In the article “U.K. Adopts Chinese Textbooks to Enhance Math Skills…” author Dr. Chris Baumann states that the “Confucian-driven” pedagogy of China, Hong Kong, Japan, etc. is a driving force behind the region’s recent dominance in international academic performance ratings. Further in the article, Dr. Baumann writes that the more disciplined and high performance based approach and culture of East Asian school systems is shown to have a much more significant impact on student performance than typical investments in education. With some research saying that the ratio of significance is 9:1 in favor of student discipline (Baumann, 1). Along with the discipline and high standards, a strong respect for teachers and education is instilled in East Asian students at a young age. Which keeps in line with the general Confucian thought that people should respect and serve their parents and elders with as much vigor as possible.
After examining the Analects of Confucius myself, I can see how the East Asian educational systems have had such success in sticking with their traditional pedagogical philosophies. All throughout the first book of the Analects, Confucius writes passages with philosophical questioning like 1.1 where he asks: “To study and at due times practice what one has studied, is this not a pleasure?” Or, in more direct passages like 1.7, Confucius writes that those who treat people worthily and exhaust themselves when serving others are actually very well learned. Essentially, in many of the different passages of the Analects, there are many principles stated that could be put towards a prosperous educational system and academic career. In my own studies this semester, I plan to pay close attention to the analect 2.15. This analect states “If you study but don’t reflect, you’ll be lost. If you reflect but don’t study, you’ll be in trouble!” I believe this is a philosophy that all of us students can live by!

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  • Confucius, and Robert Eno. The Analects of Confucius. Analects_of_Confucius_ (Eno-2015).pdf. PDF file.
  • Baumann, Chris. “East Asia Emerges as Role Model for Education: U.K. Adopts Chinese Textbooks to Enhance Math Skills” The Korea Times. 16 August, 2017