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Why Shanghai schooled the US

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Why Shanghai schooled the US

Postby momopi » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:14 pm

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opi ... ard?s=yaho

The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
Why Shanghai schooled the US: Americans think they're too smart to work hard

Unlike their Asian peers, American students tend to measure success by innate ability instead of hard work. But China's (and Asia's) powerhouse performance on a recently released standardized test put American students – and their work ethic – to shame.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Jonathan Zimmerman
posted December 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm EST

New York —
Are you smart? I mean, really smart? Like, so smart that you don’t really have to work?

Then you’re kidding yourself. And your belief in your own intelligence is holding you back.

That’s the real story behind the latest piece of bad news in American education, which continues to stack up poorly next to other nations. On a standardized test administered to 15-year-olds in over 60 countries, the US came in 17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math.

West loses edge to Asia in education: Top five OECD findings

Meanwhile, Asian countries clustered near the top. Students in Shanghai, China, nearly ran the table, scoring first in the world in all three tested subject areas – science, math, and reading. But Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong all outperformed America, as well, on all three tests.

Hard work vs. intelligence
Why? Politicians and pundits fingered the usual suspects: our schools. Whereas Asian countries demand rigor and hard work from their students, the theory goes, our own schools have gone soft. Witness the larger number of school days in most Asian countries, the stricter academic requirements, the greater volume of homework, and so on.

There’s something to that. Asian students do work harder, by every measure we can find. But there’s more to it than that. Put simply, Asians believe that hard work is the prime determinant of their success. By contrast, Americans and other Westerners typically ascribe academic performance to innate ability.

And that’s a fool’s game. For the more we believe in “smarts,â€￾ the less likely we are to persist in a task. If you’re “good atâ€￾ a subject like math, to borrow another favorite American phrase, then you don’t really have to try; and if you’re not good at it, there’s no use in trying to get better.

Are you smarter than a 12th-grader? A reading comprehension quiz.

Consider a 2001 experiment by Canadian researchers, who administered creativity tests to Japanese and Canadian college students. Regardless of how the students performed, the researchers told some of them that they had done well and others that they did poorly. The researchers then gave the students a similar test and told them to spend as much time on it as they wished.

The Canadians worked harder on the second test if they were told they had succeeded on the first one. They were “good at it,â€￾ and that gave them the confidence to continue. Failing students were not “good at it,â€￾ meanwhile, so they put in less work. But the Japanese worked longer on the second test if they had failed the first one! They interpreted their initial setback as a function of weak effort, not of ability, so they re-applied themselves to the task instead of blowing it off.

Too much praise?
Or consider a now-famous 1998 experiment by psychologists Claudia Mueller and Carol Dweck, who told American children they had done well on a test and then praised some for being smart, others for working hard. They then gave both sets of kids the chance to work on another test – either easy or hard.

About 66 percent of the children who were praised for their intelligence chose the easy problems, while 90 percent of the kids praised for hard work selected the more difficult ones. In subsequent exercises, the "smart" kids performed worse, and the “hard workingâ€￾ kids did better. The smart kids were also more likely to attribute their wrong answers to a lack of ability, while the kids praised for hard work blamed their own lack of effort when they failed.

Are you smarter than an NFL quarterback? Take the quiz

The moral of these stories seems clear: If you want kids to succeed, don’t talk about their intelligence. That will only hold them back.

And it does. I’ve been a teacher for nearly 30 years, and I’ve seen students try to hide how much schoolwork they do. I mean, if they have to work that hard, how smart can they be?

Americans like to say that their country is a land of opportunity; that anyone can make it, if they just try hard enough. But our educational system tells another story altogether. By emphasizing who is smart – and who is not – we teach our kids that their inborn capabilities are more important than their sweat and toil.

Persistent achievement gap vexes education reformers: Six takeaways

So why should we be surprised when the kids don’t try? Sure, our schools should ask more of our students. But we also need to ask why they don’t, and what role our flawed ideas about intelligence play in the answer. To paraphrase Shakespeare: the fault, dear Americans, lies not just in our schools. It’s in ourselves.

