Note – Scott Alexander posted a “Review Review” of this piece on Slate Star Codex on January 22, 2020.
I’m a typical SSC reader when it comes to education. I love Scott’s graduation speech, I think Bryan Caplan is right, and I actively participate in our semi-regular tradition of talking about how much schools suck.
That’s why Lenora Chu’s Little Soldiers: An American Boy, A Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve was pure nightmare fuel for me. It’s a non-fiction account of an ethnically-Chinese, American-born woman following her multi-racial child through the Chinese school system in Shanghai. While we complain about our soft, liberal, decadent school experiences in America or Europe, tens of millions of Chinese kids are subjected to a school structure that seems purposefully designed to make everyone as miserable as humanly possible.
Or at least that was my take-away. Lenora Chu has a kinder perspective on the system. Mostly.Continue reading “Little Soldiers – Inside the Chinese Education System”