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Cleverlands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World's Education Superpowers Hardcover – 1 Dec 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

Review

"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)

Book Description

A revealing look into the world’s ‘top performing’ classrooms and what really drives educational success

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cleverlands is a virtuoso tour through the world's best school systems and most important ideas informing education today. In equal parts affirming and provoking, it shows what goes on behind closed classroom doors in Finland, Singapore, Japan, China and Canada.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If only British politicians could be force-fed this book - especially the recommendations. Lucid, fascinating and wholly worthwhile exploration of how other countries organise their education systems - flaws and foibles included.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anyone interested in education or the theory of teaching/learning

Lucy writes in a thoroughly engaging way that makes complex theories easy to relate to
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By S on 22 Feb. 2017
Format: Hardcover
This book is definitely essential reading to anyone who works in education, and anyone who has an interest in it. A fascinating and deeply amusing book.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Cleverlands is a valuable addition to the debate about 'what works' in education. It is objective, well researched and highly readable. There has been a proliferation of edu-books in recent years, with the range of titles exceeded by the range in quality, however, for classroom teachers, or those with an interest in education policy, Cleverlands is definitely worth a look.
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By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2017
Format: Hardcover
Cleverlands - at the time writing, 17/17 five star reviews on Amazon. And fully justified.

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.

Thoroughly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'Cleverlands' is one of the most relevant and thought-provoking educational books I have read. It is well written, but more importantly perfectly timed. In the ongoing discussion focused on the future of education in this country with examples and ideas thrown in, often randomly and taken out of context, this book gives us an opportunity to stop and evaluate. I have learnt a few lessons from it. Firstly culture and education are in twinned, therefore one cannot just take something out and implant it in a different context. What works in Shanghai or Finland, might not necessarily work over here. Secondly, in order to secure relevant outcomes for children, a good educational system needs to be built, evaluated and developed and this process needs time. Short term changes, and far two many of them, without a full evaluation of impact, are counterproductive. And thirdly any educational system, is not just about results, it also impacts the quality of life of children and this is something that must not be forgotten while we attempt to focus on academic outcomes. Education is not just about securing the future, by giving children and young people qualifications. Every day at school shapes a child's life today.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in education either as a teacher, parent or a policy maker.
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