Saturday, January 12, 2013

Amanda Ripley's Intriguing Talk On Education Reform

I came across the video above from Amanda Ripley's talk at Pop Tech 2012 on Scott McLeod's Blog.  It really is something that I would recommend for anyone who is concerned about the state of our schools.

Ripley who is well known for her first book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why, is working on a book due out this summer titled The Smartest Kids In The World. In writing this book, Ripley took a unique path to investigating how the countries ranked ahead of the United States on the PISA test educate their students. She interviewed some top American students who spent time as exchange students in some of these countries and asked them to compare their experiences abroad with their experiences back here stateside in American classrooms.

The video concludes with the following three takeaways from these conversations:

  1. In the top performing countries in the world school is harder.  
  2. No country is like the US with its obsession of playing sports. 
  3. Kids (in schools in these other countries) believe there's something in it for them. 
  4. Kids believe that what they are doing in school impacts their futures.

Ripley ends with these words , "If we want to know how to raise resilient kids, there are lots of ways to find out. One of the ways to do this is to ask kids because kids can tell you things that no one else can."

I am excited for the book! In the meantime, I've added Amanda's blog to my RSS feed.


  1. I agree on her four main points. Stats don't lie and her explanation makes it more believable. I was one of those students that takes education seriously and I have smart tuition reviews to support my studies. I am not blessed with a wealthy background so I have to seize the opportunity. Educate students to have a sense of responsibility to make them take their studies seriously.

    Sophie Tyler Neil

  2. Point well taken! Change is necessary to compete with other countries. We just can't sit and relax knowing that other countries are gaining on us. We should give every children a chance to go to school. Who knows if we can find a gem from them. The charities in new york city could be a role model on how they help underprivileged kids through scholarships.

    Francesca Barnett

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