Archive for August, 2009

Better City, Better Life

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


Check out my latest at China Beat.

Back in Shanghai

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

more soon

Ultraman origins

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Danwei reports on the possible Chinese roots of Ultraman

Mandarin Shanghai style

Friday, August 14th, 2009

My cousin, trying to get Max to speak Chinese (a great party trick here), asked the word for China. Max confidently told him Shanghai. I tried to correct him but Max insisted. For Max, the way you say China in Chinese is Shanghai.

Migrant Schools

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Shanghai Daily reports today on the harsh reality of carrying out a government policy to close all migrant schools by 2010 (earlier reports here, here and here).

The underlying aim of the policy is to integrate migrant children into the local public system (by closing some schools and converting others). Ultimately this is a positive development. Migrants  worry, however, about higher fees, social exclusion and a lack of sufficient facilities. The parents in today’s paper claim they are being told to send their kids back to Anhui to be educated. I personally know of one case where parents were willing to pay extra school fees but their kid were nevertheless refused entry into a (good) local school because of lack of Shanghai hukou.

This story is worth following. Shanghai’s ability to educate the vast flow of kids who are pouring in  has enormous consequences  for the city’s future.


Looks like the school closure is not going smoothly

Update 2

Seems that the protests are working


Friday, August 7th, 2009

I had to change to the ‘register only’ comments setting due to a torrent of a spam. If anyone knows another way of fixing this please write

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Two links to recent writings on creativity in China. The first a blog post at CNReviews (now added to the sidebar). The second an article from Chistian Science Monitor.


Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
kids day at the park across the street

kids day at the park across the street

Different Paths

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Ask anyone about the central problem facing Chinese education and they will undoubtedly name the goakao. The pressure of standardized tests is blamed for the conformity of students, the dull orthodoxy of teaching methods and the lack of creativity and critique in the class.

Recently, however, I have begun to question this widespread assumption. After all, many other countries (India and America, for example) rely heavily on testing with markedly different results.