Tag Archives: america

Chinese Mathematics Stereotypes?… Story by Alex Chow

‘’Chinese students are geniuses in mathematics”—Is it a stereotype?

If there are Chinese students in your school, people will perceive they are geniuses in mathematics. This is the most trivial stereotype about Chinese, but does it hold any truth?

Here are the statistics: according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which is a standardized test among the globe, when it comes to mathematics Chinese students are always in the top of the academic pile. There are up to 30 percent of students in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan that reached the highest level in math performance.

However, American students are in the bottom, as 25 percent of American students did not reach the PISA baseline for “level 2” in math proficiency. Comparatively only about 10 percent of students in countries such as Canada, Korea, Shanghai, and Singapore, failed to reach that benchmark. Also, there are only two percent of students in America that achieved the top performance.

Mapping IQ... The supposed average IQ of different countries is listed, with China's slightly above the US's. Photo By: Our World in Data.
Mapping IQ… The supposed average IQ of different countries is listed, with China’s slightly above the US’s. Photo By: Our World in Data.

First off, many Chinese have higher intelligence quotient (IQ) than their American counterparts. This is backed by the research of Richard Lynn, a British Professor of Psychology, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish Professor of Political Science, who conducted IQ studies in more than 80 countries. Hong Kong’s citizens have the highest intelligence quotient among the world, at an average of 108, while the average in America is 98. IQ is another possible reason how the current stereotype on Chinese math skills came to be. However, there are known faults in this test, and while it can sometimes accurately gauge proficiency it is not definitive—acquired cultivation also plays a vital role in mathematics.

As you may know, China has a much higher education standard than America. The width and depth of the syllabus of mathematics in China is superior to America. In China, mathematics is a compulsory subject, students have mathematics class nearly every school day. Chinese students have longer time to learn and practice mathematics than American.’’ Practice makes perfect.’’ It may prove that Chinese is not genius, but are hard-workers.

Additionally, the competitive Chinese society boosts the academic results of students. In China, there is a famous saying ,” Knowledge can offer you a new leaf.’’ Chinese people believe that studying in a good college can push them into an upper social class. As a result, there are huge competition for colleges.

Rigorous Testing... National tests in China create a lot more competition than in the US. Photo By: ICEC.
Rigorous Testing… National tests in China create a lot more competition than in the US. Photo By: ICEC.

For example, there are only 18% of students in Hong Kong have a chance to study in colleges. China has the greatest Gini’s coefficient, education is the ladder for people getting rid of poverty. Thus, Chinese students study very hard. On the other hand, there are far less competition in America. There is not a vast gap between blue and white collar workers. Even if students cannot study in colleges, they could still have decent income. Hence, American students have smaller motivation to strike for excellence in academic.

Last , the mindset about studying. The Chinese have a growth mindset while America has a fixed mindset. Growth mindset is all about diligence—in general, Chinese students believe excellence can only be achieved by hard work instead of talent. If they aren’t doing well, they’ll work harder, and they’ll be successful. However, American students tend to believe in talent, if they don’t get a good result at the beginning, usually they will not try to put more effort to improve it as they think themselves are not good at it.

To conclude, Chinese students outperform American students in mathematics is not because they are geniuses, it is because of the work ethic behind the excellence.

 

Trump Feuds with the NFL… Story by Isaac Solly

From the weekend of September 23th, Trump has reignited a debate on flag etiquette and free speech. It began at a rally in Alabama, where he was campaigning for incumbent senator Luther Strange in a runoff to fill the seat left vacant by Att. Gen. Jeff Sessions (a race which Strange lost). Though he made some controversial comments, the most memorable was where he referenced players who had kneeled during the anthem, calling them out with explicit language and urging coaches to fire them.

Alabama Rally… Trump reignited the debate in an Alabama rally, attacking kneeling players with explicit language. Photo By: CNN.
Alabama Rally… Trump reignited the debate in an Alabama rally, attacking kneeling players with explicit language. Photo By: CNN.

In response, many coaches and owners chose to either respond via Twitter or a public statement, though Trump had also tweeted out on his private account similar messages. There were also protests on the field—coaches and owners largely stayed with the players during the anthem as a sign of unity, and large portions of players kneeled or showed other signs of defiance.

