Jiangsu hands more independence to secondary students
East China’s Jiangsu province adopts a new educational pattern to give students more independence to choose electives and move between different classrooms for different classes. [Photo/sohu.com]
Jiangsu province in East China has once again led the way in education by giving its students more freedom to shape their own education.
The province has decided to give more independence to students, especially those studying at high school, by encouraging them to move to different classrooms for different subjects and by allowing them to choose some of the elective classes they study.
Students will from now on be able to take a broad variety of classes without specializing in particular subjects.
This is in line with the province’s efforts to allow students to unleash their own potential, as they can choose classes that interest them most rather than being forced to study various mandatory subjects.
For example, students majoring in science will no longer take physics as their major subject. They will instead be able to choose other subjects including chemistry, biology and geography.
“This is good for the students, as well as being beneficial to balancing schools’ educational resources,” said one experienced teacher.
The teacher added that the former status of physics as a compulsory subject had made numerous students afraid of studying chemistry, a comparatively difficult course. That led to many teachers having fewer or even no classes to teach.
Students and parents have broadly supported the reform, while some experts have voiced their concern about schools’ ability to implement the changes.
The elective model is inspired by secondary education in the US, but experts have pointed out that this approach requires an integrated educational system featuring course arrangement, faculty training and credit evaluation.
“Students, teachers and classes should all be chosen carefully,” said one critic.
Schools in the province appear to have listened to this cautionary advice. Only a few schools in Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu, have adopted the new model for this year’s autumn semester, such as the Hexi Campus of Jinlin High School and the Xincheng and Shuren campuses of High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University.