Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chinese Principals visit Hoboken High School

On Thursday, April 9, 2009, a group of twenty Chinese principals and other educational leaders toured Hoboken High School. They were part of the EduChina group, affiliated with Columbia University's Teachers College. After the tour, they met in the school library for a question and answer session. They were interested in all aspects of our educational system, including certification standards and hiring, the length of the school day, the IB program, the system of finance and governance, curriculum and testing. Pictured below are about half of the visiting group and (front, center, L-R) Ms. Kate Dominique (IB Coordinator), Dr. Lorraine Cella (HHS Principal) and Mr. Howard McKenzie (Math & Science Supervisor).

A recent study about High Schools in China may reveal why this delegation is visiting high schools in the United States. Specifically, Chinese high school students have the longest study hours compared to their peers in Japan, the United States and South Korea. The survey, released by the China Youth and Children Research Center, was jointly conducted with institutions in the four countries last year. It included responses from nearly 4,000 students in senior high schools and vocational high schools in the four countries. More than three-fourths of the Chinese students surveyed said they spent more than eight hours at school daily, and more than half said they studied at least two hours each day at home. By contrast, only 25 percent of their peers in the United States, 20 percent in Japan, and 15 percent in Korea said they studied more than two hours daily after school. Sun Yunxiao, Director of the China Youth and Children Research Center, says high school education in China is quite imbalanced. "Chinese students do not have enough extracurricular activities such physical exercise. They also spend the least amount of time communicating with classmates. It seems that students spend much time on study, but their all-round development has been overlooked." The survey also indicates that Chinese students spend the least amount of time talking to their parents. It also indicates that some students said their fathers did not spend enough time with them. "My father is quite busy. He has very little time to communicate with me."

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