This is an old article (Dec 2010) but it's highly relevant for anyone involved (as Iam) in the education of Chinese students at graduate and post graduate level.
According to the editorial, the survey confirmed what Chinese parents know, that their children rarely are challenged to use their imaginations to solve problems.
Undoubtedly, teaching students to think creatively is important. A July Newsweek Magazine article entitled "The Creativity Crisis," concluded that the "necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed." The Magazine cited a recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs which identified creativity as the No. 1 "leadership competency" of the future.
MF President Theodora Kalikow said the question Chinese educators most often asked her last month on a visit to Beijing was, "How do you teach creativity?". Without providing specifics, President Kalikow hinted that American educators could teach Chinese professors a great deal about the subject.
Other recent reports suggest that China has already begun to teach creativity. The "Newsweek Magazine" story featured an exchange between Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University and colleagues at Chinese universities.
When Plucker was asked to identify trends in American education, he described America's focus on standardized curriculum, rote memorization, and nationalized testing. The Chinese professors laughed. "They said, ‘You're racing toward our old model. But we're racing toward your model, as fast as we can.'"