”’Under the proposed guidelines [of China’s Ministry of Education], which are still under discussion, ’primary schools may no longer set any form of written homework for students in grades one to six,’ said CCTV, ’Instead, schools should work with parents to organize extracurricular activities and after-school assignments, including museum tours and library study.’”
China’s trade-off of traditional homework for extracurricular activities wouldn’t work in Finland. It’s just not rational. I've found that Finns value revisions only if they’re sensible. If Chinese students are suffering from a heavy workload (as recognized by China's Ministry of Education), de-emphasizing homework in order to emphasize extracurricular activities wouldn’t solve this problem. Under the proposed guidelines, it still looks like Chinese students will have lots of work to do after school. Since I started blogging in August, I’ve written about the Finnish emphasis on pacing oneself. If the Chinese Ministry of Education recommended dropping or reducing the homework load (so that students could rest more and exercise more choice after-school), I would be comfortable with the idea that China is imitating Finland, but this doesn't seem to be the case.
Towards the end of “China’s Education Plan… From Finland’s Playbook”, the article itself cast doubt on the possibility that China was copying Finland.
"I don't think China is trying emulate Finland," said Yong Zhao, a professor of education at the University of Oregon and a widely cited expert on China education issues, in an email response. "It's trying to emulate the old U.S. (before all the testing, standardization put in place over the last decade or so). China has been trying to change its education since way before Finland became famous for its PISA performance in 2000."