If Singapore’s Schools are Better…

Here is how:

Importantly, teachers also broadly share an authoritative vernacular or “folk pedagogy” that shapes understandings across the system regarding the nature of teaching and learning. These include that “teaching is talking and learning is listening”, authority is “hierarchical and bureaucratic”, assessment is “summative”, knowledge is “factual and procedural,” and classroom talk is teacher-dominated and “performative”.

My impression is that the marginal changes in the education systems in North America are away from this kind of “old school” approach and not towards. That probably means we won’t be climbing the rankings internationally.

Here is something I agree with:

But I actually think the United States–I’m a bigger believer in the U.S. education system than many people are…

And I think the parents in Bedford got out of their school system exactly what they wanted out of it. And they wanted football teams. And my wife teachers choir, and they wanted choir. And they wanted the school to put on a musical; and they wanted the school to provide their children with a range of athletic and artistic experiences. And engagement in a variety of other activities; and that’s what the school system delivered. Because it was quite carefully and closely controlled, both formally and informally by the parents. And that produces kind of not world-beating math scores. I don’t think that’s what the parents of Bedford thought was the totality of their educational system. So, I’m a very big fan of the local control by parents of educational systems. And if that doesn’t produce scores of 600, I am actually pretty happy with that. Because I’ve seen what it takes in Korea to produce scores of 600, and no American parent is willing to put their kid through that. Nor should they be, in my opinion.

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