Monday, October 8, 2012

What is a desirable type of education?

In Zhao’s (2012) book, World class learners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students, he firmly argues for a high quality education where students are prepared for the future as creative, entrepreneurial, and globally competent. Zhao describes a globalized world as one that is “constantly changing and rapidly transformed by technology” (p. 15). Unquestionably students deserve a high quality education and should be prepared for a globalized world.

In a globalized world, it is alarming to think about the continuous decline of creativity as our children get older as described by Zhao (2012, p.11).

It is equally disturbing to note the impact of declining creativity in students to the levels of entrepreneurship. Zhao (2012) defines entrepreneurship as the “desire to solve problems creatively” (p. 9). So, creativity and entrepreneurship are interconnected which means that a decline in creativity would result in a similar decline in entrepreneurship. It is imperative we continue to question why there such a significant drop in creativity when comparing levels of creativity of students beginning school to students progressing in school with several years of schooling background?

Zhao (2012) also discusses the inverse relationship of entrepreneurship to performance on international tests (p.11). Consequently some countries seem to have more creative and entrepreneurial talents and also have lower results on international tests.  Similarly, low levels of entrepreneurship correlate to high performance on international tests.

We have to ask ourselves, do we want high levels of entrepreneurship for our students or improved results on standardized tests? Does an increased emphasis on testing have a relationship on the decreased emphasis on innovative pedagogies fostering creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit for a positive contribution to a globalized society?

What is a desirable type of education? Zhao’s (2012) book is about the “why” and “how” of the most desirable education.  

As listed on the author’s website at -, this book presents ideas for teachers, administrators or parents in: 
·       understanding the entrepreneurial spirit and harnessing it
·       fostering student autonomy and leadership
·       championing inventive learners with necessary resources
·       developing global partners and resources

Zhao, Y. (2012). World class learners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin