Effective Effort and Eastern Approaches to Education

If you missed it this morning, you must listen to Alix Spiegel’s report on NPR about how Eastern and Western cultures approach learning. Listening to the radio this morning, I was cheering in my kitchen. It’s all about how Asian families and educators teach children that success comes from — wait for it — their own effort and time. Yes! Attribution theory! And Asian educators design tasks that are intentionally a little too hard for students. Yes! Zone of proximal development! And rather than giving up on kids, they make kids struggle with a task until they get it. Yes! I don’t know what that theory of learning that is, but we sure do it in my classroom.

What a pleasure to listen to a news report about something that really would improve American education… and not another report on testing, teacher unions, or textbooks. And make sure to listen through to the end, where Stiegel praises American strengths: teaching students to become creative and independent thinkers.


2 thoughts on “Effective Effort and Eastern Approaches to Education

  1. Abbie,
    I heard the NPR story too. Reading the comments led me to your blog, which I’m really enjoying. I’ve already shared your recent post about bullying with the supervisor at the tutoring center where I volunteer — we were just talking about some kids who call others names. The name callers need support, too, to get past that behavior, and you put it very well.
    I also enjoyed both your post about using Google Presentations and the presentations your students prepared.
    Nice work!

    • That’s great! When all the adults who work with kids share the same approach to bullying and teasing, it really helps to send kids a consistent message. Thanks for the comment, Mary!

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