Teenagers’ study attitude in the UK and in China
Based on the interview among six 15-year-old teenagers from different secondary schools of local and other European countries in Brighton, huge differences on their study attitude are found between China and the UK.
First, we are talking about what the UK teenagers think about their study. Before starting school, they can choose their favourite subjects according to their interest. During learning, if they encounter any trouble, have any complaint about the teacher or find it inappropriate for them, they can just appeal to change their subjects. As for examinations, it depends on which subject they choose, if they’re pursuing an academic subject, they will be tested a little bit more than other subjects. Furthermore, in European countries, parents won’t force their children to do anything except for giving their specific suggestions. Hens, teenagers could make their own plans about the future study as their willing. Surprisingly, time they spend at school seems shorter—-two-day six hours and three-day five hours. However, as what Chinese students do, they spend nearly three hours doing their homework individually. Amazingly, when come to their hobbies, most girls prefer aggressive sports just like boys do. Of all the above mentioned, you could guess they get less pressure from their study or their parents because they have multiple choices after secondary school—they can either go to work immediately or keep going on their study.
Analysis of questionnaire from Chinese students
Recently, we’ve made a questionnaire to 36 teenagers in China, whose levels are high, medium and relatively low, for the purpose of trying to explore teenagers’ attitude to study. From the questionnaire, we can find that teenagers’ attitude to study is positive. Most of them like their schools. Meanwhile, all of them have their favourite subjects, such as English, history, geography, maths, arts, politics and so on as well as their favourite teachers. Then when talking about the subjects they don’t like, they just mentioned that because the lessons were boring or the subjects were too difficult, which we think is not a big problem and can be improved by teachers. In China, the majority of students sustain much pressure from study. The pressure comes from parents’ and their own high expectation, different examinations, and too much homework. However, nearly almost of them have clear plans for their future. They want to be engineers, doctors, soldiers, policemen, teachers, announcers, artists, interpreters and et. As long as they keeping on working hard and never give up, we’re sure they’ll have a bright future.
According to the interview, we found some factors which attribute to teenagers’ different study attitudes between China and the UK.
We list the main factors in the following parts:
1. Different parents’ attitude
Most teenagers are optional in their school work due to their parents’ attitude is moderately favourable and positive towards schooling and education of their children. British parents normally respect their kids’ choices instead of forcing them to take part in after-school classes. However, in China, the majority of the parents always push their kids so hard even at a very young age. Chinese parents care more about scores of every subject and compare their children with others. Furthermore, parents in China tend to choose all kinds of classes for kids despite whether they like it or not.
2. Different school management
In the UK, schools normally start at nine and end at one or two in the afternoon. Hence, students only spend five or six hours at school no matter whether they finish their school work or not. In other words, students spend little time with their teachers and they have to finish their homework consciously without amount of teachers’ involvement. In contrast, schools in China are under great pressure of competition. Chinese schools have to establish strict timetable from 7:00 in the morning to 8:00 or 9:00 in the evening. And different types of examinations are always held per week or per month.
According to the main two reasons above, teenagers in China feel much more stressed than in the UK. Chinese teens have to set different learning goals individually whereas British teenagers have no study goals because of less pressure. For this reason, it’s clear for Chinese teenagers to make future plans and accomplish them step by step, however, teenagers in the UK are unwilling to make future plans. They think it’s unnecessary to plan further study in the relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. What they want to do is just enjoy their school life.