How Different are the Elementary School Students in China and the United States?

There’s a common belief here in the U.S. that Chinese students have an advantage over American students. But a quick look at some key statistics raises an important question: How big of an advantage is it?

Elementary school students in China attend school for about nine hours a day, on average, starting around 7.30 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Two of the nine hours are set aside for lunch break, leaving seven hours devoted to learning.

These students then spend another three hours a day on homework, with mathematics taking a huge chunk of the time, on average. Playtime is rare in most schools, and children who finish their homework on time are left with little time to play with friends (Zha 34).

Most of these children have good grades, with a 70% transition rate to the next level of classes, especially in areas near and in cities. Each year, more than six million students enroll in courses with China’s 2,000+ colleges and universities (Zha 62).

By comparison, elementary school students in the United States spend an average of seven and a half hours in school each day (with a 50-minute lunch break)[LW1] . Students typically start classes around 8.00 a.m. and finish by 3.30 p.m., then spend an average of one hour on homework (Ravitch 53). U.S. elementary students are also allotted more playtime,[LW2]  with an average of 30 minutes allocated to recess on any particular school day. [LW3]  What this means is that the typical elementary school student in China spends an average of three additional hours per day devoted to studying as compared to his U.S. counterpart.”

From the statistics cited above, it is clear that Chinese students spend more time in school and take home more homework as compared to their United States counterparts (Ravitch 87). Less time in the classroom, however, does not mean there is less learning taking place, as each education system is tailored to fit the needs of its respective students, and the average number of hours in a school term set to cover the entire curriculum. So while the average elementary school student in China spends notably more time in school than his or her U.S. counterpart, the student has only a slightly higher chance (3%) of transitioning successfully to the next level of education.



Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education 2016. New York: Basic Books, 2016.

Zha, Quiang. Education in China: Educational history, Models and Initiatives. Massachusets: Berkshire Publishing Group, 2013.

Education is Great!

The British High Commission in Malaysia has begun it's Education is GREAT campaign to promote UK Education to the Malaysian and ASEAN markets. In November they will be promoting the BETT Asia conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Take a moment to watch this brief video. Whether you're a British school or you follow different curriculums, I'm sure you'll agree with the concept that Education is Great. 

We are all looking for best practices as we equip and raise up the next generation. I think the British High Commission may be on to something significant.



10 Important Things to Add to Your School’s Website

Edited from an original post on - June 30, 2016

Do you have a few extra minutes? Here are 10 important things you can update on your school website this weekend:

  1. Don’t bother with a generic contact form on your Contact page. On the other hand, do include a link to your online inquiry form. Many schools duplicate their efforts by providing both, but why give prospective families an option not to officially inquire? Keep your funnel streamlined.
  2. Check the small stuff. You’d be surprised how many schools neglect to include basic information on their homepages. How many grade levels do you have? Are you a faith-based or denominational school? An independent school? Be sure prospective families can get an instant snapshot of who you are.
  3. Update your staff directory. And add staff photos while you’re at it! Prospective parents love to put faces with names.
  4. Put a map on your Contact page. Learn how to embed a Google Map here.
  5. Check your school calendar. Are you still displaying last year’s events? Start adding events for the 2016-2017 school year as soon as possible so prospective families know what to expect.
  6. Is everything else current? Do you still have pages referencing school policies from two or three years ago? When is the last time you updated the photos on your site?
  7. Create an FAQ or “day in the life” page. Prospective families that may not be able to visit for a campus tour right away will love seeing or reading about the typical day at your school. A short campus tour video is a great addition to this page.
  8. Add an email subscription form to your Alumni page. Development is firmly entrenched in multi-channel campaigns now and you must keep comprehensive, segmented lists to be sure you’re targeting the right people. If you want to get even fancier, add a text message opt-in box to the form and look into mobile fundraising options for 2016-2017.
  9. Is your website mobile-friendly enough? Google’s handy test will let you know what you’re doing right and what areas need improvement.
  10. Quick! Do you have an online inquiry button visible on your homepage? Add one immediately!