Archive for January, 2011

#1 – Brutal versus humane way of creating prodigies

January 29, 2011 20 comments

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Read the above link and you would understand what it takes to create math geniuses and music wonder child. Being shamed and high extremely high expectations such as to be the number 1 student in every subject, is just what a kid has to go through daily, being brought up the ‘Chinese way’.

The article above is an excerpt from Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger. The writer aims to highlight the ‘Chinese way’ of nurturing a child. She brought across her points persuasively by appealing to the ethos, logos and pathos.

The persuasive appeal of writer’s character (ethos) helps bring the point across credibly. She began her story with a ‘tried and tested’ statement, showcasing her experience(s).

They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it.

Also, the writer appealed to reason or use of arguments (logos). The writer used statistics in her article, to show the differences in how the Western and Chinese parents perceive education to be. This helps readers understand why Chinese parents stresses on academic excellence.

In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that “stressing academic success is not good for children… Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be “the best” students, that “academic achievement reflects successful parenting…

Most importantly, she appealed to the emotions (pathos) by including examples from her experience and comparing it to a war-zone. She shared the process of teaching her daughter (Lulu) to play a piano piece.

I rolled up my sleeves and went back to Lulu. I used every weapon and tactic I could think of. We worked right through dinner into the night, and I wouldn’t let Lulu get up, not for water, not even to go to the bathroom….Then, out of the blue, Lulu did it. Her hands suddenly came together…Then she played it more confidently and faster…

By including that, the writer is able to make the readers put themselves in the situation and bring out the emotions she want them to feel – the tribulations one have to go through before achieving success.

For me, I felt that Amy Chua was able to make me comprehend the ‘Chinese way’ of parenting better. Although some concepts like shaming your child is a little too extreme for me, I believe in ‘practice makes perfect’, which is the main factor in producing math geniuses and music wonder child.

Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it.

Not only is that practical for the Chinese American, but also in the education system in Singapore. Ultimately, it boils down to practice and attitude. Only through working hard and the can do attitude can one truly enjoy the success of achieving your goals.

What about you? Was Amy Chua able to turn you into a believer of the ‘Chinese way’?


Hello world!

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

This blog is created for use of a communication module, at a university level. Here, concepts and theories learned are applied on media texts, on any issues that are raised. Comments on your views are greatly appreciated! 🙂

Categories: communication, education