The Smartest Kids in the World

The Smartest Kids in the World

And How They Got That Way

Book - 2013
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Amanda Ripley follows three teenagers who chose to spend one school year living and learning in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. Through their adventures, Ripley discovers startling truths about how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries' education results. Ripley's astonishing new insights reveal that top-performing countries have achieved greatness only in the past several decades.
Publisher: New York :, Simon and Schuster,, 2013.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781451654424
Characteristics: 306 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm.


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Jun 20, 2019

Fun read and worrisome wakeup call of the state of the education in the US for us parents. Not suprisingly Polititians have proven ineffective at changing the status quo by promoting just more testing when you could model/adjust what Finland and Poland have done, but that is not popular with private corporations and lobbyists.

Oct 19, 2018

A truly thought-provoking book written by that rarest type in North America - - a reporter who actually did due diligence. Ms. Ripley questions all aspects, investigates all variables and makes us pause, reflect, ruminate and ponder - - no small feat in the realm of education! (And pay attention to teacher quality!)
Several months ago I heard the Latina host of a Hispanic-oriented NPR show blame the poor performance of Hispanic-American students on white people - - by that convoluted logic the superior performance of Asian-American students should also be blamed on white people. Fortunately, that overpaid and insipid Latina NPR host was not the author of this superior book!

Oct 30, 2016

Great book talking about American education weakness, in comparing to a few other countries. As a parent, it is better to read it and think about this country and our kids.

Sep 15, 2014

Well written and engaging, Ripley takes this complex hot topic and organizes it into insightful facts and perspectives, and above all gives practical advice for those interested in improving education.

Sep 01, 2014

I liked Amanda Ripley's previous book "The Unthinkable," and although this book had an interesting journalistic approach, I preferred her first book and its gripping stories better. Educational philosophies and the politics of who controls public education seem hopelessly more complex than any one book could reasonably tackle. Nevertheless, her methods of examining educational systems outside of the USA is smart. I particularly liked her first appendix which gives tips on what to look for in a school. The book has a macro view, so having something concrete that a reader could immediately apply was a relief from the slowness of any real change readers might try to influence with our education system.

Jul 26, 2014

was enjoying the book until I got to Pressure Cooker. states that 1/3 of Korean students sleep in class. The S. Koreans I talked to about this claim, only laughed. They had no memory or experience with this false notion. Quote, [sometimes a strange student will sleep in class, but any teacher would wake them up, right away] I like the author's writing style, so I might read the rest of the book. hard to take, seriously tho

An absolute must read for every educator in Canada.

May 23, 2014

Good book. Every teacher should read it to realize how they are getting away from the good education in North America (U.S.A. and Canada). Students in our schools have not idea why they are there and the system has been created that way to work like that and have entrance level works, working class and low wages. The equation is low education , low expectations, easy jobs, low wages, high debts ......... Where are we going, please ?

Cynthia_N Feb 25, 2014

I picked up this book thinking I would just flip through it but I was instantly intrigued with the topic, the comparisons, and the writing. Ripley does a great job of using the experiences of United States foreign exchange students to compare and contrast the educations systems of different high performing countries. This book makes you think and gives you hope that change in the education system is necessary and possible. Highly recommended!

Jane60201 Jan 17, 2014

A very readable and thoughtful book about a vexing problem.

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Feb 28, 2019

In this book Amanda Ripley, A time Magazine journalist, goes on a journey to explore and research the education system in America and other foreign country's. Ripley does this by following three teenagers to other country's as they spend a whole school year in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. Throughout the book we discover that things have changed now, and these places are becoming more evolved than us quickly. The attitude of students have changed as they are focusing more and more on their educating.

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