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Meihan Zeng, a student from China, compares life in the American classroom and school to that in China. She exchanged with Bishop George Ahr High School.

The American Classroom from a Chinese Perspective

By Meihan Zeng

When it comes to primary and secondary education in the United States, less homework, easy courses, less examinations, students' freedom, and the teachers work easy comes to our mind. I studied in the United States, lived with an American family, joined an American middle school class, and what I felt is another scene.

In the Bishop George Ahr School classroom, I found it to be student-centered, emphasized learning through practicing; teachers did not teach too much, most of the time, they let students practice. Therefore, the students also have quite little homework, and the categories were very complex, such as: reading, writing, doing exercises, experiments, observations, webpage, checking information, making exhibit pictures, skills training, interviews, investigations, and research report writing. The students' homework was not simple repetition of class. It was very interesting, very creative, close to real life. In the United States, the examinations the students took were the same as Chinese students. They include the quizzes, exams, tests, section stages, preliminary and final exam college entrance examinations.

There isn’t fixed classrooms for middle school students in the United States. They all go to the classrooms of their elective courses. They have five minutes to run to the right classroom between classes. Despite the hurry, they never pushed or made loud noises, they always walked towards the stairs, corridors or the right hand side. Regardless of getting in or out of the door, the people ahead held the doors for the person next.

It made a beautiful landscape and broadened my horizon. Indeed, American students have much freedom in class, which Chinese students don’t have.



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