, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 115-119
Date: 16 Oct 2010

Remembering ingenuity creativity and democratic participation in American school reform

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In Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization, Yong Zhao (2010) challenges researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to reexamine the goals of the American education system in the twenty-first century. He does this by articulating a paradox of the current system: While American students score low on both national and international tests, America still dominates the global economy. Arguing that America’s dominance comes from the independence, ingenuity, and creativity instilled in its students Zhao asserts that the measures of learning currently employed in national and international tests in the US are dangerously focused on a limited range of knowledge and skills. He uses the Chinese educational system as a point of comparison to highlight the extreme measures Chinese students and parents take in order increase test scores. Zhao further explains, with irony, that as America is trying to standardize its curriculum and increase the use of test ...