The principal of the 150-student Henan Child Prodigy School (河南神童学校), Zhang Xuexin (张学新) says he has devised a revolutionary method of training the right brain of children to make them child prodigies. His students can not only memorise their textbooks and ancient poetry, they can actually recite them backwards. Throughout the school and around classrooms, one sees banners such as “China’s first school that teaches education of the total brain” (中国第一所全脑教育学校), “Today’s child prodigy, tomorrow’s talent” (今日东方神童，明日世纪天才) and “I am a child prodigy, I am a memory expert” (我是神童，我是记忆天才).
According to the principal,
After these students have had their right brain trained, whenever they watch television, they can actually both watch the programme and simultaneously “write” the programme on their right brain. While their eyes are on the television, their focus is on the right brain. When you switch off the television, their right brain is like a tape recorder that is fully under control, and it can play back to you everything in order. They will be able to remember all details such as the dialogue, facial features, expressions, body language and be able to act all of these out. This is photographic memory.
Nevertheless, some of his unorthodox training methods such as getting children to absorb the sun’s energy by staring into the sun and visualising other people’s hearts, bones and veins, etc., have raised the eyebrows of educationists in the province who have lambasted him for his unscientific approach.
Despite some of the kids interviewed on this clip testifying otherwise, Shanghaiist thinks that all the children featured here look MISERABLE. To begin with, we don’t really buy into the idea that the ability to recite any text forwards and backwards makes a kid a “child prodigy”. Unfortunately, like so many other schools with suspicious methodologies around in China, we think this school will be around for a long time to come.
Zhejiang Online: 河南民办“神童学校”：沽名钓誉还是教育创新