December 27, 2009

MOTIVATION: “My ‘C,’ ‘D,’ and ‘F’ students this semester are almost exclusively American, while my students from India, China, and Latin America have – despite language barriers – generally written solid papers, excelled on exams, and become valuable class participants.” But I’ll bet the American students have better self-esteem. They come from an educational process that values self-esteem; the other students from one that values performance. Both have produced as designed. (Via Ann Althouse, where a commenter objects, “There are plenty of lazy Indian and Chinese students, but those are in India and China.”). But, as Michael Barone has noted, America has the world’s worst 18-year-olds and the world’s best 30-year-olds. Let’s hope we can keep that up.

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