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Advanced placement courses let children 'fly higher'

(People's Daily Online)

07:55, January 23, 2013

(Photo/ People's Daily)

On Jan. 17, Peking University announced to cooperate with some middle schools to pilot "China Advanced Placement Courses" as elective courses for senior middle school students with spare capacity. Such an experiment is indeed necessary.

The original intention to have provided middle school students with advanced placement courses is to give full play to the potential of those students with spare studying capacity and dilute the examination-oriented color of secondary education.

At present, it is a more and more serious phenomenon that trainings are substituting for education in the final stage of high school education. In some schools, the criterion of excellence is that the students should be able to respond to the question without hesitation, regardless if the answer is correct. Such approach is not education. It is training mice to form a conditioned reflex. As a result, after entering college, many students do not know what they are interested in, do not know what they are suitable for, and do not have their independent opinions.

As proven by foreign experience, advanced placement courses can well be used to solve the problem of decoupling between secondary education and university education. In the era of globalization, more and more students choose to go abroad for higher quality education. Such trend will continue unless China reforms its examination-oriented education.

The advanced placement courses opened up in middle schools get beyond the purpose of examination and will hopefully stimulate students' interest in a discipline of their choosing. The students can experience and understand university courses in advance based on their personal interests and fully demonstrate their academic achievement in a certain respect.

Our education should allow capable children to take off earlier and fly higher. It should take the initiative to respond to the children's development aspirations. Advanced placement courses will effectively dilute the current situation of discipline teaching in secondary schools where "examination questions are all."

Read the Chinese version: "让会飞的孩子先飞起来". Source: People's Daily, Author: Zhao Ena

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