Eastern and Western Education: What is the major difference?

Rudyard Kipling wrote: “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”. This is that despite world getting more and more homogenous, East and West are still different. And because of difference in history, political regimes, prevailing religions, and so on, those differences become clearly seen in Eastern and Western approaches to education.
  1. Teacher – centered vs. Student – centered
All those with Eastern education background will agree that their education system maintains a strict educational paradigm. Teaching and learning process stresses more on the inputs from the teacher. Students are not expected to speak up in classes, or respond to the questions that brought up by the teacher. Therefore, there seems no motivation for students to be active, which usually leads to a very unusually phenomenon among students: sleeping in class.
With student-centered education system in Western countries, on the other hand, students more actively participate in class, get involved in group discussions and express opinions, which are valued. In this approach, students also listen to other’s ideas, making them not only learn from the teachers, but from their peers as well.
  1. Creativity vs. Effort
Eastern education is all about effort and struggle, it means nothing is hard if you practice enough. Thus, students are usually taught to work hard, and are given enormous amounts of homework – that can be why Asian students normally become far more productive than their peers when they get into a more relaxed Western educational institutions.
Unlike Asian approach to teaching and learning, Western education systems emphasize the ideas of creativity. Inevitably speaking, the system being a system means that things need to be unified, but still, it often does its best to promote individual approaches to many different students.
  1. Conformity vs. Individualism
Eastern societies tend to be much more collectivistic, and it is collectivism breeding conformity – in order to become successful in a group, an individual has to conform to its principles, values, and opinions while avoiding criticism as well as saving face whenever possible. Some rules like: “no makeup or nail polish is allowed”, “shirts need to be tucked in”… are very common.
On the contrary, rugged individualism has always appeared to one of the most characteristic features of Western societies. Hence, it is natural that Western education reflects it. Western individuals are usually considered to be far more important than groups, meaning that students are much less afraid of vocalizing their opinions or making mistakes – these are natural steps towards learning and are perfect to their personality development.
  1. Memorizing vs. Understanding
The way students learn individually (not as a member of a class) also varies from East to West. In fact, the Asian education systems are mainly based on memorization as well as exam-oriented learning. Teachers usually have to rush through the textbooks in order to meet the deadline of every monthly examination. Thus, students are mostly expected to learn from textbook-based facts, memorize those knowledge to get the best scores rather than to understand comprehensively and analyze them. The lack of understanding all the facts often causes students forgetting after a short period of time, resulting in an inefficient teaching and learning system.
In comparison to it, the Western way is not taken so intensely and much more relaxed. This allows a better and deeper understanding of the topic that students are working on. The students are expected to spend time on class and more on group discussion in order to understand the topics properly, as well as know how to speak up logically, learn to share their personal views, accept other people’s opinion. Presentations are sometimes expected in requiring students to do their own research, develop their independence and skills of presenting, time control and eye contact.  This is the educational system of training students to be provided with the necessary skills in their further studies and future careers.
When all is said and done, we should know that the word “versus” here is just for decoration. Of course, each education has their own strengths and weaknesses. Those are not opposing views, but are different approaches only to one and the same thing.
Eastern and Western Education: What is the major difference? Eastern and Western Education: What is the major difference? Reviewed by BingNow on 11:56:00 PM Rating: 5

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