The Myth of China's Super Schools China had all the elements necessary for an industrial revolution at least four hundred years before Great Britain, but keju diverted scholars, geniuses, and thinkers away from the study or exploration of modern science. The examination system, Zhao holds, was designed to reward obedience, conformity, compliance, respect for order, and homogeneous thinking; for this reason, it purposefully supported Confucian orthodoxy and imperial order. It was an efficient means of authoritarian social control. Everyone wanted to succeed on the highly competitive exams, but few did. Success on the keju enforced orthodoxy, not innovation or dissent. As Zhao writes, emperors came and went, but China had “no Renaissance, no Enlightenment, no Industrial Revolution.” [more inside]
Korean high school. What's life like for a Korean student? In one of the most competitive societies in the world, how does one find their place? What does it take to achieve your aspirations and goals? [more inside]
The Ph.D. Grind: A Ph.D. Student Memoir is Philip J. Guo's candid book about his six years of working towards a Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University. Lots of Hard-earned wisdom and useful advice (especially in the epilogue) for those thinking about getting a Ph.D. [more inside]
A study just published in Science finds that students who briefly write about their testing anxieties do better on the subsequent test. The abstract at Science, and a podcast interview with Sian Beilock, one of the study authors.
Most graduate students are surely aware of the many rigors and regulation of thesis preparation. For example, here is a FAQ on preparing for the "snake fight" portion of your thesis defense.
(From the NYT) Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits which has links to some interesting studies on, well, studying. Think you know the best ways to study? Think you have some kind of specific learning style? Maybe Not. Think it's best to focus on a single thing when studying? Probably Not. Think "teaching to the test" is a bad way to learn? Maybe Not So. It seems the best way to study can be summarized as: Alternate you study environment; Mix your content; Space out your study session; And self-test.
Note-taking methods for students. Includes the Cornell method (details in powerpoint), and a Mapping powerpoint. [via GoBinder]