A study of Chinese and American children’s attitudes towards schooling.
This study examined the cross-cultural differences involved in Chinese and American students' attitudes towards education. Examined were students' daily experiences, wishes, aspirations, likes, and dislikes. Data were obtained through interviews with 396 Chinese and 720 American students from the 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades. Students attended 11 schools in Beijing and 20 schools in the Chicago metropolitan area. On the average, children of all grades in both cities said they liked school, math, and reading, and had high self-evaluations. Chinese children in all grades liked school in general more than their American counterparts did. American children were more positive than Chinese children about all abilities except for getting along with others. Chinese children reported being engaged in academic activities, clubs, art lessons, and chores after school more often than American children. A total of 81% to 90% of Chinese children thought about things related to schoolwork on their way to school; in comparison, 46% to 73% of American children did so. When asked about their wishes, more Chinese children mentioned education-related wishes than did American children. References, tables, and graphs are included. (RJC) Note: Portions of this paper were presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989). ERIC, ED305165