A Conversation with Dr. Grove About Public Schools

I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Cornelius Grove to discuss new new book, A Mirror For Americans: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us about Teaching Students Who Excel.

We need a major overhaul to the education system as it is in North American schools. Perhaps we can learn from the way school works in other parts of the world. Dr. Grove believes “it is possible and useful to contemplate the values, principles, and practices of a distant culture as a ‘mirror’” to our own.

Unfortunately though, we cannot simply take a few practices from another culture and drop them into our own. That doesn’t work for a variety of reasons.

“Because each culture is a reasonably well-integrated whole, it is not possible to cut a complex feature from one culture and paste it into another. I purposely said “complex feature” because in today’s interconnected world people do adopt attractive features from distant cultures . . . sushi . . . hockey . . But now we’re not talking about isolated elements of a culture. We’re talking about the teaching of young children, which is one of any modern culture’s most multifaceted features, steeped in historical traditions, shared values, professional research, government regulations, collegial sharing, and laypeople’s expectations.”

We know that our schools are failing in a lot of ways. Yet nobody seems to want to do anything about it.

“If improving the academic performance of American children ever becomes extremely important to us, then

  1. Parents will find new ways to instill in their children a drive to learn that emphasizes receptiveness to learning in classroom settings; and
  2. Teachers at the primary level will find new ways to plan and present knowledge-centered lessons that constantly and interactively immerse all of their pupils in reasoning and analysis about the knowledge to be learned, directively facilitated by the teacher.”

There is a third way, however. We talk about it too. Press play to hear our conversation. And if you are interested in education, read the book. I took tons of notes and will write another post about it soon. Stay tuned!

You can also visit the Mirror for Americans website – https://amirrorforamericans.info/