This week’s edition of The Economist contains a review and discussion of Amanda Ripley’s “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way.” The book readdresses the paradox that the USA has the best universities in the world but does badly on international tests in secondary education. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranking places the US 25th out of 56 participating countries for mathematical skills, just ahead of Latvia, and behind the Slovak Republic. Ms. Ripley’s book is largely reiterating many of the ideas by Tony Wagner in his book, “The Global Achievement Gap.” Ignored for several years when it was first written, it has today become a highly influential book. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Socrates
I am very grateful to my friend, Philip Warwick, for suggesting this excellent book, which is a fascinating discussion on the purpose and the role of universities. From the start, Collini points out the paradoxical situation in which universities find themselves today. Never in history have they, as higher education institutions, attracted so many students, and yet universities increasingly spend large parts of their time justifying what they do.