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China Tries Innovative Teaching Method: Teaching from Behind

Posted: 09/4/2014 12:07 pm

back of class zhejiang yiwu yitu elementary schoolChina’s educational system is sometimes disparaged as being “backwards”, but now that might be true in the most literal sense. A school in Zhejiang hopes to improve learning outcomes by moving the teacher to the back of the class from the front.

The idea is being tried at the Yiting Elementary School in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, according to the Qiangjiang Evening Report. Under the model, teachers stand up and lecture the class from behind, speaking to the backs of students’ heads.

back of class zhejiang yiwu yitu elementary school

The school thinks this method will both help students learn and teachers teach. As explained in the report, teachers can now proceed with a lesson uninterrupted, and yet maintain interactivity with students by getting up from their desks and attending to each individual student. Teachers can keep an eye on the class at all times, and don’t need to spend as much time policing them.

On the other hand, students can better focus on the lesson because of fewer distractions, such as the teacher walking around in front of them. The school also believes students will be more obedient, because they won’t know when the teacher is looking at them.

back of class zhejiang yiwu yitu elementary school

Finally, the reform has done away with one of the most traditional features of a Chinese classroom: the teaching podium. The school said the podium overly formalizes instruction, describing it as giving “pressure” to teachers.

These changes are meant to make students more accountable. They need to pay attention to lessons or risk falling behind without an easy way to catch up by following the teacher’s cues. Both students and parents are largely supportive of the new initiative:

Our children are more vigorous than most, and are scared of the teacher. This way, when they go to class they will be happy and not have any misgivings.

back of class zhejiang yiwu yitu elementary school

Still, this doesn’t do away with perhaps the biggest problem of the Chinese educational system: rote learning.

Photos: People’s Daily


Attacker Invades Hubei Elementary School Killing 3 On 1st Day of Class [UPDATED]

Posted: 09/1/2014 3:42 pm

hubei school stabbings [This post contains graphic images that may be upsetting to some readers.]

It is an ominous start to the new school year.

A man charged into an elementary school in Hubei Province on the first day of classes today and attacked students and faculty with a knife, killing three children and leaving six others injured, including a teacher, reports CCTV.

The assailant used a knife to attack a total of nine people. In addition to the three fatalities, six people have been injured. Five of the injured are students, and one is a teacher named Liu Hongqing.

Two of the students are in serious condition. The victims have been moved to hospital for medical treatment.

The attack happened at 10:40 this morning at the Yanxi County East Elementary School. Following the attacks, the suspect, identified as Chen, committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the school building.

A parent named Li Zhiguo said her ten year-old daughter was attending her fifth grade class when she was attacked. Li’s daughter sat in the desk in the second last row next to the window. The assailant didn’t even enter the class to attack his victims, but used his knife to slash through the window, injuring Li’s daughter’s face.

hubei school stabbingshubei school stabbingshubei school stabbings

UPDATED 4:51pm September 1: According to a preliminary investigation, the discovered why Chen used a knife to kills and injure so many schoolchildren is because his own daughter was not allowed to enroll for class today because she had not completed her assignments from summer holiday, reports the Foshan Daily.

Chen is now said to have specifically come to the fifth grade class of the school to attack its students and teacher with a fruit knife.

Photos: Weibo (2), CCTV


Elementary School Attacker in Hubei Shot Dead by Police [UPDATE]

Posted: 06/10/2014 3:22 pm

hubei school kidnapping A person who had taken a hostage at a Hubei elementary school has been shot dead by police, reports China Daily.

According to the Chutian Metropolis Report, a person forcibly entered the campus of the No. 3 elementary school in Haokou County, City of Qianjiang, Hubei Province this morning and took a teacher hostage.

The suspect was reportedly shot four times. The teacher is said to have not sustained any injuries. A search of the suspect revealed he or she was in possession of knives, gasoline, and explosive devices.

CCTV reports the attacker may have left explosives behind in the school.

Students and staff have been evacuated as police continue their search of the campus.

UPDATE 7:01pm May 6: The suspect who attempted to take a classroom of elementary school students hostage at the No. 3 elementary school has been identified as 57 year-old Zhang X.

Zhang was having a dispute with the Xuqiao Village committee member Mr Xu over the compensation from land requisition and new residence provided in this exchange. Mr Xu’s grandson attends this elementary school and is a member of the class that was taken hostage, reports Yangcheng Evening Report.

Zhang had reportedly come to the classroom of 50 schoolchildren carrying an explosive device that he intended to set off. The class teacher and a deputy secretary are said to have volunteered to act as hostages in exchange for the students’ freedom.

When negotiations broke down, Zhang had supposedly poured gasoline on the hostage and was shot dead by police, reports CCTV.

Zhang is a retired soldier who is described as having been sent to a prison camp.

hubei school kidnappinghubei school kidnappinghubei school kidnapping

Photos: Southern Metropolis Daily via Weibo



7 primary school kids from Sichuan have been lured to work in a Dongguan factory

Posted: 12/6/2012 1:22 pm

A photo of one of the girls which was uploaded as part of the initial Sina Weibo post.

Seven female primary school students have been enticed into working in a Dongguan toy factory after being driven in a van from their native Liangshan in Sichuan Province. Authorities in both cities are now conducting a search for the girls, according to Southern Metropolis Daily.

Interestingly, it was a post on Sina Weibo that spurred authorities in the remote part of Sichuan into action.

After a December 4 post on Sina Weibo claimed the seven girls had been taken away in a van on Sunday, authorities in Zhaojue County, where the girls went to school, confirmed that they were missing.The post has been forwarded almost 9,000 times.

A teacher from the school, who refused to be named, said the girls ranged in age from 11 to 14 and none of them were particularly good students.

The Liangshan Public Security Bureau began conducting a search yesterday. After one of the girls called home, authorities in Zhaojue were able to verify that the girls were in Dongguan, confirming some of what the initial microblog post had claimed.

A further investigation was able to verify that the girls are working illegally in a toy factory in the city but are safe.

Authorities are confident they will find the girls and bring them home, but their future is highly unlikely to be rosy.

The county is dirt poor and agriculture is the only source of income. A farmer in the county can expect to earn around 923 yuan a year. The girls’ school is the most prestigious in the area but that says very little as all but a tiny few students are expected to start working at 15 or 16 years old.

In 2008, 76 students went missing from the county, the youngest of which was 7. Forty-two are known to have started working in factories.

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