Survey: Chinese students stressed most about school

10:00, April 09, 2010      

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Chinese students have the strongest study sense and face the heaviest schoolwork stress out of four countries studied in a survey released by the China Youth and Children Research Center in conjunction with the Japan Youth Research Institute, the South Korea Youth Development Institute and Idea Resource Systems on April 8.

The study targeted high school students in four countries, including China, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Nearly 1,900 high school students from Beijing, Chongqing, Hubei's Jingzhou, Guangdong's Foshan, Liaoning's Wafangdian and Gansu's Lintao were surveyed.

Chinese students face the heaviest schoolwork stress

The survey shows that Chinese and American parents pay more attention to their children's schoolwork compared to Japanese and South Korean parents. Nearly 66 percent of the surveyed fathers of Chinese students and over 64 percent of the surveyed fathers of American students pay close attention to their children's schoolwork, exceeding the figures for their Japanese and South Korean counterparts.

Nearly 87 percent of Chinese students said that they are under heavy schoolwork pressure from the expectations of their parents and themselves as well as from competition with their schoolmates. Over 58 percent of South Korean students are under employment pressure, exceeding the figures for Chinese. Japanese and American students rank first.

About 70 percent of Chinese students suffer negative feelings and vexation caused by frequent exams and heavy schoolwork, 20 percent higher than the figures for their South Korean and American counterparts. Nearly 50 percent of Chinese students suffer from insomnia, which is lower than the figure for American students but higher than the figures for Japanese and South Korean students.

The class size in China's high schools is the largest

The class size in China's senior high schools is the largest. More than 60 percent of the classes in senior high schools have over 50 students, but the classes in Japan and South Korea have less than 50 students. The situation also varies largely from city to city in China. The classes in the investigated schools in Beijing all have less than 50 students, but classes in the schools outside of Beijing all have an average of more than 50 students. Over 7 percent of classes have more than 70 students in these cities.

In China, Japan and South Korea, seats are all arranged in the way of "rice planting," but a more flexible way is adopted by schools in the United States. "Rice planting" means all students are seated facing the teacher, forming a line both horizontally and vertically. Furthermore, the seat arrangement in Chinese schools is unfair. For example, seats in about one-fourth of classes have been arranged according to the exam results.

Students in the four countries all lack intrinsic goals.

Students in the four countries generally agree that they study to achieve extrinsic goals such as "to prepare for jobs" and "to acquire basic social knowledge." Nearly 55 percent of Chinese students agree that they study to prepare for jobs, and over 57 percent agree that they study to acquire basic social knowledge.

However, a smaller percentage of students in other countries think that way. According to the survey, extrinsic goals play a significantly more important role in learning than intrinsic goals such as "to get along well with others," "to develop their strong points," and "to be different from others."

By People's Daily Online


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