- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Unbound (1 Dec. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1783522739
- ISBN-13: 978-1783522736
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cleverlands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World's Education Superpowers Hardcover – 1 Dec 2016
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"Lucy Crehan’s book is refreshingly fair-minded and makes a case that there is a lot to learn about how other countries learn." (Books of the Year Economist)
"Audacious and important . . . Cleverlands is not just for specialists: it's a wry and accessible narrative of personal enterprise."" (Prospect)
"Mind-expanding and topical… completely fascinating. As a serving primary school governor, I read it avidly, and it made me dream of an education system that is designed by thoughtful, experienced and caring teachers." (Bookseller)
"Crehan's work has the edge … a powerful defence of the idea that there is a lot to learn from how other countries learn." (Economist)
"thought-provoking … a must-read" (Sir Clive Woodward)
"a major breakthrough" (Sir Michael Barber)
"a remarkable and original book … should be required reading" (Dylan Wiliam)
A revealing look into the world’s ‘top performing’ classrooms and what really drives educational successSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
I found it to be completely fascinating. I loved the combination of tales and ideas. Finnish teacher autonomy and Dan Pink's Motivation 3.0. Shanghai maths lessons and KFC. Singaporean streaming and eugenics. All this is weaved together with Lucy Crehan's first-hand experiences.
Most importantly, the book has something important to teach us in how we think about education. Beyond partisanship and ideology, there are some things we can all agree on. No, we shouldn't try to be like Finland, just as we shouldn't try to be like Shanghai. But we can learn a lot from both places.
Essential reading for anyone interested in education.
Lucy writes in a thoroughly engaging way that makes complex theories easy to relate to
Crehan travels to countries with the world's best education systems to see what it is that makes them tick. How do they work? How do they achieve the stellar results that they do? And at what cost?
She explains her findings in engaging, witty prose which at times left me chuckling to myself at my desk (in a school staff room, no less). But don't be fooled into thinking this is merely an education-based gap yah, because it's not. Crehan backs up her assertions with hard science, and there are plenty of charts, graphs, and citations of journal articles that lend authority to every claim she makes. She clearly knows her field incredibly well, and you can tell this from the book.
If I had one complaint, it would be a lack of balance. Crehan explains the Finnish education system in a great deal of detail, from how they do things in primary school, policies at secondary school, right up to teacher training at university. Other sections of the book, notably China and Japan (my area of expertise) don't seem to have been given quite the same amount of attention. This is definitely understandable, since Crehan teaches in the UK, and here Finland is often held to be the gold standard of education, perhaps since it is closer to home than both China and Japan.
This being said, Crehan has created a thought-provoking, incredibly readable account of her experiences working in the world's best education systems, and I have recommended this book to all of my teacher friends.
Lucy Crehan is an English secondary school teacher who decided to take a year out and explore five of the leading school systems as measured by PISA. She blagged her way into schools, offering to teach as a volunteer and looking for a teacher at the school to host her. So she ended up in Finland, Shanghai, Singapore, Japan and Canada. Each port of call got three chapters dealing with the structure of education, a bit of cultural background, her own experience and observations, and a kind of personal-political conclusion. Each system is quite different, but each seems to turn out top scores in literacy and numeracy.
This is not the first comparative study of education systems and it won't be the last. But what makes it unique is that Lucy Crehan has actually lived the system. Her take is not neutral; she is not a distant academic observer writing from a dispassionate and detached standpoint. But nor is she pushing a rigid political agenda that would stop her learning and seeing what was happening around her. She also, interestingly, brings the various perspectives of students, teachers and parents into the narrative.
The result is a highly readable book that actually contains a surprising amount of detail about what the different systems really look like.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in education either as a teacher, parent or a policy maker.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Purchased on recommendation. Not disappointed An interesting readPublished 15 days ago by S. C. Beck
An exceptional contribution to the debate about educational policy. Lucy Crehan has understood that education and culture and inseparable and provided readers with a vivid picture... Read morePublished 1 month ago by MRS E R SEEBER
This is an incredibly important book written in a refreshing, entertaining style. Crehan combines rigorous research, fascinating historical context and charming personal anecdotes... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Liz Cowley
This book is fabulous; at the same time it is funny, insightful, interesting, thoughtful, thought-provoking, analytical, honest, and passionate. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Reilly
'Cleverlands' is a thoroughly insightful and engaging book that I found almost impossible to put down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Oliver Longworth
A thought provoking, accessible and considered analysis that adds a new dimension to our understanding of the relationship between cultures and educational outcomes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by simon knight
This book is ideal holiday reading in that is engaging, is well argued and has practical ideas for how teachers might teach more effectively. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Miss Alexandra Rinck
This is an absolutely fascinating book which provides really valuable insights into the reality in schools in those countries which have scored highly in PISA assessments. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brian Lightman
Firstly, this book is a fascinating read. It is beautifully written, engaging and I just couldn't put it down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. M. Enser
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