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教育不是“成功学”- Education isn't 'Success studies' print version
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This articles responds to the topic of high-education studies versus practical useful knowledge. The term "成功学" (success studies) is becoming more and more widespread referring to knowledge that teach people how to succeed in life, in form of easy-reading books (self-help books), special courses and more.


在社会心理上,"读书无用"往往等同于上大学无用。 一个人的教育经历与社会生活,并不局限在读书有用无用里。但我们可以就此思考一些日常性问题--教育的价值、人的价值。




The day before yesterday, this newspaper reported that two university students who had started a business after graduation, selling cakes in a stall in front of the university gate, made an annual income of 100,000 yuan. This has led to discussions on the web. In simple words, one sentence - "Studying is useless".

In the psychology of our society, 'studying is useless' is often seen as equivalent to 'attending university is useless'. A person's education experience and social life are by no means confined to whether studies are useful or not. Still, we can reflect here on some everyday issues - the value of education and the value of a person.

The value of education, in a certain level, is the ideal it represents. However, people need to eat, need to stand firm within the society. The distance between 'ideal' and 'reality' is reflected in the attitude people have towards education. When we say that knowledge nurtures a person and promotes a person's development, we cannot say whether it is useful or useless and only once we graduate from university and find a good job we can make such assessments.

In the last few years, we have got used to hear arguments concerning 'success studies'. Success books sold by bookstores, success tips on the internet, training of success studies - All provide a formwork for success. Some 'success personages' say that 'my success can be duplicated', this is actually a formwork designed for the people, but this doesn't mean this can produce genuine success.

Whether studying is useful or useless is a kind of 'success studies'. This represents a certain judgment, judging education and judging the value system of knowledge. This conception is more deeply expressed in some aspects, such as having abilities but lacking basic ethics, only wanting to succeed, cheating is allowed. These situations exist in large numbers in reality. Education isn't a class of 'success studies'. Every person is one of a kind, is a rich and diverse. Success, failure, useful, useless - These conducts depend on the value standards of a person. Their one-sidedness should be rethought.

Original article written by Xiao Qing, published in Changjiang Daily 长江日报

[1] 读书 dúshū - 'Read books', usually referring to 'study', studies in school or university

[2] "读书无用" dúshū wúyòng - 'Studies are useless', here said as response to the fact that high education doesn't guarantee that one finds a good job and succeeds in life

[3] 知识化育人 zhīshi huà yù rén - 'Knowledge nurtures a person'

[4] "成功学" chénggōng xué - 'Success studies'; practical knowledge which teach people how to succeed in different life challenges

[5] 秘诀 mìjué - Secret of success, tips

[6] 成功学培训 chénggōng xué péixùn - Success training studies; courses which provide practical skills and success tips

[7] 价值观念 jiàzhí guānniàn - Value system

[8] 道德 dàodé - Ethics, morals

[9] 片面性 piànmiàn xìng - One-sidedness

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