The TES is reporting that last nights final episode of the BBC’s “…Chinese School” programme showed that students in the Chinese stream outperformed their peers in end-of-trial tests.
…In the three-part BBC2 documentary series, Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School, 50 Year 9 pupils at Bohunt School in Hampshire – TES school of the year, 2014 – were taught for four weeks as though they were at school in China. Lessons began at 7am and finished at 7pm, and included copious front-of-class dictation and rote-based learning.
The English 14-year-olds did not respond to this well. By episode two, those who did not spend the lessons singing or drinking cups of tea were simply ignoring their teachers altogether.
But in episode three, screened tonight, the 50 Chinese-school pupils were pitted against the rest of their year in science and maths tests. And, despite the quiet confidence of Bohunt’s head and the shame-filled agonising of the Chinese teachers, the Chinese-school pupils won out.
In maths, the Chinese-school pupils scored an average of 67.7 per cent, compared with the average of 54.8 per cent scored by the rest of Year 9. In science, the Chinese-school average was 58.3 per cent, compared with 50 per cent for the rest of the year…
Whilst this was a TV show rather than a rigorous experiment, these results are quite surprising, especially in view of how little many of the students seemed to engage with the Chinese approach.
What do you make of this outcome and the series in general?
Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…
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