Is the discussion about whether Chinese schools foster "creativity" and "critical thinking" confined to foreigners, or to Chinese writing in English?
Apparently not. Today's People's Daily has a big story on the results of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, just completed in Reno. (The Chinese team, from People's Daily.)
The article notes that mainland China had a large number of entries and won many minor prizes. But it had no real successes -- and the question was why.
The three overall grand-prize winners were all young women from American high schools, shown here. For individual best-in-category prizes -- 18 total according to People's Daily, 19 total according to Intel -- all but one went to American students. That one exception was from Taiwan.
What's the problem? The article discussed some obvious barriers -- language, resources -- but quoted a number of Chinese authorities saying that the real problem lay in the way Chinese schools taught people to think for themselves -- or, didn't. Too much emphasis on rote, detail, and following procedures; too little encouragement to reflect about the process of discovery. An analysis very similar to what we originally heard from a foreigner. I do not pretend to be able to follow arguments in the Chinese press with any nuance. I offer this (tipped from a contact at Intel, then labored-through by me) as evidence of a parallel, and obviously authorized, Chinese-language discussion, and as a resource for any Chinese reader who might have missed it.