Middle Education in the Middle Kingdom: The Chinese Junior High School in Modern Taiwan

Middle Education in the Middle Kingdom: The Chinese Junior High School in Modern Taiwan

Middle Education in the Middle Kingdom: The Chinese Junior High School in Modern Taiwan

Middle Education in the Middle Kingdom: The Chinese Junior High School in Modern Taiwan

Synopsis

This in-depth study of the junior high school years (grades 7-9) in Taiwan, China, compares the Taiwan model with those found in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the urban areas of China. Of particular interest are such topics as curriculum, homework, teaching methods, textbooks, school ecology, teacher training, health and safety, parental influence on children, school spirit, peer pressure and mediations, and the use of "teaching-to-examination." Comparisons with the American model are coincidental. The author, who has taught in both Asia and the United States, does, however, make generalizations about the dysfunctional American school paradigm and the vigorous nature of academic life in Asia. Smith asserts that the Asian model for educational excellence cannot be transplanted to the United States. Our highly diverse society could not endure the demands of standardized examination at each juncture of education.

Excerpt

The title of this book understates its breadth of contribution. It meets a high standard for a case study approach to a topic of international importance.

Dr. Smith has presented the case of Junior High education in modern Taiwan in a thorough and clear manner. The reader is introduced to this aspect of the education system through comprehensive information as well as an entertaining sketch describing an imaginary student, Mei-li Chen, and her family.

An underlying value of this book is based on its contribution to the comparative discussion of public education in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Much of the literature and public understanding of this issue in the United States is based on a surface understanding of a complex topic. This book represents the type of substantive, field-based review that promises an improved basis for discussion and decision making.

Dr. Smith is to be commended for the thoroughness of his work, which introduces readers to the history of public education in . . .

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