase 1, Step 4):

on the topic of the cultural revolution

- Schools were shut down during fall of 1966 and resumed with "re-education" two years later.(1)

- Mao declared that knowledge was connected to capitalism and students were refrained from using their knowledge (1)  

- Mao believed that educated people (schooled) were gaining too much power, So he was concerned that people might overthrow him (12)

- Mao had a desire to create a china which had peasants, workers, and educated people all working together (12)

- After a while, the enthusiasm of the Red Guards nearly pushed china into turmoil: schools were shut down, economy started to suffer (12)

- Main effect: Mao’s ethics were dedicated to the simple folk (peasants). Elite groups such as students and professors were forced into the countryside for “re-education” by peasants (12)

on the topic of local schools

- class sizes average 35 students (2)(6)(7)

- in rural places, many 15 year olds drop school to help in the fields (not valid anymore, but very common in past) (2) 

- education is free for children 6-15 years old, but parents must buy uniforms and books (2)(5)

- Students go to school for about 5/6 days a week and the day starts at around 7am and ends at 4pm. (2)(3)(5)

- Average Courses Taken: Maths, Science, Chinese, English, History, Literature, Music, Art and PE. (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)

- Main courses: Maths, Chinese. Science (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)

 

Answers to Previous Questions (from Phase 1, Step 5): 

1) If they did not go to school, how did people in Xizhou learn the skills they needed to survive?

Have not found anyone who did not attend school yet

 

2) What courses are/were "most important" at these schools 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

- Now: Maths, Chinese, Science (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)(8)(9)(10)

- Courses Taken: Science, Art, Maths, Music, Literature, English, Sports, Chinese  (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)(8)(9)(10)

 

3) How long do/did the students go to school a week 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

- Now: 5 days (7.2 hours a day)    
- Past: 6 days  

 

4) How did the local schooling system impact local life?

- was 7 years old at start of gr. 1 (4)
- dropped out of school in grade 6 (4) 
- Took up main profession based on favorite subject (4)
- School affected life... if studied harder, he would not have ended up stuck in Xizhou Town. (7)
- Dropped school in grade 5 (7)

 

5) How many schools are/were in Xizhou village 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

- Now: 13 Elem, 2 Mid. 1 High.(3)

- 1 0f each (13)

 

6) Where do the teachers come from 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

Do not know yet. I do not think that this is of very much relevance to my project. 

 

7) Where do/did the schools get the money to function 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

- High Schools and University all have an entrance fee (2)
- Middle and Elementary schools are sponsored by the government. (2)(5)

 

8) What is/was the teacher to student ratio 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

- 4 classes in a grade; each class has 1 teacher and about 31-47 students (3)(4)(6)(7)

 

9) How did the Cultural Revolution affect schooling systems in China? Have they bounced back? How?

 

- Schools were shut down during fall of 1966 and resumed with "re-education" two years later.(1)

- Mao declared that knowledge was connected to capitalism and students were refrained from using their knowledge (1)  

- Mao believed that educated people (schooled) were gaining too much power, So he was concerned that people might overthrow him (12)

- Mao had a desire to create a china which had peasants, workers, and educated people all working together (12)

- After a while, the enthusiasm of the Red Guards nearly pushed china into turmoil: schools were shut down, economy started to suffer (12)

- Main effect: Mao’s ethics were dedicated to the simple folk (peasants). Elite groups such as students and professors were forced into the countryside for “re-education” by peasants (12)

 

10) What quality of education (up to what grade) do/did the students receive 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

- Now: Mandatory and free until grade 9 (end of middle school) (5)     
- Past: until grade 6 (start of middle school) (7)

 

11) What second language did they teach at these schools 50 years ago? 40 years ago? 30 years ago? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? Now?

- Now: English
- Past: Baizuhua, Putonghua, 

 

12) What do local people in Xizhou think is the most significant change in the schooling system since they attended school?

- People study harder (4)
- Different resources in classrooms and improved facilities (5)
- Duration of school every week (7)
- Subjects and classes "lay a better foundation for a good life." (7) 

- Teachers have become better (10)
- Less fights at school (10)
- More pressure on students, however, because of this, more people are getting into universities (8)
- Age when starts learning: Past: Gr. 1: 7 years old... Now: Pre K: 3 years old (9)
- Education now a much higher priority (9)

Information From Local Contacts: 

How Schools have Changed:

- The main difference between now and the Cultural Revolution is that people study harder today (4)

- Major changes: Improved Facilities, and Technology used in classrooms (5)

- Main difference was the duration of school per week: past... 6 days. now... 5 days (7)

- Schools today are much better than past schools because the subjects and classes "lay better foundations for a good life" (7)

- Teachers have become better over the years (10)
 
- Less Fights at school (10)
 
- So much more pressure nowadays compared to when she attended school, however, many more people get into university because of it (8)

- Too many changes: (all)

          - Past: Started school in Gr. 1 (7 years old), however now, people start learning in Pre K (3 years old) (9)

          - Past: Country was starving, so always hungry when studying, however, now, people are well fed and can concentrate much harder and for longer times (9)
          - Past: People had to care for elders, so education not as high as a priority.  (9)
 
- Not as much money is being spent to go to school as in the past. (13) 
 
- Past: 1 of each types of school (13)(11)
 
