Micro schools aim to make a major impact

Updated 2017-05-18 09:30:30 China Daily
Students play with a frisbee at the Curionesty School in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Students play with a frisbee at the Curionesty School in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Many well-off parents are now sending their children to non-State establishments that foster creativity.

When Zhang Xiaodai was an A-grade student at a junior high school in Chengdu, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, she found her studies dull. She wondered why her PE teacher was often sick but her math teacher was not, which meant almost every PE class was replaced by math.

"School was no fun at all. My life was crammed with endless memorization, drills and tests," the 14-year-old student said.

The only relief came in the form of weekend and vacation fun programs run by Chi Xiao, an independent education professional. At one egg-themed summer camp, Zhang visited chicken coops, made pancakes and wrote poems about eggs.

Zhang loved this method of learning so much that she became the first student at the Curionesty School, which Chi opened last year. "The students and teachers are like friends," she said.

In just six months, nine students enrolled at the single-classroom school, half of them from cities around China.

Learning through play

Chi recalled that as a college student he sympathized with middle school students who were burdened with endless homework and tests.

He was not a good student by traditional standards; he spent his time in high school writing poetry, talking about love and playing video games.

"People are biased against playing. But children learn about the world by playing. Through playing video games, I learned to respond quickly and think logically," said Chi, a critic of standardized test-oriented education.

His own educational philosophy - that study should be fun and meaningful - is given full reign in his "micro school". Curionesty has no fixed teaching philosophy or curriculum, because every teacher has a specialty and they see themselves as facilitators, not lecturers.

"We aim to cultivate students, ages 12 to 18, to become lifelong learners, not experts on tests," Chi said.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58August 17 2017 09:52:55

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16August 17 2017 09:52:55

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18August 17 2017 09:52:55

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords