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Too early to say Chinese textbooks go viral overseas: expert

(People's Daily Online)    16:34, August 22, 2017

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Chinese education became a recent hit after New York Times' report on Britain turning to Chinese textbooks to improve math scores. However, experts said that it is still too early to say Chinese textbooks have entered into the western education system.

It is reported that 36 math textbooks of the Shanghai Century Publishing (Group) Co., Ltd will be introduced to Britain by HarperCollins UK, a British publisher. The books will be used in UK primary schools this September. The Guardian, a UK media, positively commented on the amazing Chinese teaching approach of math.

"All this time, Asians have been learning from the Western education system," said Yong Zhao, a professor of education at University of Kansas. "Suddenly, it's the reverse."

Like China's economy, its education is also influencing and changing the world, said Hu Xinhong, a Chinese middle school teacher. Chinese teaching deserves spreading and Chinese should have confidence.

However, some experts suggest looking at this phenomenon objectively.

It is still too early to say that teaching materials for Chinese primary and middle schools have entered into the UK education system in a large scale, just because Britain is importing teaching materials from China, said Xiong Bingqi, vice president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Beijing.

Chinese math textbooks going out shows advantages in domestic math teaching, but it doesn't mean Chinese textbooks are superior to western ones or math teaching in China doesn't need reform, said Chu Chaohui, a researcher of National Institute of Education Sciences.

In fact, introducing Chinese textbooks to the UK this time is a fruit of China-UK exchanges on education. Early in 2014, an education delegation from the UK and 61 math teachers and researchers from Shanghai exchanged visits, boosting further development of math teaching in the UK.

Chinese and western education has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best is to learn from each other's strong points and offset weaknesses, the middle school teacher Hu believes. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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