The American Classroom: Words Carved Into A Student’s Desk

Gang Gao, recounts his 10-year-old son’s experience in American schools when he was a visiting scholar at Arizona State University in the 1990s. The following sentences, recited back to the author by a young girl who carved them in her desk, best summarize his observations of American education:

American classrooms don’t input a massive amount of knowledge into their children, but they try every way to draw children’s eyes to the boundless ocean of knowledge outside the school; They do not force their children to memorize all the formulae and theorems, but they work tirelessly to teach children how to think and ways to seek answers to questions; They never rank students according to test scores, but try every way to affirm children’s efforts, praise their thoughts, and protect and encourage children’s desire and effort.

World Class Learners, by Yong Zhao, p. 131.

About drjstewart

Christian, husband, father, educator, writer, and photographer.
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