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June 5, 2018

Chinese schools are notorious for their rote learning and endless tests and exams. But the Chinese government wants to change that – at least, the authorities want to introduce more creativity into the classrooms. That’s no easy undertaking, says MERICS Visiting Academic Fellow Didi Kirsten Tatlow, who for many years reported from China for the New York Times. China’s notion of creativity differs from that in the West. Creativity is mainly seen as an instrument for innovation. But for children to become truly creative adults, Tatlow argues, they need time to play and the freedom to think their own way. Yet such an approach is difficult in a country with a strong authoritarian spirit imbedded in both the Communist Party and Chinese culture. Listen to Did Kirsten Tatlow in the latest MERICS Experts podcast.