Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Book Reveals the Real Reason Behind Our Children's Poor School Performance

Virtually every measure of American children’s learning in school has come up with depressing findings. When the discussion turns to ideas for improving American education, it’s almost entirely about what our educators should be doing differently to increase our children’s learning, with changes proposed in adult-controlled policies and practices such as teacher training, curricula, tests, and homework. Yet it’s clearly not working: The U.S. is ranked #25 in education rankings behind countries such as Singapore and China.

The Drive to Learn: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us about Raising Students Who Excel (Rowman & Littlefield, June 2017) by Cornelius N. Grove, Ed.D. argues that our children’s poor learning cannot be totally the fault of educators. Our children are active participants in classrooms.  If there’s a problem with how well our children are learning, then the children must be part of the solution.

The key messages found in The Drive to Learn include:

  • America’s education problems are due, in part, to how our children respond to teaching
  • Our children are part of the problem, so they must be part of the solution.  Reforms that address only the adult-controlled aspects of education can never fully yield the desired solutions
  • Solutions for individual children exist at the family level; solutions depend on parenting style, especially how parents interact with children about their school learning
Parents who want academic excellence for their children can learn from East Asian parents.

What I Took Away From This Book:

American parents are more cheerleaders and less coaches! Yes! I can see that. I think this book is important to all parents, educators, doctors, and anyone interested in learning how we can help our children do their very best.

Education has changed so much in the past 4 years and school is just getting harder. 

I loved the comparisons between Asian parents and American parents and completely agree with it. While I may not be looking to change everything I do with my kids I believe I need to remove some of the guilt I feel when they have so much homework and I think they should be doing something more fun. I want my kids to be receptive to learning and this means changing the attitudes we have toward learning.

About Dr. Cornelius N. Grove:

Dr. Cornelius Grove, managing partner of the consultancy Grovewell, is also an independent scholar and author of iconoclastic books on education. After attaining an M.A.T. at Hopkins, he taught history in White Plains, NY; worked in educational publishing; travelled abroad for two years; and earned an Ed.D. at Columbia.While working for a student exchange organization, Dr. Grove taught a course on “cross-cultural communication in the classroom” at two universities. He then taught in Beijing and co-authored Encountering the Chinese (3rd Ed., 2010).

In 2005, he delivered in Singapore a major conference paper on instructional styles worldwide. This inspired him to begin providing Americans with historical and cross-cultural perspectives on their children’s classroom learning. In his first book, The Aptitude Myth (2013), he revealed that the origin of Americans’ thinking about how children learn lies in the imaginations of ancient Greek philosophers. He then was invited to write entries on “pedagogy across cultures” for the Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (2015), and the International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication (2018). In his forthcoming book, The Drive to Learn (2017), Dr. Grove focuses on the contrasts between U.S. and East Asian cultures, yielding fresh insights about the relation of parenting to school success.
For a longer biography, visit Dr. Grove’s page on Amazon Author Central.  For more about The Drive to Learn, visit and connect with Dr. Grove on Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn.

The Drive to Learn will be released June 2017 and can be preordered from Rowman & Littlefield, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

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