This debate was sparked last year in September when Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem to protest social inequality. His advocates praised the silent protest, while others argued that the flag should be respected. There is flag etiquette in the U.S., however, people frequently break it and it is not enforced.

Free speech has been an issue of late, with some organizations trying to shut down controversial speakers on both sides, including conflicts at Berkley. Trump’s remarks may be ironic because of this, as he has promoted the free speech rights of alt-right marches in Charlottesville and other towns, but asked for NFL heads to fire the dissenting players—a call which has been heftily rejected by the NFL commissioners.

Kneeling Teams… Some players of the New England Patriots protest Trump’s remarks and kneel during the anthem. Photo By: Jim Rogash
Kneeling Teams… Some players of the New England Patriots protest Trump’s remarks and kneel during the anthem. Photo By: Jim Rogash.

Though most of the ire has been drawn at the NFL, other sport agencies were in the news at a similar time. Just after the rally, Trump had withdrawn the customary invitation to visit the white house to the winning NBA team—in this case the Golden State Warriors. This was, according to Trumps tweet (Twitter was also the platform he used to withdraw the invitation), because Stephen Curry was having doubts about going. This referenced Curry’s vocal dislike of Trump, and afterwards NBA players such as LeBron James lined up in his support. Conversely, Nascar owners said they would not tolerate protests during the anthem, a policy much more in line with Trumps wishes.

 

 

Americas Return to Nostalgia… Story By: Alistair King

Why does America look to the past? Could it be because of how people perceive today’s world and want to go back to when times were simpler? America has taken a large turn towards the past when it comes to styles, games, and movies. This is evident by the styles of our clothes, our slang, games, and reboots.

 

A different type of jeanie... Even Miley is embracing the denim. Photo By: stealherstyle.net
A different type of jeanie… Even Miley is embracing the denim. Photo By: stealherstyle.net

The 80’s were a time when fashion statements were gaudy and the slang was ridiculous. Many of the trends from that century and the next are still “totally awesome”. For example, the word “like.” What started out in California as a valley girls thing has spread and is still around today. Another great example is denim jackets. While not necessarily popular here in Sandpoint, many places around the country have been embracing the denim and bringing back the airbrushed and patched jackets. Head forward a single decade later and you will see a very prominent theme. This, of course, is plaid. The thing everyone loves to wear on dress down days. There’s one other thing making its way from the 90’s back to us…

 

Let’s talk about Pokémon Go. A trend that nearly everyone from your little sibling to your grandparents was participating in. In an unexpected explosion, Pokémon Go became the most downloaded app seemingly overnight. Why was this? Many people who played the original game of red, blue or even yellow picked up the game again and started socializing with other people. They would then get their friends to play and this would create a huge vacuum effect of people playing together and attracting more people to the game.

Gotta fetch them all... Pokemon go has had a huge impact on the mobile market. Photo By Nintendo
Gotta fetch them all… Pokemon go has had a huge impact on the mobile market. Photo By Nintendo

While this trend was only momentary it still caused a huge bubble of nostalgia. Nintendo made millions in micro transactions and gained a lot of popularity. Many people were able to find some like-minded friends simply by going out and playing Pokémon Go. Who doesn’t love a good reboot?

 

Many things recently have been getting reboots. Movies, games, possibly books. Movie reboots have always been a thing with recent re-releases of Godzilla, Fantastic 4, and Terminator Genisys. Let’s also not forget the upcoming reboot of MacGyver and Lethal Weapon. One of the first reboots was, in fact, Godzilla. First put out in 1954 it got its reboot in 1984, and again in 1998. One of the giants of the reboot industry is Superheros. Ever since 1998 we haven’t been able to go a single year without getting a major reboot of a superhero movie many times more. This is, of course, expected because when we don’t want to face the reality of today’s world we look to superheroes to come and get us out of dull drudgery.

 

So why is it that we look towards the past to find new entertainment? Is it because we want a simpler time, or was the ideas back then just way more interesting? Find out next time on this installment of nostalgia.