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Responsibility and Learning

时间:2007-6-12栏目:大学英语作文

ONE of the wonderful things about being a foreign educator in China, is that Chinese students are so eager to learn from you. They have been trained from an early age to be knowledge sponges, looking to soak up as much new information from their teachers as they can. Secondly, Confucian education demands a high degree of respect for teachers. The title "Lao Shi" is one of reverence in Chinese society, though teachers tend to be poorly paid. Even greater is the respect in China for foreign teachers or "foreign experts" as they are called. Despite the fact that most foreign experts in China have no previous expertise as teachers of English as a foreign language but are employed as such, the Chinese government welcomes their contribution by bestowing a respectful title upon them. Thus, Chinese students hold their foreign teachers especially in high regard, which is perhaps why so many people who come to China to teach end up staying here longer.

It would be hard to find this level of appreciation for teachers among American students. Young people in the U.S. have a somewhat different attitude toward educators; they are taught to question, not simply absorb, so they decide for themselves if a teacher is credible. American students may reject their teachers, confronting them and even publicly disagreeing with them as part of the learning process. American young people are less accepting of information at face value, preferring to evaluate for themselves as to whether or not what the teacher says is true or useful.

The status of the teacher in eastern and western education has a major impact on the way students take responsibility for their learning. Chinese students become heavily reliant on their teachers to give them the "right" information and can easily blame the teacher if they do not do well in the class by saying, "the teacher didn't teach me enough." American students tend to be more independent as learners, and teachers encourage them to do res

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