A lot of individuals go on contrasting "Eastern" and "Western" philosophy. I do not get it. What is so incompatible about these? I think both ways more than half the time.
I've also spoken to people who taught english in China for years, but never understood why none of their students ever raised their hand to answer a question. They always had to call on a specific student.
I think this situation doesn't happen in primary schools. In primary schools, students like raising their hands to answer questions. When they grow older, the knowledge that they learn becomes harder and harder, which ends up that more capable students raise their hands every time while the less capable students don't. As time goes by, the more capable students are thought to be puffed up with pride, which is a taboo in China. In Confucian tradition, a person of noble character should be humble and not to show off, while apparently those students who raised their hands often like to show off. They might be persona non grata just because others think they like to show off. In high schools, students are so used to keep their mouth shut in class and won't anwer any questions unless teachers call a specific student to answer questions.
this is a bit off the topic, well maybe not, japanese philosophy of free will let's call it. i couldn't help but be reminded of a teacher i had who went to japan for a while and once asked a student what happened if they didn't wear their school uniform, like detention or something, to which the girl answered 'but we DO wear our uniforms', 'no, but what if you didn't, what would happen to you?', 'but we DO wear our uniform', 'no you don't understand! what if, oh i give up!' this poor girl was so confused as to why she was being questioned, she thought she was getting in trouble.