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The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way

av Amanda Ripley

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6111929,963 (3.99)22
Following three teenagers who chose to spend one school year living in Finland, South Korea, and Poland, a literary journalist recounts how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries' education results.In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they've never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. What is it like to be a child in the world's new education superpowers? In a global quest to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embedded in Finland, South Korea, and Poland for one year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many "smart" kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.--From publisher description.… (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 19 (nästa | visa alla)
Rich with anecdotes, supported by empirical evidence, this book offers a refreshingly pragmatic viewpoint on education reform. It's not groundbreaking, but is the best attempt I've seen at linking big policy ideas to the lived experience of students.

The three nations featured in this book -- South Korea, Finland and Poland -- today all have world-class public education systems, but share little in common economically and demographically. The link is that all three decided, in various ways, to both elevate the status of teachers and make parents and students take education much more seriously. While the book stops short of giving specific policy recommendations for the U.S., it points toward (surprise!) the need for compromise between warring camps today. A must-read for anyone interested in public education. ( )
  josh.gunter | May 7, 2020 |
A deep dive into education in America vs. the rest of the world. The author highlights the relaxed, but successful style of teaching in Finland and the intense and exhausting style in South Korea. She interviewed American foreign exchange students in both countries and compared their experiences. She highlighted the emphasis on sports over education in the US compared with other places. Interesting and also concerning. ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 16, 2019 |
Ripley travels to three countries - Poland, South Korea, and Finland - all of which have high school students testing higher than any other countries' students in the world. She also talked to three U.S. students who traveled to these three countries as part of exchange programs. Her findings, and their implications for how we could improve our own education system, are interesting and pretty important, I think. Definitely a recommended read to all who work in education or have children in U.S. schools. ( )
  electrascaife | Feb 3, 2018 |
Like a Mystery to be Solved...
Ms. Ripley leads us through her quest to answer the puzzle of why our American students are not doing well when compared with students in many other countries. I know, most Americans could care less about this. It's an American bias that we are always the best, but in a number of areas we have been slipping behind. Further, if our schools are not performing at a high level - this trend will continue.
She's taken an ingenious approach to finding an answer.
First, she does her homework to find an international exam that tests not the retention of facts, but a test of "critical thinking," or how do students solve real problems that can confront us in life and on the job. (She provides a link to take some test questions yourself.)
Secondly, she goes directly to the source - the students themselves. She enlists the aid of 3 American students who are in year-long exchange programs in nations that regularly post high scores.
Third, she honestly addresses criticisms of the exam and the teaching methods utilized in those other nations.
In short, she demonstrates some genuine Critical Thinking herself. If you're interested in "why" and also want some suggestions for improvement - this is a terrific book.
I wish it was required reading for every school board member in America.

[b:The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way|13259960|The Smartest Kids in the World And How They Got That Way|Amanda Ripley|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1370214334s/13259960.jpg|18461463] ( )
  KyCharlie | Apr 3, 2017 |
This was fascinating, and not only because it mentioned International Baccalaureate programs. Ripley compares USian schools to those of other nations through the lens of foreign exchange students' experiences. I wanted to read it more or less as an adjunct to The Importance of Being Little to give a fuller picture of education from preschool to college, highlighting some of the places that do it exceptionally well.

The US does well by some students, those with the greatest advantages to start with. There are tremendous inequities by income and race, and only the second is being addressed. Charter schools, many of which are for-profit, show no improvements over public schools on average, despite the tremendous gains they're supposed to enjoy by being freed from bureaucracy and particularly the horrors of tenured teachers who cannot be fired without cause. And why bother, when it isn't an issue that elected officials send their own children to private schools or to public schools in areas so wealthy they are defacto private schools?

Korea also has a lot of crap schools, but it doesn't matter, because every parent who can afford it is hiring private tutoring companies to make up the difference, which isn't all that different from our own system.

Finland and Poland however have some lessons to teach us. They are awesome, and they achieved awesome rather quickly. I won't give away all their secrets, but a rigorous education and commensurate pay for teachers isn't a bad idea.

Highly recommended to people with a specific interest in education. I can't begin to imagine how it would appeal to readers who aren't keen on the topic.

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  Kaethe | Oct 16, 2016 |
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Following three teenagers who chose to spend one school year living in Finland, South Korea, and Poland, a literary journalist recounts how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries' education results.In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they've never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. What is it like to be a child in the world's new education superpowers? In a global quest to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embedded in Finland, South Korea, and Poland for one year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many "smart" kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.--From publisher description.

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