More Panda Mom

From the Daily Mail, an interview by Julia Llewellyn Smith with Esther Wojicki.  She is the mom of 2 very successful daughters – the CEO of YouTube, and the founder of 23-and-Me.

But Esther, who is warm, funny and not remotely smug, is horrified by scary Tiger Mother methods — the tough parenting rules of fellow American Amy Chua, who once threatened to burn her daughter’s soft toys when she failed to master a piano piece.

‘I admire Amy Chua’s devotion to her daughters,’ Esther says measuredly. But I think her approach failed to instil a sense of passion or independence in them. The key to happiness is a sense of power over your life, and I think a lot of people feel they don’t have that. They feel controlled by their families, that they’re doing things they don’t personally want to do to make somebody else happy.’

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Three Concepts of Social Science….For New Schools

This short little essay by Arnold Kling hits on 3 key ideas from social science that I think are useful for people creating new schools.

1. Emergence vs design.

Most schools create rules/policies (design) but kids and teachers only follow a fraction of them.

Most school founders don’t account for emergence of “The real cultures.”  I say cultures plural because there is one culture for students, another for teachers (which intersect in many interesting ways).

If creators of new schools allowed for emergence, they’d protect way more capacity towards “tending the garden” of whatever emerges: watering the good stuff and weeding the bad stuff.  That’s what great schools do.  Continue reading “Three Concepts of Social Science….For New Schools”

Chinese Parents Feel “Stress of Summer”

Sue Ng writes:

Sending children on overseas tours has also become an indispensable part of the break, with nearly everyone in Chan’s children’s class joining a summer study tour to experience an overseas educational environment, culture, and language through meeting people, visiting famous universities and sightseeing.

Chan said her 11-year-old son had benefited from an 11-day tour of Italy, which included museum trips and a requirement to submit drawings after their experiences.

Cheng Guowei, a representative of the East Meets West study tour centre based in Shanghai, said parents were concerned about their children’s education.

Our 11 year old son did not go to Italy.

Or on any educational tour.

Continue reading “Chinese Parents Feel “Stress of Summer””