Here’s an interesting book that’s just been published.
It’s based on the experience of an American – Chinese Journalist living in Shanghai. She sends her 4-year-old boy to a prestigious elementary school and the book describes the challenges that the family has in adjusting to a traditional Chinese education.
The writer herself went to school in the states but her own parents were first generation Chinese so she brings a unique perspective i think.
At the start the family cannot believe what is happening in the classroom but later they start to see some very clear benefits. She talks to parents, principals, professors, students sitting the gaokao exam and international education experts. The writer finds a good balance between entertaining stories and research into China, its history and global education.
The book really made me think. I have a strong preference for the western style of education which allows exploration, creativity and self-expression. However after reading this book, I feel there are somethings we can learn from a traditional Chinese style education. Most importantly is that becoming expert or building world-class skills at something is often uncomfortable, repetitive and even boring. You see, not everything important or useful we do in life will be fun and entertaining all the time. I think western education needs to remember this….but, just not all the time!
The book is 338 pages and there’s a lot to take in…. but luckily for you, I took 12 pages of great quotes. So if you’d like the PDF of my Kindle notes….just ask!