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[20 Sep 2017 | No Comment | 1,093]

This piece was published in the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet under the title There’s a new call for Americans to embrace Chinese-style education. That’s a huge mistake. on September 20 2017.
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Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Why American Students Need Chinese Schools?[1]” by Lenora Chu, author of the newly released book Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve. The message is familiar, along the same line as another WSJ article titled Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior several years ago.
I would …

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[9 Sep 2017 | No Comment | 1,197]

Had a great interview with the Deep-Play Research group led by my long time friend Dr. Punya Mishra, Associate Dean of Scholarship & Innovation and Professor in Leadership & Innovation at Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College, Arizona State University. Thanks to Carmen Richardson for the interview and turning some random thoughts into a great essay. It is published as part of the Rethinking Technology and Creativity series in Tech Trends.
Read the essay here: The Courage to be Creative: An Interview with Yong Zhao
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[6 Sep 2017 | One Comment | 1,048]

This article was published in the New Internationalist on August 31 2017.
Why is the West racing to copy Asia’s education system as fast as the East scrambles to reform it? Yong Zhao takes an unhealthy and deluded romanticization of education to task.
Across the world, Western governments are hard at work making their schools more Chinese. In 2016, the UK Schools Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, announced that over 8,000 primary schools would adopt Chinese-style teaching of mathematics, backed with $53 million in funding. Less than a year later, publisher HarperCollins announced …

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[17 Feb 2017 | 16 Comments | 26,147]

Published in Journal of Educational Change, Volume 18, Issue 1, February 2017, Pages 1-19.
Download Full Article in PDF (personal copy, please do not distribute).
This medicine can reduce fever, but it can cause a bleeding stomach. When you buy a medical product, you are given information about both its effects and side effects. But such practice does not exist in education.
“This program helps improve your students’ reading scores, but it may make them hate reading forever.” No such information is given to teachers or school principals.
“This practice can help your children …

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[7 Dec 2016 | 7 Comments | 8,811]

I was surprised by China’s 2015 PISA performance, particularly in reading. I was confident that even the expansion beyond Shanghai would not cause a significant decline based on my understanding of the Chinese education system. And Beijing, Jiangsu, and Guangdong are traditionally strong performers in China, and among the most developed provinces, although behind Shanghai.
While I don’t believe PISA scores mean anything beyond the ability to perform on PISA tests, I wanted to see if I needed to change my thinking. Perhaps Chinese students are not as good at taking …

Blog, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[5 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | 8,095]

The results of the Brexit referendum and U.S. presidential election will go down in history as the biggest surprises of 2016. The final results defied all predictions. The polls were wrong, as were the pundits. Though they predicted that the majority of Brits would vote to remain in the EU, more ended up voting to leave. Though they predicted a win for Clinton, Trump is the one moving into the White House this January. “From the US election to Brexit…the polls set voters and pundits up for a fall,” writes Siobhan …

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[30 Nov 2016 | 6 Comments | 8,545]

TIMSS[1] has become one of the two most influential international testing programs in the world today, the other being PISA. First introduced in 1995, TIMSS is conducted every four years to assess math and science learning in fourth and eighth grade. It has had significant impact on math and science education in the world over the last 20 years. Its impact on the U.S. education policies and practices over the last two decades cannot be overstated. According to the TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia:
In the late 1990s, when the results of the …

Blog, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[29 Nov 2016 | 9 Comments | 12,487]

TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) beat PISA by one week. It just released its 2015 results. Within hours of the release, Google News has already collected over 10,000 news stories reacting to the results from around the world, some sad, some happy, some envious, and some confused. The biggest news is, however, nothing new: Children in East Asian countries best at maths. They were the best 20 years ago when TIMSS was first introduced in 1995. They were the best in all subsequent cycles.
Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, …

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[8 Oct 2016 | 4 Comments | 14,838]

From Deficiency to Strength: Shifting the Mindset about Education Inequality
To be published  Journal of Social Issues Vol. 72, No. 4, 2016, pp. 716–735. Download the PDF version.
Yong Zhao
University of Kansas
Author Note
Yong Zhao, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Kansas.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Yong Zhao, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045-3101.
Contact: yongzhao@ku.edu
Abstract
The “achievement gap” as a symptom of persistent social inequity has plagued American education and society for decades. The vast chasm in academic achievement has …

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[7 Dec 2015 | No Comment | 15,469]

Just as the U.S. is about to move away from over testing its students, PISA’s Andreas Schleicher says American students are not really over-tested: “The U.S. is not a country of heavy testing,” said Schleicher in a column published in the Hechingner Report.
Schleicher drew the conclusion based on PISA 2009 student survey data, which was not released publicly. Schleicher claims to “trust the reports of students on what actually happens in the classroom more than the claims of many experts” in his blog post that argues that U.S. is not …