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World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students
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World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Prepare your students for the globalized world!

To succeed in the global economy, students need to function as entrepreneurs: resourceful, flexible and creative. Researcher and Professor Yong Zhao unlocks the secrets to cultivating independent thinkers who are willing and able to create jobs and contribute positively to the globalized society. This book shows how teachers
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Corwin Press
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  199 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Jeremy Johnston
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Zhao raises a number of excellent points about the world our children are facing (and will face). He provides interesting and relevant data about the changing workforce and demographics of our increasingly "flat" world. Like most books on education, however, he also presents a "silver bullet" solution to education's problems--which, in my experience, is rarely the case. He calls for "product-oriented-learning" which is modeled after initiatives implemented by High Tech High. Essentially, student ...more
Pete Welter
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yong Zhao is one of the educational thinkers whose views resonate with me the most. In this, his latest book, he looks the entrepreneur as the model for what it will take make one's way in the 21st century. He generalizes the meaning of "entrepreneur" away from a specific focus on business to - and a I love this phrase - "entrepreneurship refers to a person's ability to turn ideas into action." I've found the same to be true, that the same skills and processes used by entrepreneurs to create bus ...more
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Terrific resource. Dr. Zhao makes a strong connection between standardizes tests and lack of creativity. His distinction between problem-based learning and project-oriented learning helped give me a clearer understanding of what PBL is and should be.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent read. It supports a genuine challenge to the historical paradigm that drives much of what we see in education today. What is refreshing is the discussion of a blueprint for a new and possibly more effective paradigm to support success in the 21C. I will be taking from the many valuable sources for further research.
Nov 19, 2014 marked it as to-read
Author spoke at Wellington
Kevin Pugh
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When it comes to education, we want to be China. China has remarkable test scores. But did you know that China wants to be us? China wants Jobs - Steve Jobs. America produces a remarkable number of innovators, entrepreneurs, and great thinkers. China thinks the US education system might have something to do with this. Yong Zhao agrees and in his book he highlights what the US system is doing well (by accident) and what we need to do to truly create an education that fosters creativity and entrep ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Zhao provides the evidence and context for what most progressive educators suspect: standardized tests are the opposite of meaningful learning... specifically, they kill creativity and squelch entrepreneurial spirit. A must read for educators, administrators, and most especially for policy makers.
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book made me think of Jean Anyon and the hidden curriculum of schools <3
Mr. Holt
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every teacher, parent, school leader, and anyone else affiliated with schools around the world needs to read "World Class Learners" by Yong Zhao. In this eye-opening reference manual for how schools should be operated, the author asserts the idea that school systems around the globe, and not just in America, are broken and in need of some big repairs. He blames this failure on national curricula and standardized testing. Students are being prepared to work in factories doing the same thing every ...more
Jason Lilly
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Full of staggering statistics, Zhao's approach to education is both controversial and brilliant. Unlike many other books with a similar approach, though, Zhao offers practical and powerful solutions. I was both disturbed and inspired by this book. Every teacher should read it and see why the trend of creating "good employees" or "good college students" needs to end. The education system should instead seek to empower students to be creators, innovators, pioneers, entrpreneurs.

I want to personall
Elaine van der Geld
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Beyond the fact that this book contains numerous dubious claims, it does not represent a real paradigm shift that will help schools and students improve. By pitting entrepreneurship against the model of "factory line" schools the book still takes the implicit position that schools are places in which we prepare students to be workers and producers in the market. It is not until the final essay, which elevates this book from a one star to a two, that anybody discusses ethics, empathy, or citizenr ...more
Lorne Brandt
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book because of my current transition from U.S. public school art teacher to a Chinese private school art/IT position. My respect for Zhao is incredibly high and I appreciate all that he is doing to provide context for the Western's desire to compete with Eastern's test scores. That being said, I found this book somewhat vague compared to the research-driven books in the same genre. Instead of providing novel ideas based on new research, he really just synthesizes some of th ...more
Nicole Colter
This book was extremely valuable to me as I am embarking on my own exploration of what we can do to cultivate children who are innovative, entrepreneurial, creative and can think for themselves. Yong Zhao discusses how the US is trying to compete with China but exposes how while China may get better scores on standardized tests, their students grow lacking entrepreneurial and innovative capacities. He highlights how we are chasing the wrong metrics and how education stifles the entrepreneurial s ...more
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Really 3.5 stars. Zhao, as many others have also done, makes a strong case against standardized testing. However, he makes the same mistakes many others make when talking about fixing the educational system: before we can fix the educational system, we need to come to an agreement as to what the purpose of the educational system is. There will also never be one solution that will work for every student. Zhao's one-size-fits-all solution is entrepreneurial skills, which sound to me like the 21st ...more
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
I liked Yong Zhao's book better than the Tony Wagner "Creating Innovators" for the simple fact that I felt I learned some more about education as a whole - and what we can do to make it better. I don't believe in standardized learning. I believe kids should explore, learn boundaries but also learn to push them, and they should get their hands dirty. They should learn empathy, compassion, and - fun. Learning can be fun, but we've turned it into a fill-in-the-blank monstrosity that kills creativit ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yong Zhao does an excellent job of describing what a homogeneous curriculum can do to creativity and global thinking. He brings to light the reality that the United States produces remarkable entrepreneurs and products desired by many countries. We are able to do this because of our lack of national testing and flat curriculum. Countries are now getting away from that standardized model, while we have flipped our thinking towards chasing test scores. Dr. Zhao's portrayal of a United States on th ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you are interested how education should be this is a book for you. It debunks the idea of high standardised test scores as being a true measure of potential. In fact it proves the opposite. Looking clearly at the fact that education has been geared toward producing good employees and then looking at a poor job market walks us through the idea of training entrepreneurs instead of employees. It's a great read, and very informative.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I rated this 4 stars until reading the last chapter. I am particularly taken by Yong Zhao's distinctions between different implementations of PBL (Problem Based Learning), and found the final chapter and his list of "indicators of a school oriented to prepare citizens in the age of globalization" exceptional.
Samuel Lubell
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: education, nonfiction
This is more an argument for teaching entrepreneurship than anything else. The main argument is that even though nations like China and Japan outscore the U.S. on international tests, they do far worse than us on the things that count economically. So, we should not try to emulate their education system that stresses rote learning at the expense of creativity.
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book... I feel refreshed after reading something with the same views as mine. At the school that I am we are concerned about test scores and ACT scores we forget everyone the other students who aren't going to college or don't know what they want to do.

We need to be creating learners.

Wonderful read.
Linda Buniak
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that gives a good description of what educational reforms should look like in order to create life long learners in the 21st century.
Barbara Lovejoy
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WOW!!! The author gave me lots of things to consider for Esperanza--a whole new way of looking at education.
Kiffany Lychock
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent book - great data to back up dr.zhao's assertions about the dangers of standardizing education. Highly recommend to anyone interested in transforming the American Education system.
Zohaib Noorani
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. —Anatole France” 1 likes
“FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP Youth unemployment has become an urgent challenge facing the global society. In 2011, nearly 75 million youth aged 15 to 24 were unemployed worldwide. The majority of the world’s youth (87%) living in developing countries “are often underemployed and working in the informal economy under poor conditions,” according to the 2012 The World Youth Report of the United Nations (United” 0 likes
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