Author Dr. Cornelius Grove is Today’s Honoree

About The Book:

A Mirror for Americans: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us about Teaching Students Who Excel discusses not only what happens in East Asian schools and classrooms but also, and more significantly, the values that shape how teachers there instruct and interact with their pupils. By revealing the nature of teacher-pupil relationships in East Asia, Grove enables readers to step back and reassess our American ways of thinking about teachers, pupils, academic learning, and classroom processes.

Why did Grove entitle this book A Mirror for Americans? People who’ve had experience in an unfamiliar culture often remark that they now see their own culture with fresh eyes. It’s as though they’ve looked into a mirror and seen alternative possibilities for their lives. They realize their home culture has features that aren’t “givens” but instead are choices. Different choices could be made.

The mirror provided by A Mirror for Americans enables readers to see that East Asian teachers’ methods actually are not vastly different from American teacher’s methods. The big difference that yields those superior students is the underlying values that drive East Asians’ approach to children and their classroom learning.

The most basic value-difference is that individualism is exceptionally strong here in the U.S., whereas in East Asia, family- and community-focused values have prevailed across centuries.

About The Author:

Author Cornelius N. Grove holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Johns Hopkins and a Doctor of Education from Columbia. He has had a decades-long fascination with the cultural factors that affect children’s ability to learn in school. At a 2005 conference in Singapore, he spoke about the two instructional styles found around the world. In 2013 he wrote The Aptitude Myth: How an Ancient Belief Came to Undermine Children’s Learning Today, a historical study of why most Americans believe that inborn ability determines school performance. For two recently published encyclopedias (2015 and 2017), he wrote entries on “pedagogy across cultures.” And now with A Mirror for Americans and The Drive to Learn, he is revealing the complementary roles played by home and school in building children’s academic prowess.

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