Some links

August 30th, 2011

Fast Company on the gaokao


Why Finnish schools are so good

Its that time again 2

June 9th, 2011

Marketplace on China’s crises of education

It’s that time again….

June 6th, 2011

Jiang Xueqin arguing that the best alternative to the gaokao… is the gaokao

The Anti-Tiger Mom

April 21st, 2011

Bryan Caplan says all your parenting efforts don’t make any difference. Here’s the WSJ review.

Key Quote:

Parents take it upon themselves to constantly entertain and “enrich” their kids with a course-catalog of activities (Capoeira, violin, Mandarin lessons) in a desperate effort to give them “the best” and set them on the path to a triumphant adulthood. But it turns out that parenting has almost no effect on children’s life expectancy, intelligence, happiness or success.

The new global language?

March 23rd, 2011

Today Zoe had a play-date with her best friend who is 1/2 Italian, 1/2 Lithuanian. Their common language — Chinese.

What is it with the piano?

March 20th, 2011

It is said that the future of classical music is bound inextricably to China’s rise. Parent here and you know why. The Chinese are obsessed with having their kids learn a musical instrument.  Chua’s now infamous memoir has barely a word about English, Math or even Chinese. Instead  all the emphasis, discipline and friction of family life center on teaching her kids music. In the West you can pick up a used piano basically for free. Here they are extremely valuable, because everyone wants one.

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Latest Pics

March 20th, 2011


More pictures of Pudong here

Learning your ABC’s

March 20th, 2011

Something that I already knew became starkly apparent to me the other day when doing my daily 10 minutes of teaching Max to read (in English). We read the same stories over and over again and sometimes – when Max is reading really well  – I can tell he’s just memorized the text. You need to realy read it, I command, making a mental note never to use that particular story again. In English you are only reading when you sound out the letters. In Chinese, of course, there is no difference between reading and memorizing. The only way to  read a character is to remember it. A huge amount, I suspect, rests on this fundamental distinction.

Me on Tiger Moms

February 5th, 2011

My take on Battle Hymn here

Cultural Exchange

January 27th, 2011

While the West obsesses over Chinese mothers, China starts to recognize the value of play