Welcome to the Conversation

Rural high school assembly

High school assembly, Shaanxi Province

Welcome to the Conversation about Chinese and American Education.

First, thanks to all of you who have ordered Educating Young Giants and are talking about it. It’s beginning to stir up great conversations around the differences in Chinese and American schools and how we can take advantage of that.

While writing the book, I was amazed by the insights that came together. I’ve studied elementary schools and high schools in China and the United States for over 20 years, and probing into each chapter topic opened up lots more ideas. Not all of them, by a long shot, got into the book. So, if you have questions about anything in Educating Young Giants I hope you post comments here. I’d be glad to try to answer them, or have my Chinese colleagues answer them.

Creativity is one topic I dug into. In the United States, many of us are frustrated at how American schools move further and further from anything that looks creative. Test preparation seems to reign these days, and that makes my blood boil. But in spite of that, in classroom after classroom where I’ve spent time recently, teachers—though hamstrung by scripted “teacher-proof” lessons—are still providing much, much more interaction and opportunity for students to express themself than any Chinese classroom provides. Chinese parents I interviewed crave that interaction and openness for their children. I describe more of this in Educating Young Giants. I’d love to hear your comments.

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