Written by Cybel Castonguay Drouin


Daycares and childhood in China

            In every country, lots of things changes.  Politics, economics even society aren’t the same in different places of the world.  Also, traditions change in part because of the history of the country in question.  The way people treat each other and children are also different.  All of those factors are why daycares and kindergarten aren’t the same here and in China.  For this paper, I will only write about China because we all know how it is in our country.  The typical daily schedule, the studies, and the relationship between teachers and students will be touched upon. 

First of all, a typical day in kindergartens in China is long but there aren’t many hours of actual classes.  For example, a day in the Pai Hai Kindergarten in Pekin looks like this:

7:00 a.m.                     Get up.  Children dress themselves fold quilt.  Morning exercises, clean bedroom and classroom.  Wash up. 

8:00                             Breakfast

8:30 – 9:00                  Free time

9:00                             Classes: junior group, only one class

                                               Middle and older group, two classes

10:00                           Exercises, walk along the river.

11:45 – 12:30              Lunch

1:00 – 3:00                 Nap in the summer

1:00 – 2:30                 Nap in the winter

After nap                     Snack: fruit and a sweet

3:00                             Class for middle and senior groups.

                                    Stories, exercises, and practicing performances.

4:00 – 5:30                  Outdoors – Free play

6:00                             Supper – Wash up, a bath (summer)

7:00                             Television or lantern slides or outdoor for a walk.

8:00                             Bedtime in winter

9:00                             Bedtime in summer

(Source : Women and Childcare in China, Ruth Sidel)

    There are about two hours of classes, four hours and forty five minutes of free time, exercises, free play, and television watching, and about two hours of nap. 

    The pace of life, in general, is really slow and relaxing.  Chinese enjoy life much more then in other countries.  I find it great!  Plus, they are giving this tradition to their children.  For the kindergartens, I find it great that they can actually enjoy their childhood. 

    For the small amount of time in class, my opinion is that the students in China are more interested in learning and they are better behaved and maybe that makes it easier to do discipline a class.  As for the naps, my opinion is that because of the really warm weather and the slower pace of life, a nap is the best way to be prepared, be in good shape, for the second half of the day. 

    Second of all, the subjects studied differ for they have a different cultural background.  The source I looked at was dated 1972, and it introduced some periods to study Mao Tse Tung, at least in some schools, and why they should love the People’s Liberation Army.  In my opinion kindergartens kids maybe are too young to be exposed to political views.  At their age, they are what we could call little sponges, for they are assembling their opinions and if they hear something from someone else, they may make it as their own.

    Third of all, the relationship between the teacher and the students is quite unique.  The teachers work really hard and communicate a lot with their students.  Almost every morning they do some kind of mini show and they must all work together.  Plus, when they are doing a nap, the teachers join them and there is only one teacher on duty to supervise everything.  Also, the way I see it, a lot of schools keep their students for the whole week, even for nights.  So there is another sort of relationship that may take place there.  I guess they must establish a special connection, relationship together.   

     Finally, the pace of life is slow in China and it shows in their schooling too.  They take the time to live.  Also, small children don’t have the same subjects to study in their early years.  This has some advantages and disadvantages.  Plus students can establish a special relationship with the teachers.  So, if you compare the overall situation with education in Quebec / Canada, we can see a lot of differences.  Maybe we should take some of their customs, like taking a nap in the afternoon. J                

Work Cited