Jonathan Zimmerman teaches education and history at New York University. He is the author, most recently, of “Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory.â€￾

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Postby dreamer82 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:36 am

I've heard of Korean mothers giving their kid a black eye. The parents are so involved there's a threat of violence. Here in the US, parents (if there are 2) are too stressed out or don't care that much.
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Postby yatterman1 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:08 am

I could tell you the real reason......but let me tell you....its NOT politically correct.
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Postby Repatriate » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:11 am

yatterman1 wrote:I could tell you the real reason......but let me tell you....its NOT politically correct.

I'm curious.

I think cultural and political malaise is the real reason behind the recent U.S. dip.
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Postby yatterman1 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:21 am

Cranial capacity (cubic centimeters)

East asians:1,364
Caucasians:1,347

Cortical neurons (millions)

East asians: 13,767
Caucasians: 13,665

Average IQ

East asians: 106
Caucasian: 100
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Postby Rock » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:33 am

yatterman1 wrote:Cranial capacity (cubic centimeters)

East asians:1,364
Caucasians:1,347

Cortical neurons (millions)

East asians: 13,767
Caucasians: 13,665

Average IQ

East asians: 106
Caucasian: 100


The next question that naturally follows is does this relationship extend to all IQ differences between ethnic/racial groups?:

Does the average Indian have a significantly smaller cranial cubic capacity and/or number of cortical neurons given the average IQ in the country is just around 80? What about Australian aborigines who scored among the lowest on these tests of all groups on the planet (in the 60s)?

Does the average Askenazi Jewish American have a much larger cranial cubic capacity and/or number of cortical neurons given their mean IQ is around 1 SD above the national average (around 112 - 115 according to some studies)?

If the relationship has any validity, it should be reflective of average IQ differences between all ethnic/racial groups. Percentage differences between groups should be similar to IQ point differences. And its variance within groups should correlate with that group's IQ SDs.

Do you know whether or not any of the above has been tested and if so, does it correlate?
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Postby E_Irizarry » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:50 am

I took a Wonderlic IQ exam of answering 50 questions in 12 minutes.

I had scored a 104. No wonder I am a snug fit in I.T. ;O)
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Postby globetrotter » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:54 am

Rock wrote:
yatterman1 wrote:Cranial capacity (cubic centimeters)

East asians:1,364
Caucasians:1,347

Cortical neurons (millions)

East asians: 13,767
Caucasians: 13,665

Average IQ

East asians: 106
Caucasian: 100


The next question that naturally follows is does this relationship extend to all IQ differences between ethnic/racial groups?:

Does the average Indian have a significantly smaller cranial cubic capacity and/or number of cortical neurons given the average IQ in the country is just around 80? What about Australian aborigines who scored among the lowest on these tests of all groups on the planet (in the 60s)?

Does the average Askenazi Jewish American have a much larger cranial cubic capacity and/or number of cortical neurons given their mean IQ is around 1 SD above the national average (around 112 - 115 according to some studies)?

If the relationship has any validity, it should be reflective of average IQ differences between all ethnic/racial groups. Percentage differences between groups should be similar to IQ point differences. And its variance within groups should correlate with that group's IQ SDs.

Do you know whether or not any of the above has been tested and if so, does it correlate?


Given the current mentally deficient Political Correctness that is destroying the West, it is a metaphysical certainty that NO ONE will EVER fund research along these lines. Any papers published will be torn apart by everyone and watered down to the point of irrelevancy.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:16 am

I find this news surprising since my students in Shanghai are all LAZY! :-) Maybe music and art don't count as much as "real subjects?"

heheh just kidding
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Postby Kunold » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:58 pm

I could see Chinese from the urban centers on the East coast doing better than Americans but what about populations out in the boonies like Xinjiang? would even someone from rural Western China who probably went to schools with a limited budget outperform Americans in Math and reading?
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Postby wuxi » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:37 pm

Its difficult to come to a definate answer comparing races and IQ for several reasons.

