the smartest kids in the world: and how they got that way by Amanda Ripley

the smartest kids in the world: and how they got that way ©2013 by Amanda Ripley tells the stories of three American exchange students’ experiences in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. These countries were selected due to their high performance in the international PISA exams. While very different in many ways, all three countries feature highly prepared teachers, cultures where students are expected to develop higher-order thinking skills, and a high-stakes test for students at the end of high school. There are lessons here for the US. Be sure to pick up a copy for yourself and any policy makers you know.

Amanda Ripley

  • Amanda is a literary journalist whose stories on human behavior and public policy have appeared in Time, The Atlantic, and Slate and helped Time win two National Magazine Awards. She has appeared on ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX News, and NPR. Her first book, Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why, was published in fifteen countries and turned into a PBS documentary. Join her on Twitter at @amandaripley and follow her blog at AmandaRipley.Com.

The Mystery

  • When Amanda looked at the results of the international test scores she noticed that many countries out performed the US. In an attempt to find out why she recruited three exchange students who spent the 2010-11 school year in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. These so-called field agents introduced her to other students, parents, and teachers who helped in her quest. Video interviews with her subject sources are available at AmandaRipley.Com.
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