Combining the humor and warmth of Bringing Up Bébé with the insight of The Smartest Kids in the World, World Class is a firsthand exploration of how American schools are failing our children, and what parents can learn from the Asian education system to help our children excel in today’s competitive world.
When Teru Clavel’s oldest child was barely two, she watched with horror as fellow parents vied to secure a place for their kids in elite New York City pre-schools, setting their toddlers off on a cutthroat race to the Ivy League. When she had the opportunity to move to Hong Kong, off the family went to Asia, without realizing just how much they’d all learn in the process.
Through the decade she spent raising three kids in Asia, Teru came to realize why Asian children are among the smartest kids in the world. In Hong Kong, she nicknamed her children’s public school “The Prison;” its foreboding, bare-bones facilities were a world apart from the posh International Schools where most ex-pats sent their kids, and her three-year-old son James came home with homework every night. In Shanghai, in a local school without running water or toilets, no one is “just not good at math.” The teachers employed rote memorization, relied on handwritten drills, and taught the multiplication tables to mastery, giving her kids a foundation for math that was truly a world apart from the American experience. In Tokyo, her children and their classmates were responsible for school chores, like cleaning the toilets, and preparing and serving school lunches.
These schools were low tech and bare bones, with teachers who demanded obedience and order. Yet, Teru was shocked to find that her children truly thrived in this competitive culture; they learned to be self-reliant, resilient, and, above all, discovered a lifelong love of learning.
The true culture shock came when she returned to the States with her trilingual children and found their top California public school woefully ill prepared to meet their needs. Her kids were passing, but the schools were failing them.
In this page-turning and eye-opening book, Teru illustrates the best of Asian education philosophies and parenting culture, and gives you the know-how on how to apply these ideas in the United States. Researched over ten years and written with humor and wit, World Class is a revolutionary guide to setting your children on a path toward lifelong learning and success.
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About the Author
Teru Clavel is an education expert, columnist, and sought-after public speaker. Since 2010, she’s run her own education consulting practice, advising globally-minded families on a range of issues that include multiple language acquisition, school choice, and how to enroll their children in U.S. universities. Teru has written columns on education for both The Japan Times and The Financial Times, and she’s made appearances on CBS This Morning, CNBC’s Squawk Box, and Channel NewsAsia. Teru spent a decade raising her family in Asia, and while there she obtained an MS in Comparative International Education from Drexel University. She recently returned to New York with her family.