Lessons From China: The World's Largest Education System

Wednesday, September 19 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Fromm Hall - FR 120 - Xavier Auditorium

Presented by the USF Center for Asia Pacific Studies

Lecture: Free and open to the public. Registration required.
VIP Reception: $35-50/person (receive a copy of Little Soldiers).

Registration and pre-payment required   

(left) Lenora Chu (right) students in a classroom in China

The Chinese way of education is often described in stereotypes: It produces the “world’s best students” or on the flip side, “rote-learners with no creativity.” What’s the real story? When Lenora Chu moved from California to Shanghai with her young son in 2010, China’s students were outranking American kids in math, reading, and science. Troubled by what she experienced at her son's state-run Shanghai school, and intrigued by the young Chinese she befriended, she launched a five-years-long investigative journey inside one of the world’s most extreme — and results-oriented — education systems. In this provocative discussion, Lenora chronicles her experiences inside China's school system, and explores issues of inequality and educators' longstanding struggle to change what's broken. In pulling back the curtain on China’s way of education, Lenora asks us to re-examine notions of grit and talent and a radically different driver of creativity and innovation.

Published by HarperCollins, Little Soldiers won the 2017 Nautilus Award and the ASJA’s top 2018 nonfiction prize and was shortlisted for Stanford Libraries’ Saroyan International Prize. "Undoubtedly revealing, fascinating and filled with aha moments," the book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and earned a rare five-star review from the South China Morning Post.

Speaker: Lenora Chu

Lenora Chu is an author, journalist and educational consultant with 15 years’ experience in the U.S. and China. Her book Little Soldiers, about China’s education system, won several national awards and was also shortlisted for Stanford University’s Saroyan International Prize. An internationally-recognized expert on Chinese education, Lenora has appeared on NPR, CBS, the BBC, and the CBC, and her articles and op-eds have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Cut, and Business Insider, among others. She has given speeches about Chinese education on four continents. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Texas, Lenora holds degrees in engineering and journalism from Stanford and Columbia Universities.