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China's science education is outdated, experts say

By Cai Wenjun (Shanghai Daily)

16:11, September 14, 2012

SCIENCE education in Chinese schools is not systematic and is not in keeping with the advance of science. Teachers only stick to textbooks and outdated theories, experts said at a forum held in Shanghai today.

Education experts and officials suggest the creation of a new major for science education and introducing education lottery like in some Western countries to sponsor science education in schools.

"When American high school students are discussing the latest models of airplanes, satellites and submarines, China's smartest students are buried in homework and examination papers," said Ni Minjing, director of Shanghai Education Commission's basic education department and a physical teacher himself.

He said the Chinese textbooks are outdated and science teachers are not knowledgeable about new inventions and theories.

"Besides coaching students for Math Olympics, which is above ordinary level, we should teach students the working mechanism of digital camera, light-emitting diode (LED) lamp, and overhead projector, which are around our daily life," he said.

"Students also have few chances to do scientific experiments and exercise independent thinking," Ni added.

He said Chinese teachers just explain science through language and lab experiments are used testify the theories in the textbook. "In western countries, students are encouraged to use different methods and try something new to find something not mentioned in the book," he said.

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