Introduction: The Stressed and Lonely Chinese Teens

Part of the Palgrave Studies on Chinese Education in a Global Perspective book series (CEGP)


In 2010 and 2013, Shanghai students twice topped the rankings for reading, math, and science in the OECD’s (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). The news stunned many American leaders such as Chester E. Finn Jr., who served in President Ronald Reagan’s Department of Education, and even brought back memories of Sputnik, the Soviet satellite launched in 1957, and possibly the same feelings of vulnerability and inferiority (Dillon, 2010). In response, American journalists, educators, and academics debated the meaning of these PISA scores and searched frantically for factors that may explain the huge success of Chinese (really Shanghai) education (Gumbel, 2010; Rich, 2013; Tucker, 2013). They attributed Chinese students’ success to factors such as greater emphasis on teacher training, more time spent on studying instead of extracurricular activities, and a culture that takes education very seriously.


Chinese Student Chinese Adolescent Academic Stress Chinese Education Chinese School 
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© Xu Zhao 2015

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  • Xu Zhao

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