How do other countries create "smarter" kids? In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they've never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy.What is it like to be a child in the world's new education superpowers?
In a global quest to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embedded in these countries for one year. Kim, 15, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, 18, exchanges a high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, 17, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland.
Through these young informants, Ripley meets battle-scarred reformers, sleep-deprived zombie students, and a teacher who earns $4 million a year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many "smart" kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.
A journalistic tour de force, The Smartest Kids in the World is a book about building resilience in a new world-as told by the young Americans who have the most at stake.
©2013 Amanda Ripley (P)2013 Tantor
"A compelling, instructive account regarding education in America, where the arguments have become 'so nasty, provincial, and redundant that they no longer lead anywhere worth going.'" (Kirkus)
A must read for parents of young children. This book cuts through the education and learning hype.
The book examines the pros and cons of four educational systems Korea, Finland, Poland and the United States and comes up with some interesting observations and recommendations.
This seems to be a very thoughtful and thorough analysis of how a few well-performing countries are educating their children successfully and capturing a few lessons of where the US has it wrong.
The author goes into detail on a small number of countries relying heavily on a few students studying abroad. While interesting, this is not a must read.
The Performance is docked for taking on a really odd and insulting Asian accent
As a teacher, I learned a lot from this book. It opened my eyes to ways that education policies can be improved here in the United States. We rock, but we don't get everything right.
I really enjoyed following the students featured through their study abroad journeys.
As a teacher, I find it difficult to sit down and read and not feel like I should be doing something else related to school. The reading was pleasant. It allowed me to clearly understand and enjoy the book while multitasking. I believe I blasted through the book in less than two days!
I would recommend this book for teacher leaders, parents, serious students ... anyone interested in a global perspective on education.
I will be listening to it again. It already gave me thoughts on the way my kid need to be guided in to the system. I been doing so many things with her but ultimate goal let het guide herself at one point! This book makes you think and reevaluate things.
Like compare 3 children in this book. Like 3 different countries. Love statistics!!!!
I wish, I do need to work thou :-)
The book is definitely interesting and entertaining, but it does not necessarily provide any how-to answers. Educational, but the content in the end boils down to "spending does not equal quality education". There are some hints as to what could help improve the education system, but the book is mostly about busting some myths and exposing some problems, rather than telling what needs to be done. I still strongly recommend it. It's a must read, just don't expect it to become your guide to reforming the education system.
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