At first glance, Liu Bingxia’s lesson looks like any regular Chinese class: The 47-year-old stands in front of a blackboard, reading out the characters she has neatly written in white chalk. “Siji — driver,” she says, then calls on students to repeat the word back to her. But Liu is no ordinary teacher. Each of her online lessons is attended by thousands of people from all … Continue reading In China, Millions of Women Never Learned to Read. Can TikTok Help?
When Yu moved to the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou to start her first teaching job in 2021, she arrived full of hope and idealism. The fresh graduate was determined to educate the next generation and treat every teenager under her care as an individual. That didn’t last long. Within weeks, Yu found herself struggling to cope. She had 80 students to teach, a rigid, … Continue reading In 2022, China’s Students Are Struggling to Cope. So Are Their Teachers.
SHANGHAI — A crowd of curious adults watched as Chen Jing unzipped the pink cicatrix across the belly of a plush doll made to look like a girl. As she opened an abdominal compartment, a tuft of brown hair poked through. Chen carefully removed the “newborn” from the mother doll, its umbilical cord still attached. “This is how you can explain to your children where … Continue reading Can Anatomical Dolls Help Solve China’s Sex Ed Problem?
SHANDONG, East China — “What are the differences between men’s and women’s bodies?” asks Jiang Lingling. The 11 young children huddled around her look thoughtful for a moment. “Girls’ chests are bigger than boys’,” says one boy. “But Captain America’s chest is also big,” counters another. At the back of the room, the children’s parents start to giggle. But Jiang isn’t fazed. She’s used to … Continue reading China’s Newest Cram School Craze: Sex Ed Camps
SHANDONG, East China — Huang Wenjuan never thought there was anything wrong with her approach to parenting until her teenage daughter stormed out of their house after a big fight. Huang and her husband searched all over the city that snowy February night, and eventually found her in the stairwell of their apartment building. “She could see us, and said she just wanted us to … Continue reading Parenting Crisis Sends China’s Moms and Dads Back to School