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on October 26, 2012
Let me start by stating that this book pretty felt like the ideas were taken from my head and Yong Zhao just brought clarity and data to support the ideas.

This book is a must read!

As the American Education System works towards spending billions of dollars in creating a Common Core curriculum, other countries are trying to emulate what America schools once were. I am not stating that the school system we had was perfect, but it allowed students to pursue their interests and there is a reason that we have more creative awards, innovators, Novel Laureates, and patents than any other country. Forcing everyone to teach the same way is going to cause schools to eliminate those opportunities for students to explore their passions.

This book discusses what America is doing wrong and questions why we want to be like a China education system that can have students pass tests, but cannot innovate? China is striving to be us and vice versa. We are in a pivotal moment right now in education and this book shows what can be if we continue down this path.

It is imperative that teachers have freedom within their classroom. When a teacher can no longer teach a project because other teachers in the subject field don't want to and teachers cannot add their own flare to their subject, then students lose out. This mindset is settling in not only with policy makers, but communities as well.

Parents want more work. More homework, harder classes, more tests, etc. At what point do we say enough! A child should not have to attend school for 6-7 hours a day and then go home to hours of homework each night. It is very important for kids to have time to explore, play, sports, art, music, drama, etc. These avenues allow students to find out who they are and what they want to pursue.

Yong Zhao, the author of this book lays out what he thinks needs to happen to allow students to think like entrepreneurs and prepare for the world. The way things are going right now we are not allowing for this to happen.

This is a well written book. He supports all ideas with several facts, figures, and examples. Being a book review I won't go into all my thoughts and ideas with each section of this book, but I will tell you that this a necessary read for anyone involved in education and wondering what the future holds for us. If we don't start to rethink how we teach and how schools operate we are going to find ourselves falling behind. Creating a national curriculum driven by people who have not stepped foot in a classroom is not the answer. Teachers need to be willing to step up and take risks to challenge their students. As Rabindranath Tagore stated, "Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time."

It is time for teachers to change and adapt how we teach. It is time for administrators to step up to the challenge and change the system. And it is time for policy makers to get out of the way and quit acting like they know what they are talking about. If our students don't prepare to be a global citizen and learn to seek out problems and learn to solve them, then the future could be different from life today! Read this book and find out more about how we can change things to better prepare our students for their future.
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on August 6, 2012
If you are convinced No Child Left Behind, the Race to the Top, or the new Common Core Standards (which our state allocated some 5 million dollars to investigate how it might be implemented in our state) is the answer to education reform this is a book you should read.

If you are a teacher, administrator or a professor of education this is a book to read if you want to know what is really being planned for how to ensure that educational professionals play a major part in the economic and political failure of our democracy and the sure destruction of our children's dreams.

My father was a college president and head of the department of education in more than one college. Education was talked about at our dinner table. I have been an administrator of an apprentice program working with local high schools helping them prepare students for employment with the General Electric Company, have worked in corporate America, worked for an Indian tribe in the human resources department, have worked at the International headquarters for two major international companies responsible for the compensation and benefits of expatriates in more that 15 countries and have worked for years in alternative education.

Every CEO should read this book and think about helping to support the implementation of the paradigm proposed.

Every governor and legislature at the state and national level should read and study this book to gain an understanding of how the path currently being supported by politicians and many educators is a sure path to destruction.

If you are wanting to be remembered as a philantropist who made a difference in the future of our country read this book and, after thinking about what Zhao wrote, want to work with home schoolers and alternative education students contact me. The primary point lacking in this book is how to obtain funding to pay for the training of leaders and to pay for the resources needed to enable already successful models to be replicated.

This book energized me. The only question in my mind is how could I possibly find the time to gain the needed skills and resources to implement the paradigm in our small rural community which has about 500 students (regular and alternative) in our K-12 program. If anyone has an idea they would like to share please contact me.
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on July 21, 2012
This is a must read for policy makers, business leaders, students, and parents!
Yong Zhao has written one of the best educational books to help all sectors of our society to rethink the purpose of education in a globalized world. It is written for all people who are concern about the present state of education in America. It helps to frame the arguments against the "blind" submission to the standardization of learning.

Robert Pirsig once pointed out in his famous book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, that if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. Zhao helps us to understand the consequences for the next generation, which are enormous if we are not willing to let go of our present assumptions that schools are still based on the factories that most of us attended. Those schools worked well for an industrial-based economy that is losing its relevancy in a highly interconnected planet. This book sets the baseline for a dialogue about new assumptions for the future of learning!

This should be required reading in classes for economics, education, business, policy, and any recent graduate from higher education that can not find a job.
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on January 18, 2014
Yong Zhao's research is energizing to read -- for me, an educator -- because he challenges the current groupthink about the importance of test scores as the single most important indicator that our schools are on the right track. I appreciate the global perspective he brings to the discussion about what it means to be well educated. I found this book exhilarating. Watch him on Youtube to get a taste of his ideas. This would be a good book to read in a professional group or to share with over-anxious parents. I wish policy-makers would read it and broaden their perspectives!
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on February 24, 2014
This is a very thoughtful book that is able to open your eyes and change the way how you see education. It is very creative to connect the ideas of globalization, innovation and entrepreneurialship with education. It gives people an opportunity to examine our current system. Everyone who cares about education and the future should read this book.
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on February 21, 2015
Sadly, our political class and Secretary of Education do not read authors like Zhao or Hammond or Ratvich. The answer to designing world class educational systems lies in these books, not in finding the right test or eliminating tenure. Of course the problem, is that educational books, like Zhao's offer a complex mix of policies this country should be pursuing, that go far beyond the understandings of our those now determining educational policy.
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on November 3, 2013
Education K-12 is just now incorporating critical thinking and learning within contexts. The education industry needs to be more nimble than this today. The hiring profile needs to change for staff and administrators, too. Today these folks generally do not have the demeanor and attitude for rapid change and respond with chips on their shoulders, and anger directed at any and all including their colleagues. We need well prepared educators who also have a flexible, dynamic, can do attitude. This book identifies so much that I've experienced and provides a source of frustration and is spot on with its critiques supported by data and research.
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on April 20, 2015
This book is a clear and powerful description of the shortcomings of the current educational system. Dr Zhao clearly explains how ill-suited a test-driven system using 20th Century curriculum is for the modern world. We need to cultivate entrepreneurial skills and enthusiasm, yet traditional education tends to do the exact opposite. Anyone interested in creating long-term educational advantage for our children should read this book.
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on January 14, 2013
I thought this might be another book of blah, blah, blah of what we need to do as American educators to more like the Chinese. Instead, Yong Zhao beautifully introduces his argument for exactly the opposite and offers explanations that are completely reasonable. His research and understanding of the differences between the United States and other countries are impressive. I have learned so much from reading this book and now feel confident when I assign a creative project that requires problem-solving and critical thinking. If one of my students has an idea, I listen a little more closely now and encourage their entrepreneurial spirit. I highly recommend this book.
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on December 29, 2013
Amazing ideas that confirms that need for a curriculum that allows openness, personalization and diversity. 'Entrepreneurship is fundamentally about the desire to solve problems creatively'.
I will definitely be using these ideas in my class.
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