zaterdag 6 november 2010

How China?s Entrepreneurs Are Helping It Win

Bob Compton and I finally have something to agree about. The Washington, D.C.?based venture capitalist produced a provocative documentary, 2 Million Minutes, which tracked six students?two each in the U.S., India, and China?during their senior year of high school. It showed the Indian and Chinese students slogging to learn mathematics and science, and the Americans partying and playing video games. Bob concluded that the Indians and Chinese will eat our children?s lunch since they are better educated. I was featured in the documentary and agreed that Indian and Chinese children do indeed work much harder than American children; that they are brought up to believe that education is everything and will make the difference between success and starvation; and that most of their childhood is spent memorizing books on advanced subjects. I argued, however, that things aren't nearly as dire for U.S. competitiveness as they might appear to be in the documentary. My team?s research into global engineering education showed that more than 95% of Indians and Chinese do not receive a good education, and even those that do receive one take much longer to develop crucial real-world skills than do Americans. Yes, U.S. teens work part-time, socialize, and party. But the independence and social skills they develop give them a big advantage when they join the workforce. They learn to experiment, challenge norms, and take risks. They innovate from the get-go.


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