 

Classes Taken:

- Classes: Science, Art, Maths, Music, Literature, English, Computers, Sports, Chinese (4) (5)(7) 

- Memorized Mao's Red Book (4)

- Learned about Islam, Baizuhua, Putonghua, Arabic. (7)

- Biology, Physics, Music, Politics, English, Chinese Literature (yuwen ke), PE, Art (8)(10)(11)(13)

- Maths, Chinese Literature. No English (at war with USA)(9)

 

Affected Life
 

- was 7 years old at start of gr. 1 (4)

- Since took up main profession based on favorite subject (4)

-Tests count for everything... they determine whether you go to university or not, or what job you get, etc. (8)

- School affected life... if studied harder, he would not have ended up in Xizhou Town. (7)

- Because he studied too little, he advanced more slowly in the army. Took 20 years to get somewhere anyone else could have been in just 5 years. (9)

 

-PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEES: 

- Prev. Job: electricity and water utility man. (7)

- Finished Gr. 6, then went directly to the military (9)

-  Dropped school in grade 5 (7)

- Current Job: Administrator of Xizhou Town's Second Middle School (5)

- Current Job: Antique Dealer (4)

- Full education: After Gr. 9, went to school in Dali (10)

- Started school in 1991 (10)

- dropped out of school in grade 6 (4)

- Graduated from Gr. 9, then did not continue schooling (13)

- Walked 3 km every day to get to school (13)

 
School Day Length
 
- Open 5 days a week (7.2 hrs a day) (5)(3)
 
went to school 3 days in 1 week (4)
 
- Started school in 1950 (7)
 
- School open 6 days a week (7)

- started school in 1966 (4)

Other School Facts:

- School completely sponsored by the government (5)

- Xizhou's Second Middle School has been open for over 100 years (5)

- Xizhou Second Middle School has undergone several renovations and has been rebuilt several times (5)

- Students doing everything the teacher tells them to do, without them asking questions to elaborate. (6)

- Lots of note taking.  (6)

 

Class Sizes and Arrangement: 

- had 32 other classmates (4)(3)

- Class size: 40-50 students (9)

- Taller people sat at back of the classroom (9)

- Has about 1200 students between grades 7-9 (as it is a middle school) (5)

- Classroom arranged like the average classroom would be: Desks lined up facing front (6)

- 42 students in class (6)(3)

- Equipment: (6)

    -Blackboard

    - Projector,

    - Desks,

    -  Chairs,

    -  Pens,

    - Pencils,

    -  White Out

    - Speaker system

    - 1/2 a meter tall stack of notebooks, textbooks, other books

 

Information From 3-to-5's:

Mrs Yang

- Subjects: Sciences, Maths, Music, Literature, English, Art, Computers, Sports, Chinese (3)

- 13 primary schools, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school in Xizhou. (3)

- School runs 5 days a week (3)

- School day starts at 7:50 am, and goes until 11 am. There is a 2 hour long lunchbreak, followed by school starting up again at 1:00, and then the school day finishes at 4:00 pm (3)

- about 31-47 students in each class (3)(4)(6)

 

Bibliography:

1) http://www.iun.edu/~hisdcl/g387/cr.htm  (retrieved mon. april 22, 2013) 

2) http://chineseculture.about.com/od/thechineselanguage/a/Introduction-To-Education-In-China.htm (retreived april 23, 2013)

3) Mrs. Yang: teacher at elementary school (retrieved tues. april 23, 2013)

4) Mr. Zhang: antique dealer closest to YZR(retrieved thu. may 2, 2013)

5) Mr. He: administrator at Xizhou Town's Second Middle School (retrieved mon. may 6, 2013)

6) Classroom Experience (retrieved mon. may 6, 2013)

7) Mr. Ma: service learning partner (retrieved mon. may 6, 2013)

8) Xiao Tang (retrieved tues. may 7, 2013)

9)Mr. Duan: previous soldier (retrieved tues. may 7, 2013

10) Ms. Jiang: one of the people working at The Old Town Snacks (retrieved tues. may 7, 2013)

11) Mr. Zhao: younger security guard here at YZR (retrieved wed. may 8, 2013) 

12) http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/cultural_revolution.htm (retrieved wed. may 8, 2013)

13) Mr. Yang: golden flower restaurant (retrieved wed. may 8, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Hey Aidan,

Hey Aidan,
This is Sabrina from the Alpha Pilot Group :) I think the information you've gathered from your inquiry project right now is very interesting! I really liked how you compared the then and now school experience. I'm really interested in one of your questions which is the languages kids in Xizhou have to learn back then and now. I've just got a few questions, do you know when they stopped learning Baizuhua as a second language? Do the teachers who came from Xizhou know how to speak Baizuhua?
Anyways, good luck with your inquiry project and the last week in Xizhou!
Sabrina

Hi. My name is Aidan and I am currently 14 years old. I was born in Toronto, Canada, but lived in Singapore, New Jersey, and Shanghai. While I was in Xizhou, I researched how the local education system has changed over the course of the last 63 years. Since the community had a really helpful air, I felt that Xizhou and it's people had a lot to offer for my project. I am now back home in Shanghai, and an alumni of Microcampus. This experience has taught me a lot. Click on any of the links below to see what I did in Yunnan.