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"In this important book, Yong Zhao demonstrates persuasively that the race for higher test scores is harmful to our society. It contradicts the need to develop our young people's creativity and entrepreneurship. If we ignore Yong Zhao's warning, we risk hurtling back to an industrial model of standardization and conformity. What is needed most now, he reminds us, is freedom to think, freedom to invent, and freedom to differ from bureaucratically devised norms."
"Yong Zhao has provided the most compelling case I have read that many (mainly Western) nations are on the wrong track in educational reform. The unrelenting focus on high-stakes testing, the narrowing of the curriculum, and the continuing faith in outdated models of schooling ensure that they are short-changing students and weakening their societies and economies. The good news in this book is that there are outliers of preferred practice in schools around the world.
"Zhao zeroes in on entrepreneurship and the sorts of open-ended learning that produce creative problem-solvers most likely to succeed in the competitive world of business. In spite of the obstacles our mania for test scores have put in the way, Zhao shows us how educators and students are succeeding on this path."
“Professor Zhao has provided a different and compelling view of what education can and should be if we want to remain the global, creative, entrepreneurial, innovation nation going forward. Policy makers at every level need to read and act on the ideas in this book as though our future depends on it. Because it does.”
“Many of us who study innovation struggle with ways to domesticate the unruly habits of creative entrepreneurs into a useful framework for education and learning. Dr. Yong Zhao’s World Class Learners brings the lessons of global entrepreneurs home to the 21st century classroom, at a moment when those lessons are sorely needed. World Class Learners is a timely and important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between practical skills, creativity and technology in preparing young people for an entrepreneurial world.”
"The 21st Century Education movement requires us to be more intentional and purposeful about the outcomes that will help our students become 21st century citizens and be successful in the new global economy. In his latest book, World Class Learners, Yong Zhao has forcefully challenged us to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Zhao has established himself as one of the most compelling voices in 21st century education. He is not an ed reformer, trying to improve our performance within the old system.
"Rarely do I read a well written and engaging book that offers a research-based critique of current practices in education with a workable prescription for the future. World Class Learners is such a book. Moreover, its implications for the field of teacher preparation are profound, and the ideas presented in the book should become the basis for significant discussion within our field.
"World Class Learners contains a clear call for teacher preparation to begin producing teachers capable of thinking differently about the purposes of schooling. If we ignore our opportunity to do so, our future is, at best, uncertain."
"Professor Zhao describes in rich detail how our world is rapidly being pushed by the triple forces of demographic change, economic globalization, and technological innovation toward ever more demanding requirements for educational improvement in our schools. He shows that focusing excessively on test scores undermines the very kinds of creativity and initiative that are most badly needed for economic success, social well-being, and environmental sustainability."
"Professor Yong Zhao's latest book, World Class Learners, is unusual, wide-ranging, provocative, and amusing. Dr. Zhao himself exemplifies the creative entrepreneur, someone who roams across disciplines to synthesize new ideas based on insight and research. Having spent his youth in China and his adulthood in the U. S. gives him a clear-eyed view of the strengths and weaknesses of schooling in both the East and the West. His account of the unexpected consequences of well-intentioned policy should be read by every policymaker, from education secretaries to school board members.
"Yong Zhao dares to challenge prevailing "standardized" education policies and practices in favor of more individualized, holistic approaches that tap into and enhance the talents of every child enabling all children to be better prepared to live productively in a globalized society. Zhao's book portrays a new global entrepreneurship paradigm for teaching and learning in our schools and imparts a sense of urgency and call to action for education policy makers everywhere to shift away from standardization to globalization for the sake of our children and the well-being of our nation.
"In this provocative book Professor Zhao argues that creativity and entrepreneurship, rather than test scores, ought to be the goals that mobilize societies as they improve education. He suggests that policies aimed at improving test scores harm the development of creativity and entrepreneurial skills. This is a fresh and important contribution to the global conversation on education reform, a compelling call for systematically generalizing the opportunities to develop creativity that are at the root of child centered education."
"As the global economy becomes ever more connected, increasing attention is paid to preparing students to be competitive in the international marketplace. Zhao (Univ. of Oregon) sketches out a plan that will help create independent thinkers who are able to engage in the creative thinking process necessary to foster job creation and positive contributions to society.