Blog, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[23 Mar 2014 | 6 Comments | 18,296]

Few numbers command as much power as PISA scores, not even the number of Olympic medals or Nobel Prize winners in the world today. It is utterly shocking and embarrassing to see some otherwise rational and well-educated people (or at least they should be) in powerful positions believe that three test scores show the quality of their education systems, the effectiveness of their teachers, the ability of their students, and the future prosperity of their society.
PISA has become the star-maker in the education universe because of its bold claim to …

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[16 Mar 2014 | 7 Comments | 19,467]

authoritarian: of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
authoritarianism: principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action (Encyclopedia Britannica)
PISA’s glorification of educational authoritarianism goes beyond its romanticization of the misery children suffer in authoritarian education systems as discussed in my last post. Because some authoritarian education systems seem to generate better PISA rankings, it has been concluded that educational authoritarianism, the systemic arrangements designed to enforce government-prescribed, uniform standards upon all children, should be emulated by the rest of the world. …

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[9 Mar 2014 | 17 Comments | 23,122]

PISA, the OECD’s triennial international assessment of 15 year olds in math, reading, and science, has become one of the most destructive forces in education today. It creates illusory models of excellence, romanticizes misery, glorifies educational authoritarianism, and most serious, directs the world’s attention to the past instead of pointing to the future. In the coming weeks, I will publish five blog posts detailing each of my “charges,” adapted from parts of my book Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education.
Part One: …

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[22 Feb 2014 | 3 Comments | 23,438]

In researching for my book Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the World’s Best and Worst Education, I realized that PISA should have been invented about 300 years ago. Its advice and influence would have been perfect 300 years ago but are misleading today. Here is why:
Had it existed 300 years ago, PISA could have spared the world numerous disasters. It could have helped to convince the world to learn from China and Chinese education, like the Jesuit missionaries did in the 17th Century. If the …