Rote Memorization Undermines Analytical & Creative Thinking

Source: The Marketplace, Jun 2011

Shaun Rein is the managing director of China Market Research, a market intelligence firm based in Shanghai. He says after studying for tests for most of their lives, Chinese graduates are programmed to memorize correct answers instead of performing the more complex task of working out a solution themselves. Rein’s firm recruits analysts from China’s top universities. He’s found they’re very good at researching data.

REIN: But they can’t take it to the next level. And when they try to develop a strategy, or synthesize the information, they tend to just copy something that they saw being done elsewhere in the market, so they say, “Oh that company did this, let’s do the exact same thing.” Rather than saying, “This is what the trends are, this is what the competition has done, this is where we think you need to be in order to really grow well in China.”

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