如果一个老外觉得中国的国际学校太贵

“贵/便宜”有它的主观性,也有客观性。‍‍‍‍‍

“贵”可能是因为相比于收入,相比于如果在美国接受同等质量的教育,或者相比于在中国可以有的公立学校的教育。‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍

标题里的老外叫 Heather Kaye,是一位在上海生活了16年的设计师,她的两个女儿一直到2022年都在上海接受教育。‍‍‍‍‍‍‍

Heather Kaye is an American fashion designer who lived for 16 years in China, where she and her husband raised two daughters.

教育的选择,特别是在我们的儒家社会里,在条件允许的情况下,都会是一个家庭的慎重考虑。‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍

作者最终让自己的孩子选择了上海的公立学校,一部分是因为在上海的国际学校太贵了,一部分也是因为想在公立学校里让孩子接触中国社会,有国际视野(这当然是从一个美国人的角度,对于我们来说有国际视野是走出去,融入和我们不同的社会)‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍

以下为文章节选,我们在看的时候当然没必要放大解读,这就是某一个美国家长有孩子在上海的某一所公立学校就读的体验,换一个美国家长,或者换一个学校可能都是不同的体验了。

但里面关于中国文化的部分,可以来学习下表达,了解如何介绍自己成长过程中的一些习惯;‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍

关于中美教育的部分,可以积累多一个视角,未来做相关决定的时候,或许会有帮助。‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍

作者因为工作在2006年来到上海,一呆就是16年。‍‍‍‍

My work in the fashion industry took my husband and me to Shanghai in 2006, where we spent the next 16 years and started a family.

作者在怀孕期间,在上海感觉到的文化差异,比如大家会看着你的肚子告诉你怀的是男孩还是女孩,以及餐厅不会给孕妇提供冷水,以及中国人对于热水的执念。

But I had to accept that my growing belly had become community property, subject to unsolicited rubbing and sidewalk commentary (“It’s a boy. I can tell!”), and that restaurants would refuse to serve me cold beverages. Chinese people ascribe medicinal properties to simple hot water, rooted in hygiene concerns and the belief that it maintains a healthy balance in yin and yang. I dreaded the earful I would get each time I ordered an iced latte — though it was usually served with a warm smile.

2008年和2010年作者的两个女儿出生了,自然面对教育和择校的问题‍‍‍‍‍‍

In 2008 and 2010 we delivered two healthy daughters in Shanghai and faced the choice of all expatriate parents in China: between pricey international schools and enrollment in local schools, overseen by the government and with an immersion in Chinese culture and values.

权衡之下,作者选择了公立学校

We weighed the pros of the Chinese route (our girls would learn fluent Mandarin and, hopefully, a broadened worldview) and the cons (exposure to ...... and potential social isolation of being foreigners in a group of Chinese students). We took the plunge.

学校非常负责,孩子在学校和在家里的时间都被安排好了。做早操的那个表达可以特别注意下  performed calisthenics / ˌkæləsˈθɛnɪks/

Our stringent government co-parent quickly made its presence felt. The girls’ Chinese kindergarten lectured us on everything, including how many hours our daughters should sleep, what they should eat and their optimal weight. Each morning all of the students performed calisthenics in straight rows and raised China’s red flag while singing the national anthem. Classroom windows were usually kept open to increase air circulation and prevent contamination by airborne illnesses, even during winter, when the kids would attend class wearing their coats.

在这样的环境下,孩子倒是培养起来了更多的纪律性,学习也很主动。【可能老美的主动和我们定义的主动还是有不同】

Over time, the benefits kicked in. Constantly served up moral, history and culture lessons on pulling together for the sake of the Chinese nation, our girls came home discussing self-discipline, integrity and respect for elders. With school instilling a solid work ethic and a total drive for academic excellence, my husband and I didn’t need to push the girls to complete homework; the shame of letting their teachers and classmates down was enough to light their fires.

学校的压力很大,所以家里给了一个相对放松的环境来中和下

At the end of the day, our less demanding American family culture helped keep the balance.

孩子在上海的生活,作者也很放心。

... our daughters were riding the subway unsupervised in a city of around 26 million people from the age of 11. A constant but benign (and mostly unarmed) police presence kept order; streets and the green spaces around every corner were kept immaculate, and the sense of civic pride was palpable.

去年6月,因为疫情,作者一家回去了D.C.

... moved to Washington, D.C., last June.

当时D.C. 给的culture shock 感觉比当年去上海的时候都大。

In some ways, the culture shock coming home feels stronger than when we first arrived in China. ... For the first time, I’m a parent in America of two daughters navigating their middle and high school years. Resilient, open-minded and independent, they are thriving here, but it’s been an adjustment. 

文化与文化的不同,社会与社会的不同,不会是一个简单的答案,哪怕沉浸过,也只是感受了其中一个视角,大可不必去评价整个文化或社会。但希望保持接触,保持了解,避免简单化观点输出。

... my family’s experience in China taught us that immersion in a culture with different answers to everyday questions alters how one sees the world. Practices that used to seem clearly right or wrong took on complexity and dimension.

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