Recent Presentations

Talks related to Educating Young Giants: What Kids Learn (And Don’t Learn) in China and America, given in venues in various parts of the U.S. Two video tapes:

At the spring lecture of the School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University, April 2014

At the packed Yale-China Association Fireside Chat, October 2013.

Aiming toward College in China and the United States: A Comparison. The President’s Inaugural Symposium, Mount St. Mary’s College, March 2012.
This talk described the vast differences between the two countries for college preparation—with the Chinese focused entirely on passing the college entrance exam, the Americans focused on a myriad of activities for most of their schooling and the college entrance exams only during the last few years.

Concepts of creativity in Chinese education. Western Regional Conference, Comparative International Education Society. Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, October 2011.
Using interview material about creativity from Chinese middle class professionals, I reported trends in how these adults define creativity and what they do to stimulate creative thinking in their own children.

A history of early literacy development in China during 2500 years. Paper presented with Z-Y. Yu at the Literacy Research Association conference, Ft. Worth, TX, December 2010.
The talk divided the history of literacy teaching of young children into four periods—the ancient, spanning over 2000 years when children were viewed as small adults and teaching was dominated by the Confucian classics and imperial exams; 1900 to 1949, a tumultuous period when many ancient traditions were thrown out and ideas from the West dominated; 1949 to the 1980s, when Russian pedagogy dominated teaching; and the mid-1980s to the present when Western pedagogical literacy thinking became very influential, but has slowly combined with Chinese traditions.

Shifting views of early literacy education in China: 1980 to the present. Poster session presented with Z-Y. Yu at the Literacy Research Association conference, Ft. Worth, TX, December 2010.
Western influence reintroduced child-centered learning for young children and provided literacy teaching child-friendly techniques, while traditional teaching ideas also remained strong. Thus a conflict has evolved between the two ways of teaching.

A new theory of the structure and flow of language development. Nanjing University English Department faculty and graduate student lecture, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. April 2010.
The lecture looked at a multimodal theory of analyzing talk between two or more people, showing that it is carried forward not just with words, but with nonverbal gestures of many kinds, voice tone and loudness, and in a classroom, it is also likely to involve references to books students have read, diagrams, and much more.