Education | How Asians and American Learn, Test and Teach
U212 | 34211 | Hsiang-ning Wang, Lei Wang


Day and Time: W, 4-6:30
Room: FQ 012A

Today, the process of globalization has been influencing most, if
not all, aspects of our lives. We are facing a world that is
different in fundamental ways from the world even a decade ago. How
are educational systems worldwide preparing youngsters to face the
challenge of globalization? And how should we live in a more and
more connected and complex world?
This course aims to explore those fundamental questions. We will
first try to understand the phenomenon of globalization from
economic, political, social and cultural perspectives, and how those
perspectives influence educational systems worldwide.  From your
personal educational experience, you may have noticed although
schooling is still a national enterprise, the essential educational
activities of curricula, teaching, and administration are shaped not
just by local and national influences but increasingly by
transnational forces. The No Child Left Behind Act is the perfect
example to demonstrate the trend. The “poor” performance of American
students in international assessment testing on mathematics and
science has worried American policy makers and educators, and reform
efforts have increasingly focused on raising the stakes on testing
and standardizing curriculum. Is this the right way to “fix” the
American educational system? If so, why are Asian countries, the
high performers in international assessment testing, working so hard
to reduce the stakes of testing and allow teachers to have more
flexibility and autonomy?  By adopting a comparative perspective,
this course challenges you to think about how American youngsters
should be prepared to compete in the global arena. Various class
activities, including debate, discussions, guest speakers’ lectures,
and interviews of international students, are designed to stimulate
you to think critically and broadly about those questions.
Finally, a seemingly smaller world makes us more and more dependent
on each other, which calls for world citizenship education not only
for youngsters but for everyone on this planet. The course will help
you think actively about your responsibilities as and how to be a
world citizen, and transform your thinking into concrete actions.