Author Lenora Chu Visits PKS

Journalist and author Lenora Chu visited campus this week as part of the EVENINGS@PKS series. The goal of these events is to generate healthy, open dialogue about education, childhood, and the challenges of parenting in the 21st century. We are excited about the buzz the series has generated within and outside of the PKS family.

 Author Lenora Chu discusses her research into, and personal experience with, China's education system.

Author Lenora Chu discusses her research into, and personal experience with, China's education system.

Lenora offered an interesting contrast to Zoltan Sarda who joined us last spring to kick off EVENINGS@PKS. Zoltan, one of the founders of High Tech High, came to PKS to teach us why he believes in "project based learning." He made the case for an education that prioritizes student voice and choice, that allows student passions to grow organically, and that consistently challenges students to become more empathic, to be better collaborators, and to learn 21st century skills. Zoltan introduced us to a wonderful Igbo proverb: “To go fast, go alone; to go far, go together.”

Lenora's experiences have been quite different. She read to us from her book, Little Soldiers: An American Boy, A Chinese School, and the Global Race To Achieve. Lenora enrolled her son in one of China's elite preschools and her book offers an honest -- and at times harrowing! -- look into the high-stakes, ultra-competitive and test-focused education system in China. But while there is much to critique in the Chinese public system, Lenora also found much to admire. Her perspective made for a lively Q&A after her prepared remarks.

Looking ahead, EVENINGS@PKS will continue when we host Karin Appleton of Early Childhood Matters in November. She will lead a session called “Hand in Hand Parenting: 5 tools for nurturing the parent-child connection.” And in December, we will host Jack Schneider, a professor of Education from Holy Cross University, who will lead a session called “What Makes Schools Great: Why The Data You Look at Is Dead Wrong.”

Like or follow us on Facebook to be informed about EVENINGS@PKS, and we hope you can join us for these thought-provoking conversations!