1. The water supply of most western countries which are predominately european people contains flouride which is known to lower IQ.

2. The average chinese high school student does five hours of homework a day, seven days a week compared to two hours of homework a week for students in western countries. This will no doubt effect a students scholastic aptitude.

Also, I'll remind you almost every major invention in the world was invented by someone of european ancestory.
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Postby Kunold » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:23 am

"The water supply of most western countries which are predominately european people contains flouride which is known to lower IQ". Why do they do this do Western governments want dumber people?
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Postby momopi » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:47 am

Kunold wrote:"The water supply of most western countries which are predominately European people contains flouride which is known to lower IQ". Why do they do this do Western governments want dumber people?


If you look at IQ scores by country:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the ... _estimates

You'd note that HK is rated at IQ of 107 on top. This data was compiled based on an "average" from historical reports. So even though the book was published in 2002, the data came from earlier times when Hong Kong used 1 ppm fluoride until 1978, 0.7 ppm from 1978-1988, and 0.5 ppm from 1988 onwards. If fluoride in the water supply had an adverse effect on the children's IQ development, then I doubt HK would've been ranked on top because the past IQ studies were based on children who were born and raised in earlier times, when HK used higher concentration of fluoride than today.

HOWEVER, do realize that fluoride is TOXIC and you can die from over-exposure. The current trend is a reduction in the amount (ppm/parts per million) deployed in the water supply. At one time it was seen as a necessity to reduce tooth decay, but that was back when people did NOT visit the dentist every 6 months for cleaning. Today dental care is accessible to most people in industrialized countries, and regular dental check-up and cleaning is the norm.

Let me draw another example, consider DDT, which is toxic and has adverse effects on the environment. In my parent's generation they sprayed the stuff everywhere to kill mosquitos. One of the biggest factories making DDT was in Torrance, and they ran a waste water pipe 1 mile out to sea. The result is that the coastal waters are now polluted and bottom-feeding fish and shellfish is not safe to eat. While it's easy to point fingers at DDT, back then people were more concerned with malaria, which still kills 1-3 million people each year.

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/12 ... ollution12

Recently we've had a lot of problems with "bed bugs", and since DDT is banned, pest control companies doesn't have a lot of legal chemicals to deal with the bugs. That makes getting rid of bed bugs very difficult and costly (my termite treatment bill this month was $3,500). Issues like this is not "black and white", there are both benefits and costs involved.
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Postby Rock » Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:39 am

wuxi wrote:Its difficult to come to a definate answer comparing races and IQ for several reasons.

1. The water supply of most western countries which are predominately european people contains flouride which is known to lower IQ.

2. The average chinese high school student does five hours of homework a day, seven days a week compared to two hours of homework a week for students in western countries. This will no doubt effect a students scholastic aptitude.


From the studies I've read, settling in the USA generally improves the IQ of a given racial/ethnic group.

Jewish Americans on average score higher than Jewish Israelis

African Americans on average score higher higher than Africans

Filipino/Indian/and other Asian Americans on average score higher than Filipinos/Indians/ and other Asians.
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Postby momopi » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:08 pm

Rock wrote:
wuxi wrote:Its difficult to come to a definite answer comparing races and IQ for several reasons.

1. The water supply of most western countries which are predominately European people contains fluoride which is known to lower IQ.

2. The average Chinese high school student does five hours of homework a day, seven days a week compared to two hours of homework a week for students in western countries. This will no doubt effect a students scholastic aptitude.


From the studies I've read, settling in the USA generally improves the IQ of a given racial/ethnic group.
Jewish Americans on average score higher than Jewish Israelis
African Americans on average score higher higher than Africans
Filipino/Indian/and other Asian Americans on average score higher than Filipinos/Indians/ and other Asians.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_drain
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