who's the best?

by Barbara Schulte

Associate Professor

Lund University

This photo from a kindergarten in Beijing, within my research project on Chinese private schools, captures the fascinating but depressing craze for educational excellence in a world of Tiger Mommies. Contrary to their official commitment to creativity, schools engage in a race for high performance, at the children's expense (who surely don't have time to chase butterflies). The excellence resulting from this race is (like the photo's spelling) flawed: children are narrowed down to exam machines.

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