Are Chinese Students Actually the World’s Best Critical Thinkers?

Are Chinese Students Actually the World’s Best Critical Thinkers?
Aug 01, 2016 By

“Chinese primary and secondary schools are often derided as grueling, test-driven institutions that churn out students who can recite basic facts but have little capacity for deep reasoning,” said The New York Times in an article published this Sunday. However, a new study by Stanford University shows that Chinese students may be the world’s best critical thinkers.

Stanford researchers tested 2,700 students from 11 universities in Mainland China. Researchers found that Chinese freshman in computer science and engineering programs had higher critical thinking skills than their peers in Russia and the United States who are two or three years older. However, as Chinese students continue in university, Chinese students begin to lose their edge. After two years of university, Chinese students’ critical thinking abilities do not improve while their foreign counterparts make huge progress.

The New York Times reported that the common narrative is that the Chinese educational system kills creativity, while the United States system fosters it. But the study shows that the issues are mainly in Chinese higher education. Chinese students often lose motivation during university.

Researchers concluded that the poor teaching standards in Chinese universities are the single most important factor that hinders students’ progress. Chinese universities often emphasize professors’ research over improving their teaching.


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Keywords: China critical thinking Chinese universities New York Times


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Different folks, different strokes. I beg to differ with some comments. From my personal and professional experience, Chinese students do not lack creativity per se. What they lack is that spark that nurtures critical thinking. Sadly, this is lacking in most schools/university curriculum. Furthermore, Having taught,lived and worked in 5 different countries spread across 3 continents, compared with their peers in western countries and if given the right atmosphere, Chinese students can actually perform a lot better when it comes to creativity. Tell me and I may forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand. – Chinese proverb

Aug 07, 2016 14:01 Report Abuse



This article could have easily been edited to: Are Chinese Students Actually the World’s Best Critical Thinkers? NO.

Aug 03, 2016 13:19 Report Abuse



One study is just an interest, not complete fact. Once the study shows some reliability from alternative studies then there may be some general truth behind this. The science community never believes in absolutes, only in possiblities. With multiple types of intelligences for humans, which one are they focusing at and how is this being tested?

Aug 03, 2016 07:44 Report Abuse



LOL no. What's next? "Chinese people found to be the most creative in the entire world"? Hahaha

Aug 03, 2016 00:19 Report Abuse



The "study" is not going to be published until next year and the author states that the findings are only "preliminary." Also this: "Eric X. Li, a venture capitalist in Shanghai who helped finance the Stanford study..."

Aug 02, 2016 10:02 Report Abuse



musta given em an assessment on cheating

Aug 02, 2016 06:40 Report Abuse



All colleges all over the world push research over teaching, the teaching assistants trying to get their masters do the teaching while the head egghead is writing his publications and perhaps teaching a couple of advance classes. This comparison is a false narrative. perhaps Stanford needs some Chinese tuition money to keep the eggheads paid well so we need to boost their ego and kiss their ass.

Aug 02, 2016 03:51 Report Abuse



What a bunch of crap! Chinese students [in China] are discouraged to think for themselves, yet even critically.This article is absolute BS.

Aug 02, 2016 02:56 Report Abuse



Yahoo-gle article title search: Study Finds Chinese Students Excel in Critical... 1 day ago ... Study Finds Chinese Students Excel in Critical Thinking. ... producing students with some... eChina-tities article is 'translated' from NYT.

Aug 01, 2016 21:36 Report Abuse



I teach freshmen, they are absolutely empty headed. This article is complete BS.

Aug 01, 2016 21:07 Report Abuse



Absolutely not. This website is so shit.

Aug 01, 2016 19:14 Report Abuse




Aug 01, 2016 18:07 Report Abuse