Today I have a review of World Class by Teru Clavel, available now. A big thank you to Atria for the complimentary copy!
Teru Clavel is a mom of young children with the oldest being only two when she fights to get her children into one of the top New York City preschools. Something told her that the position of privilege was not all her children needed to receive a world-class education, so she and her family moved to Asia for ten years.
In that time, her children attend public schools in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Each setting has features that maximize potential. In Shanghai, for example, students stay late until they master the day’s lesson. In Tokyo, her children are taught to cook from a sophisticated menu.
A common theme is that the schools are all low tech, and the teachers put a high value on obedience and order. Teru’s children thrive in this type of environment. When she returned to the US with her children, Teru finds the highly-rated California school her children attend cannot challenge them.
World Class is a fascinating and insightful take on this family’s experience with education both in and outside of the United States. Teru writes with humor and has an engaging, approachable style. It was a joy to read.
There’s no one right way to educate every child, but Teru offers invaluable insight into what worked for her children, and there is much to be learned and thought about here and topics for future discussion and planning.
After all, what is more important than educating our children to the best of our abilities?
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
An eye-opening firsthand exploration of why Asian students are outpacing their American counterparts, and how to help our children excel in today’s competitive world.
When Teru Clavel had young children, the oldest barely two, she watched as her friends and fellow parents vied to secure a spot in the right New York City preschools. Following a gut feeling that a truly world-class education involves more than the privilege and ennui of elite private schools, Teru and her family moved to Asia, embarking on a ten-year-long journey through the public schools of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo.
During this time, Teru discovered firsthand why students in China and Japan are far outpacing their American counterparts. In Hong Kong, her children’s school was nicknamed The Prison for its foreboding, austere facilities, yet her three-year-old loved his teachers and his nightly homework. In Shanghai, in a school without flush toilets, the students were kept late not out of punishment but to master the day’s lesson. In Tokyo, her children and their classmates were responsible for school chores, like preparing and serving school lunches—lunches that featured grilled fish, stewed vegetables, and miso soup, not hot dogs and french fries.
These schools were low-tech and bare-bones, with teachers who demanded obedience and order. Yet Teru was shocked to discover that her children thrived in these foreign and academically competitive cultures; they learned to be independent, self-confident, and resilient, and, above all, they developed a deep and abiding love of learning. The true culture shock came when Teru returned to the States and found their top-rated California school woefully ill-prepared to challenge her children. Her kids were passing, but the schools were failing them.
In this revelatory book, Teru shares what she learned during her decade in Asia, providing practical tips and takeaways to bring the best of Asia’s education and parenting philosophies into American homes and schools. Written with warmth and humor, World Class is an insightful guide to set your children on a path towards lifelong learning and success.
Have you read World Class, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR