Drama and Theatre Education

The Problems of Our Education

Education has remained a big problem for all ages. Even in many western countries, education is sometimes criticised as being too utilitarian and inharmonious with demands of the progressing talents of society. In China, education problems are deeply rooted and it is hard to explore these problems further.

Influential British arts educator Sir Ken Robinson said that their education system cultivates people in the same way as we exploit the earth — with the utilitarian purpose. When it comes to today’s utilitarian society, such education is likely to help kids seek financially satisfying jobs in the future, but does not tap into existing personal values, recognise and pursue beauty or discuss about and develop insights into moral and ethical matters. As ‘subjects’ of utilitarian education, students are therefore denied the best things life has to offer.

Despite thirty years of educational reform in China, teachers still focus on imparting pragmatic knowledge which may allow the students to eventually earn a living. School education is college-oriented; the humanities are all but ignored and even art education itself tends to be empty, utilitarian, blind and vain.

In our result-oriented education system, the constant pursuit of test scores turns the art of teaching into something rigid and mechanical. In order to make the effects of teaching easily assessable, either in knowledge-based disciplines or in the humanities, students’ individual understanding and digestion of the world will be ignored and replaced by a single standardised answer, all while they are systematically ranked and defined as either good or bad.

In classrooms, students are often treated as ignorant, while teachers consider themselves owners and authorities of knowledge, transmitting information and imposing knowledge on students without dialogue. However, if students’ personal experiences, feelings and thoughts are unable to merge into learning, they are only passively involved in class. In fact, students should be the real subjects in teaching activities and teachers should act as the facilitators of interpretation. An education system in which students are not subjects and teachers only work as executors of education measures and deliverers of teaching contents not only runs counter to the real purpose of education, but also goes against the changeable relationship between teachers and students, teaching and learning.

Sir Ken Robinson believed that diversity of human abilities should be redefined and uncertain futures embraces innovation more. With high expectations of their kids, parents send them to school, hoping they will learn skills and enjoy a bright future. Actually, kids who used to be different from each other are undergoing a uniform transformation in the education assembly line. Their most valuable uniqueness, talent, imagination and creativity are being erased little by little rather than being developed further.

Our discussions about democracy are mainly conducted from a political perspective; however, far more than a political topic, democracy serves as the foundation of human civilisation and permeates every aspect of life. Education should also be democratic. Only by taking democratic measures in education can we truly carry out humanistic education and make cultivation of aesthetics, creativity and imagination possible; only in this way can children really learn to respect others and work in a team. In this regard, the fundamental contradiction between system and quality education becomes a big flaw underlying in our education.


英國的肯·羅賓遜(Sir Ken Robinson)爵士是藝術教育領域影響頗深的一位學者,他說到:我們的教育體系培養我們的方式正如我們開採地球的方式,以功利為目的。在一個功利社會的背景之下,此種教育或許可以有利於孩子在未來謀取一份職業,但缺乏對個人價值的挖掘和激發,缺乏對於美的認識和追求,缺乏對道德、倫理的討論和感悟,學生作為受教育的主體“人”,其生命中最具靈魂的部分實際上是被蒙蔽的。






<<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 >>>