Dr. Graham Sweeney, Superintendent of Boles Independent School District, toured China last fall and offers insights on the difference between education in Texas and China. Sweeney’s travel took him to the city of Qu Fu in the Province of Shandong, birthplace of Confucius. Confucianism plays an integral part in the Chinese school system. One student told the Texas visitor, “respect of teachers, elders, fellow students and nation are some of the values taught by the Philosopher Confucius”.
Sweeney observed Chinese schools are very regimented. Students wear uniforms and have strict study goals. Some of the students have visited Boles, Commerce and Greenville as a result of robotics. One difference between the schools in Texas and China is that factory and community developers build the school buildings and along with parents take part in the operation of the schools. This is not unlike an independent school district in Texas. Course work is similar to that in the United States with emphasis on technology arts, history, philosophy and archery. Texas schools have forgotten the ancient arts, dance, history and respect for elders and teachers.
Doctor Sweeney said, “the tour was all too short. Yes, we saw the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and modern cities. The best part was interaction with students from another culture”.