The Smartest Kids In The World Book Summary, by Amanda Ripley | Allen Cheng
The Smartest Kids In The World Book Summary, by Amanda Ripley

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1-Page Summary of The Smartest Kids In The World

Overview

Think about your elementary school days. Who was your favorite teacher? What did the classroom look like? Was it a pleasant experience or were you dragged to school every morning?

School is an important part of a child’s life. It helps them become more productive members of society and have a positive impact on the economy. As such, many countries carefully follow how well their school systems are performing in standardized tests like PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). They then try to figure out what they can learn from the best performing education systems so that they too can improve.

In this article you’ll find out some interesting facts about the education system in South Korea. For example, there’s a special police force that stops students who are studying after 11 p.m., and even the students feel that America’s high school curriculum is too easy.

Big Idea #1: The PISA test was a new kind of critical thinking test for comparing nations’ education programs.

Countries all over the world are interested in their education because it helps them thrive for the future. This is why they constantly compare their schools and education systems to see how well they’re doing.

In 2000, a new test was created to measure the critical thinking abilities of students. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) developed this test because it wanted to see how well students could think on their own rather than what they had learned in the classroom.

For example, students were not required to remember math formulas. They also had to interpret new information from graphs and written texts, as well as use that information in novel ways to solve problems they hadn’t encountered in the classroom. These kinds of questions measured problem-solving and critical thinking skills because these are the most important for people if they want to succeed in a modern workplace. Indeed, this has been borne out by later data: economists have found a near linear correlation between PISA scores and long-term economic growth of a nation.

Then, it seems that better critical thinking results in higher productivity. A productive workforce attracts companies seeking good employees and boosts the economy as a result. No wonder everyone is interested in this test of critical thinking skills.

Big Idea #2: The PISA test has revealed some surprising differences in the abilities of students across the globe.

When the results of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) were released, they caused a huge stir in education. The United States was surprised to find that it ranked below countries such as Canada and Greece. Finland, which had been expected to do well, was also shocked by its high ranking.

In fact, US students have performed poorly in every PISA test: In the latest test, from 2009, they ranked 12th in reading and science and 17th in math.

This was particularly worrying for the United States, as they were struggling financially in the depths of a depression at that time.

In the United States, there is a large gap between affluent and poor students because many schools are private. However, this does not accurately portray the skills of American students.

Despite the fact that children from affluent families did worse than average, they still performed better. The Bush administration responded by passing the No Child Left Behind educational reform act to help disadvantaged students.

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The results from the 2009 PISA test show that America’s education system is still lagging behind other countries.

The Smartest Kids In The World Book Summary, by Amanda Ripley
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