EVENT: Yong Zhao: The China Paradox–with Charlotte Mason from BUCSA (11/17/2013)


Professor Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair in the College of Education at the University of Oregon, will speak on “The China Paradox: Why China Has the World’s Best and Worst Education” in Boston on November 17, 2013, at a special educational gala organized by Primary Source, an organization that provides high-quality professional development for teachers, and a partner of Boston University Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA).

Zhao, a native of Sichuan (China), will discuss China’s education system and what we should know about what works (and what doesn’t work) in Chinese education. In his recent books, Zhao has compared  the U.S. decentralized educational model, which strives to foster creativity and critical thinking, to the Chinese and other Asian models, and finds that greater standardization, more emphasis on assessment, and less entrepreneurial spirit in current U.S. educational reforms may in fact be deleterious in the long term.

Yong Zhao’s three recent books are reviewed in an recent essay “Yong Zhao:  Education in the Flat World. An International Perspective” by Charlotte Sanford Mason, a long-time teacher at Newton North High School, and a Visiting Researcher at the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA). Over the past 25 years, Charlotte has visited 150 schools in China, and has met hundreds of Chinese school administrators and teachers, and a few thousand students.  In the fall each year Chinese principals visit the U.S. for a week-long seminar on education followed by a week of ‘shadowing’ a counterpart in a school or school system. In the spring, the American partner principals and superintendents visit China for a parallel experience.  This two-way experience is meant to foster ongoing exchanges of teachers and students between the partner schools.

CEI office jpgCo-founder and former director of The China Exchange Initiative (CEI), an organization based in Newton, Massachusetts that creates U.S.-China school administrator exchanges, and of GEM (Global Education, Massachusetts),  Charlotte is now exploring those elements of Chinese education that are largely unknown in the U.S.  Her research at BUCSA is designed to facilitate understanding of the Chinese educational system, and to foster dialogue between U.S. and Chinese educators.

Charlotte will be at the event “The China Paradox: Why China Has the World’s Best and Worst Education”  on November 17, 2013, in what promises to be a stimulating reflection on the educational future of China and the US.