World Class Learners
Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students
- Yong Zhao - University of Kansas, USA
Education Policy | School Change & Reform
Prepare your students for the globalized world!
In the new global economy, the jobs that exist now might not exist by the time today's students enter the workplace. To succeed in this ever-changing world, students need to be able to think like entrepreneurs: resourceful, flexible, creative, and global.
Researcher and Professor Yong Zhao unlocks the secrets to cultivating independent thinkers who are willing and able to use their learning differently to create jobs and contribute positively to the globalized society. World Class Learners presents concepts that teachers, administrators and even parents can implement immediately, including how to:
- Understand the entrepreneurial spirit and harness it
- Foster student autonomy and leadership
- Champion inventive learners with necessary resources
- Develop global partners and resources
With the liberty to make meaningful decisions and explore nontraditional learning opportunities, today's students will develop into tomorrow's global entrepreneurs.
"In this important book, Yong Zhao demonstrates persuasively that the race for higher test scores is harmful to our society. What is needed most now, he reminds us, is freedom to think, freedom to invent, and freedom to differ from bureaucratically devised norms."
—Diane Ravitch, Author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System
"In his latest book, Yong Zhao forcefully challenges us to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Zhao has established himself as one of the most compelling voices in 21st century education. He is not an education reformer, trying to improve our performance within the old system. He is truly an education transformer, trying to articulate the outcomes that will matter most to our 21st century students."
—Ken Kay, CEO of EdLeader21
Founding President of Partnership for 21st Century Skills
"In this important book, Yong Zhao demonstrates persuasively that the race for higher test scores is harmful to our society. It contradicts the need to develop our young people's creativity and entrepreneurship. If we ignore Yong Zhao's warning, we risk hurtling back to an industrial model of standardization and conformity. What is needed most now, he reminds us, is freedom to think, freedom to invent, and freedom to differ from bureaucratically devised norms."
"Professor Yong Zhao's latest book, World Class Learners, is unusual, wide-ranging, provocative, and amusing. Dr. Zhao himself exemplifies the creative entrepreneur, someone who roams across disciplines to synthesize new ideas based on insight and research. Having spent his youth in China and his adulthood in the U. S. gives him a clear-eyed view of the strengths and weaknesses of schooling in both the East and the West. His account of the unexpected consequences of well-intentioned policy should be read by every policymaker, from education secretaries to school board members. Teachers and parents will also benefit from his views on educating children to be creative, independent thinkers."
"Yong Zhao dares to challenge prevailing "standardized" education policies and practices in favor of more individualized, holistic approaches that tap into and enhance the talents of every child enabling all children to be better prepared to live productively in a globalized society. Zhao's book portrays a new global entrepreneurship paradigm for teaching and learning in our schools and imparts a sense of urgency and call to action for education policy makers everywhere to shift away from standardization to globalization for the sake of our children and the well-being of our nation. Zhao's thoughtful and thought-provoking vision will inspire educators and his global entrepreneurship paradigm is bound to intrigue, inform and enhance their practice.
The National Association of Elementary School Principals applauds Yong Zhao's vision and encourages educators to draw upon his new global entrepreneurship education paradigm for inspiration and practical ideas for engaging students and enhancing their talents and exceptionality."
"Zhao zeroes in on entrepreneurship and the sorts of open-ended learning that produce creative problem-solvers most likely to succeed in the competitive world of business. In spite of the obstacles our mania for test scores have put in the way, Zhao shows us how educators and students are succeeding on this path."
“Professor Zhao has provided a different and compelling view of what education can and should be if we want to remain the global, creative, entrepreneurial, innovation nation going forward. Policy makers at every level need to read and act on the ideas in this book as though our future depends on it. Because it does.”
"Yong Zhao has provided the most compelling case I have read that many (mainly Western) nations are on the wrong track in educational reform. The unrelenting focus on high-stakes testing, the narrowing of the curriculum, and the continuing faith in outdated models of schooling ensure that they are short-changing students and weakening their societies and economies. The good news in this book is that there are outliers of preferred practice in schools around the world. The challenge is to provide schools with the autonomy to innovate with an entrepreneurial spirit and to resist the pressures for more centralized command-and-control approaches to change in schools."
"The 21st Century Education movement requires us to be more intentional and purposeful about the outcomes that will help our students become 21st century citizens and be successful in the new global economy. In his latest book, World Class Learners, Yong Zhao has forcefully challenged us to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Zhao has established himself as one of the most compelling voices in 21st century education. He is not an ed reformer, trying to improve our performance within the old system. He is truly an ed transformer, trying to articulate the outcomes that will matter most to our 21st century students. Yong Zhao continues to 'lead the way'."
“Many of us who study innovation struggle with ways to domesticate the unruly habits of creative entrepreneurs into a useful framework for education and learning. Dr. Yong Zhao’s World Class Learners brings the lessons of global entrepreneurs home to the 21st century classroom, at a moment when those lessons are sorely needed. World Class Learners is a timely and important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between practical skills, creativity and technology in preparing young people for an entrepreneurial world.”
"Rarely do I read a well written and engaging book that offers a research-based critique of current practices in education with a workable prescription for the future. World Class Learners is such a book. Moreover, its implications for the field of teacher preparation are profound, and the ideas presented in the book should become the basis for significant discussion within our field. As Zhao points out, the world is changing so rapidly, and the context that our schools and institutions of higher education confront is so dynamic that we must embrace the need for change and make adjustments or potentially lose the franchise for preparing the next generation of educators. This book should be required for all those interested in education, but most significantly, those preparing for careers in the field."
"World Class Learners contains a clear call for teacher preparation to begin producing teachers capable of thinking differently about the purposes of schooling. If we ignore our opportunity to do so, our future is, at best, uncertain."
Sample Materials & Chapters
Introduction: To Create Is Human