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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World
     

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World

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by Yong Zhao
 

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The secrets behind China's extraordinary educational system – good, bad, and ugly

Chinese students' consistently stunning performance on the international PISA exams— where they outscore students of all other nations in math, reading, and science—have positioned China as a world education leader. American educators and pundits have declared

Overview

The secrets behind China's extraordinary educational system – good, bad, and ugly

Chinese students' consistently stunning performance on the international PISA exams— where they outscore students of all other nations in math, reading, and science—have positioned China as a world education leader. American educators and pundits have declared this a "Sputnik Moment," saying that we must learn from China's education system in order to maintain our status as an education leader and global superpower.

Indeed, many of the reforms taking hold in United States schools, such as a greater emphasis on standardized testing and the increasing importance of core subjects like reading and math, echo the Chinese system. We're following in China's footsteps—but is this the direction we should take?

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? by award-winning writer Yong Zhao offers an entertaining, provocative insider's account of the Chinese school system, revealing the secrets that make it both "the best and worst" in the world. Born and raised in China's Sichuan province and a teacher in China for many years, Zhao has a unique perspective on Chinese culture and education. He explains in vivid detail how China turns out the world's highest-achieving students in reading, math, and science—yet by all accounts Chinese educators, parents, and political leaders hate the system and long to send their kids to western schools. Filled with fascinating stories and compelling data, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? offers a nuanced and sobering tour of education in China.

  • Learn how China is able to turn out the world's highest achieving students in math, science, and reading
  • Discover why, despite these amazing test scores, Chinese parents, teachers, and political leaders are desperate to leave behind their educational system
  • Discover how current reforms in the U.S. parallel the classic Chinese system, and how this could help (or hurt) our students' prospects

Editorial Reviews

VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Cheryl Clark
Zhao intends to use his book to disabuse the United States and other Western countries of their current love affair with the Chinese education system. Not a pedagogical system to be admired, Chinese education is just another version of authoritarianism that permeates the Asian culture, according to Zhao. Although the system leads to high scores on international exams like the PISA test, it does so to the detriment of creativity, innovation, and passion. Zhao bases his argument on thousands of years of Chinese history that forced the ambitious to devote their time to studying for an exam that allowed only a very few to succeed, ultimately keeping the masses in check and the emperor in power. Zhao says that this system is basically still in place and simply wears a different mask. Zhao’s argument is quite compelling and should give Americans a bit of pause. The audience for this book is educators, politicians, and others with an interest in the U.S. education system. While most young adult readers may not choose this title, those with a passion for the topic of education or a passion for research will be willing to give it their time. Sinophiles and education junkies will not want to miss out on the chance to delve into this fascinating culture. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark; Ages 17 to Adult.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781118487136
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
09/15/2014
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
409,429
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

YONG ZHAO holds the first presidential chair at the University of Oregon, where he also serves as associate dean for global education and professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Zhao is a popular keynote presenter and has been featured in media ranging from the New York Times and USA Today to NPR and ABC. The winner of numerous awards in research, leadership, and innovation, Zhao is the author of more than 100 articles and 20 books. To learn more, go to www.zhaolearning.com.

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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago