GuyInTaiwan wrote:That's where they miss the boat. Finland doesn't do well on international tests because it tries to do well on tests. Finland does well on international tests precisely because it doesn't give a shit about international tests. It cares about educating people. Good test performance follows from that.
I know that. You know that. The Finnish education experts I met a few months ago knew that. But it was clear, listening to the Taiwanese at the roundtable, that their understanding was limited by their agenda. The guy who actually stated the problem clearly is an old friend teaching in a good university, who has a lot to say (unofficially) about the several education committees he is on.
Anyway, we're on the topic of 'Chinese Logic,' not having yet another pointless rant about the local education system. Here's another one:
It was an adult class in which they had to read and understand a text about the role of sleep in memory. The article quoted various research and experiments demonstrating that sleep-deprived people remember and learn less than people who get a good night's sleep. In the discussion afterwards, the students were able to explain to me that staying awake late at night studying was not as effective as going to bed, and waking up refreshed ahead of the next day of learning.
So... how many hours of sleep do you get? Typically five hours a night, they reply. And I ask if they're going to change anything in order to get better grades.
You can guess the answer, I'm sure. It had a lot to do with "too much work" and "no time," and included my favourite phrase: in Taiwan...... !
My personal theory is that the collective nature of Taiwanese society prevents people from accepting (at an emotional level) anything that is not in agreement with the accepted wisdom. It doesn't matter what the rational basis for anything may be. If believing it means being different from everyone else, then nobody is going to believe it.
It's the difference between adaptive learning and integrative learning. Everything you tell someone has to be integrated into what they already know, ie not contradict anything. If they have to adapt their beliefs to accomodate the new information then it's not going to happen. It's a natural tendency everywhere, often remarked on in the "Google makes us stupid" camp, but amplified by the hive mentality in Taiwan.