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[6 Sep 2017 | 3 Comments | 7,164]

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 | 23 Comments | 37,469]

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 | 13,730]

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 …

Blogs, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[5 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | 11,577]

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 …