Archive for September, 2010

No lefties in China?

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Though its still not entirely clear – she often still switches from left to right – Zoe seems to be left handed. The Western consensus on this is predictably laissez fair. Children should do what comes naturally. Forcing otherwise gives an unnecessary disadvantage. I was convinced of this as soon as I tried to write, eat and draw with my left hand.

In China, however, it seems left handedness is not allowed. Evoking cultural difference I have tried to urge Zoe’s teachers to be more relaxed. So far I have gotten assurances that in everything but writing characters Zoe would be allowed to do as she pleased. To write characters with your left hand, however, is – the Principal informed me – bu fanbian (not convenient). The point is debatable but the truth is I don’t really feel competent to judge — I find it next to impossible to write characters and I’m right handed.

A system afraid of it’s own history

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Radical teachers and the fatal flaw of Chinese education

doing well versus feeling good

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Two links on the connections (or lack thereof) between self esteem and performance.

First, a teaser on a film I can’t wait to see – Waiting for Superman

Second, a NYT article on ‘testing the Chinese way’

the other side

Friday, September 17th, 2010

In Canada an increase in unschooling

migrant education

Friday, September 17th, 2010

more migrants means more illegal or grass-root schools