American education

From a beautiful article in this week’s Time magazine from Fareed Zakaria, one of Time‘s many great journalists (italics mine):

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“I went through the Asian educational system, which is now so admired. It gave me an impressive base of knowledge and taught me how to study hard and fast. But when I got to the U.S. for college, I found that it had not trained me that well to think. American education at its best teaches you how to solve problems, truly understand the material, question authority, think for yourself and be creative. It teaches you to learn what you love and to love learning. These are incredibly important values, and they are why the U.S. has been able to maintain an edge in creative industries and innovation in general.

Many of my students are hungry for American education at its best and work hard on my attempts to offer it. This is indeed so the point of it all. I agonize about whether I am pushing them hard enough at this. And how to reach the other students, for their own good and for everyone else’s. Zakaria’s article appears in an issue of Time which is asking where the American dream went.

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