Match your wits with an Indian child

July 8, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Bob Compton has taken a few arrows in the back since he began screening the film he funded, â??2 Million Minutes,â?? last fall.

Compton, who was a venture capitalist at CID Equity Partners before striking out on his own to bankroll tech startups that include Exact Target, Aprimo and Compendium, is seeing the film screened at places such as Harvard and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

The documentary contrasts how American, Chinese and Indian school children spend their roughly four years of high school. In short, the film shows American high schoolers dwelling on sports and entertainment instead of academics and intellectual pursuits.

The upshot is that American kids donâ??t hold a candle to their counterparts in math and science, both of which are key drivers of economies.

Chinese and Indian students not only spend more time in school, but their respective cultures also glorify learning. Compton says it isnâ??t uncommon for hundreds of people to turn out for a debate or math competition, while a soccer match is thinly attended.

Most people seem to get the point of the film, he says. Parents emphasize the wrong things.

But educators are taking it personally. In fact, Compton has gotten the greatest push-back from Harvard professors, who dismissed Chinese and Indian education as rote memorization.

When Compton asked if any of the professors had actually been in a Chinese or Indian classroom, none raised a hand. The reality is, Chinese and Indian students still memorize a lot, but they now also learn critical thinking skills, says Compton, who has traveled in both countries and sat in their classrooms.

To drive home his point, Compton suggests Americans of any age try taking the seven tests Indian students must pass to advance from 10th to 11th grades.

What do you think? Hereâ??s a link to the tests.
ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT