“Xiao-ming Li’s book of what teachers say about student writing is a meticulous analysis of the operating criteria of expert teachers, those who mold the structure and the style of a whole generation of students. By exploring both the common ground within a culture and the differences between the Chinese and United States cultures, Li shows how standards are formed and the forms those standards take.
“In a postmodern world these differences are seen; but within each of the cultures, there is a strong modernist and universalist approach to writing. The two sets of teachers exhibit this tendency. Hence their authority. They are indeed authoring the way another generation of students will write. Some of those students may rebel, but probably few will.
“Although the teachers may call for individuality of expression, pressure is strong for such individuality to be confined. Such has long been the case and so it will probably remain, but Xiao-ming Li has masterfully turned the mirror on us and forced us to confront our selves.” from the Foreword by Alan C. Purves