Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Limit What U.S. Borrows from Others: A Notebook of Short but Worthy Items

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Limit What U.S. Borrows from Others: A Notebook of Short but Worthy Items

Article excerpt

University of Oregon professor Yong Zhao cautions America to put on the brakes and stop "aggressively replacing its education traditions with foreign imports."

Zhao challenges the belief that "to save America, to retain America's preeminence in the world, to ensure America's global competitiveness, we must dismantle America's education system and import policies and practices from other countries.

"It is one thing to be vigilant, to constantly and continuously evaluate and improve, and to learn from others. It is another to panic, to act out of fear, and to blindly glorify others. Evidence suggests that the supposedly greener education pastures of other countries are largely an illusion," he writes in a commentary published on tcrecord.org.

Zhao argues that believing that education in certain other countries is superior has been reinforced by a myopic perspective that high test scores are an indicator of high-quality education. Instead, Zhao urges educators and policy makers to look beyond test scores "for qualities that are not as easily measured, such as independent and creative thinking, entrepreneurship, talent diversity, and emotional well-being."

"In Asia, the exclusive focus on test scores and devotion to a few academic subjects are the sources of frustration over a lack of creativity and innovative talents. These countries are not celebrating what their students have learned, but are concerned with what has been excluded," Zhao writes. …

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