Around the Institute

Amanda Ripley Compares US Education System to Best Education Systems in the World

February 13, 2014

How do we adjust to an increasingly diverse classroom, with students from myriad social, economic, and cultural backgrounds? In the video above, author Amanda Ripley said it’s hard to distinguish between “real challenges, and low expectations and bias” in teaching in a diverse school.

Education reporter and author Amanda Ripley recently spoke at the Aspen Institute as part of the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series, where she discussed her new book “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way.” Ripley spent one year following three American students living in Finland, South Korea, and Poland to compare the education practices there to those in the US. Her real-world findings and comparative examples are detailed in her book.

In the video below, Ripley explains how other countries balance rote learning with creative learning. In the US, Ripley said, “What we do is err on the side of interactivity and freedom, and discussion,” she said. “I’ve been in classrooms where there’s a lot of discussion happening, and not a lot of learning.”

Watch the full discussion of author Amanda Ripley’sbook, “The Smartest Kids in the World, below.”