Friday, April 18, 2014

Buying an apartment in college town- Karen Holloman





A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Buying a College-Town Apartment—While Junior Is Still in Diapers, reports that wealthy Chinese parents are purchasing high-end real estate in college towns to increase their children’s chances of studying abroad. As an education consulting firm, our company has worked with many families from China who are looking to send their children to the U.S. for education. The entire focus of these families is to get their child into one of the Ivy schools. Unfortunately, many of these families do not understand the culture of American education. One of our most difficult challenges is to help them understand that the concept of focusing exclusively on only eight (8) schools is out-dated. Unlike the American belief that there are many pathways to success, many Chinese families believe the only pathway is through the Ivies. 

Chinese parents and students are eager to set a direction early on and then just stick with it. This is also encouraged by their education system, where students have to declare their major when they take their college entrance exam and switching majors is almost impossible. There is also cultural pressure to pursue a career with a clear and direct path to success. Historically, Chinese people have always emphasized the importance of learning and education. This attitude has been part of a distilled cultural tradition which exerts a huge influence on the educational mentality of the Chinese. It is common for Chinese families to choose to support their children to receive further and better education at the expense of a lower living standard on the part of other family members. The examples shown in this article takes that practice to a new level with upper class families.

Karen Holloman, The School Choice Group

Friday, April 11, 2014

Skipping College - Patricia Muesse


Skipping college?


Ok, before you decide to block your college bound student from reading this post, let me explain.  Nikhil Goyal, recently name to FORBES 30 under 30 in Education, wrote a post “In Defense of Skipping College and Enrolling n the Real World”, where he cites a number of examples where not completing college was the best thing to do--Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Richard Branson. And it’s true, college is not for everyone. But these men had determination and would not have stopped no matter what got in their way. 

In Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Characterhe makes the case for the importance of "non-cognitive" skills, such as persistence and resilience, in whether a person will overcome adversity to create a successful life—good career, happy family and intact home (his definition). In this TED talk, The key to success? Grit, Angela Lee Duckworth describes grit as a key ingredient to a successful life.  Whether your child goes to college or not, these qualities add to their overall success.

School at any level is not a “one size fits all” process and it’s important to understand the individual and help them navigate the best decision for their future.


Patricia Muesse
School Choice International

Friday, April 4, 2014

What do you get when you combine the Montessori Method and Technology?







What do you get when you combine the Montessori method and technology?

The MarcoPolo Ocean app of course!

MarcoPolo Learning, Inc has teamed up with a professor of child development from Tufts, a science teacher from Speyer Legacy School, an educational game designer, and a marine education advisor to create an app that allows children to create dolphins, sharks, and whales, and then make them jump and interact in a coral reef or the deep sea.

The app creates “self-directed educational experiences for touch devices that spark that same curiosity and joy in investigating how the world works.” The vision aligns well with the Montessori’s guiding principle - the young child is guided by a sort of inner teacher, and this naturally draws them to activities and experiences that will help them to complete each stage of their development.

Dr. Maria Montessori of Italy developed the philosophy and practice of Montessori education in the early 1900’s. She furnished the classroom with materials unique to the Montessori Method, just as the online “ocean” is furnished with puzzles and hidden interactions between fish. Like Dr. Montessori’s classroom, each fish, dolphin, and crab contains a built-in control of error, or some characteristic that allows the child to clearly tell when they make a mistake, allowing for self-correction.

Ready to see a Montessori classroom from the 21st century?



For those of you in the education world - here’s the burning question: What would Dr. Montessori think? 

Laila Plamondon
School Choice International


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