Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yong Zhao: We need to listen to this guy!

I was first introduced to Yong Zhao's ideas when a friend of mine loaned me his book Catching Up or Leading the Way. I devoured the book in short-order.

I am fascinated by Yong Zhao's Chinese-American perspective; he is unique in that he has a very informed take on both educational systems.

His perspective is incredibly important right now because Zhao can act like our educational magic eight-ball. Give him a shake and Zhao says: the US wants want China wants to throw away.

I have written about the Finnish Paradoxes, but now we need to look at the China-US education reform paradox. These two power-house countries each have an interesting take on moving forward.Yong Zhao summarizes very nicely in his book Catching Up or Leading the Way that in the end, it makes very little sense for developed countries like the US and Canada to fret over 'catching up' to developing nations like China. We got where we are by leading the way, and for some reason we are now turning around to follow those who are trying to catch ujp with us.

Yong Zhao's message is a big deal. Take some time and follow these links to make yourself informed.


  1. Agreed! His presentation slides from his ASCD talk are excellent (

  2. For those interested, Zhao also pretty much summarizes that entire book in this presentation:


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