To Chapter 9
heart of learning
wedlock, whereas in Malaysia it is 2 percent), high divorce rate, loss
of self-reliance and lower academic achievement."
By contrast, the Chinese family networks that are now
the dominant economic force in Asia also add, to their Asian and family values, their
traditional emphasis on learning as a key goal for every child. Inside that nurturing
cultural web, Asian countries have already shown how they can take the world's best
technical breakthroughs and improve on them, without changing their own core values.
The Acer Group, Taiwan's leading computer manufacturer,
has already contributed $7 million as seeding finance to set up the Acer Foundation to
popularize new business methods. Acer has also set up its own children's computer and
electronic games magazine - in Chinese. And it will not surprise us if satellite
educational programs, in Mandarin, linking sites around Asia, play a bigger part than
politicians in solving differences between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.
Significantly, when The Learning Revolution was
first published, it was one of Singapore's leading international schools that led the
overseas demand by airfreighting in copies for every member of its staff.
And at Beijing's 21st Century Experimental School
you'll find an excellent blend of traditional values and interactive technology. Go into
one typical class, and eight-year-olds will be holding a wide-ranging discussion on
behavioral values: a daily "subject". Next door nine-year-olds will be learning
English by playing games. Elsewhere others will be working with computers or studying
history through fossils in a school museum, learning classical music, or entertaining
parents and foreign visitors in a completely unconscious and friendly way.
Even the school's establishment reflects the changing
era. It is headed by Professor Zhang Fuqi,a Director of China's Senior Professors
Association; the buildings financed by a donation from his entrepreneurial son; the land
donated by the local government: all this in the main city of the world's biggest
No problems here with self-esteem and self-confidence
as the school strives to link great methods of learning and teaching: some as ancient as
Chinese civilization, others as tomorrow-geared as an electronic beep.
Contents Page Preface
To Chapter 9