January 7, 2011

Advanced Advanced Placement

The spread of Advanced Placement tests has been mostly a success story in recent decades (e.g., they provide a fashionable rationalization for tracking), but Advanced Placement classes tend to be forced marches to try to get high school students to more or less memorize a lot of material: lots of worksheets, little time for class discussion.

From the NYT:
by Christopher Drew

As A.P. [testing] has proliferated, spreading to more than 30 subjects with 1.8 million [high school] students taking 3.2 million tests, the program has won praise for giving students an early chance at more challenging work. But many of the courses, particularly in the sciences and history, have also been criticized for overwhelming students with facts to memorize and then rushing through important topics....

All that, says the College Board, is about to change.

Next month, the board, the nonprofit organization that owns the A.P. exams as well as the SAT, will release a wholesale revamping of A.P. biology as well as United States history — with 387,000 test-takers the most popular A.P. subject. A preview of the changes shows that the board will slash the amount of material students need to know for the tests and provide, for the first time, a curriculum framework for what courses should look like. The goal is to clear students’ minds to focus on bigger concepts and stimulate more analytic thinking. ...

The changes, which are to take effect in the 2012-13 school year, are part of a sweeping redesign of the entire A.P. program.

Instead of just providing teachers with a list of points that need to be covered for the exams, the College Board will create these detailed standards for each subject and create new exams to match. ...

The new approach is important because critical thinking skills are considered essential for advanced college courses and jobs in today’s information-based economy. ..

WHEN A.P. testing began in 1956, memorization was not yet a dirty word, and it was O.K. if history classes ran out of time just after they finished World War II.
 
... And it did not take long for instructors to start teaching to the test, treating the board’s outline as the holy grail for helping students achieve the scores of 3 or higher, out of 5, that might earn credit from a college.
That obviously became harder to do as breakthroughs in genetic research and cellular organization, and momentous events like the cold war, the civil rights movement, Watergate and the war on terror, began to elbow their way onto the lists. College professors could pick and choose what to cover in their introductory survey classes. But because the A.P. test can touch on almost anything, high school juniors and seniors must now absorb more material than most college freshmen.

So perhaps it is no surprise that while the number of students taking the A.P. biology test has more than doubled since 1997, the median score has dropped to 2.63, from 3.18.

One critical thinking skill that should be taught in schools is "selection."

I doubt if the increase in the amount of biological knowledge in the world between 1997 and 2010 is the main cause of the decline in average AP score. Instead, the expansion of the number of test-takers would be a much more plausible candidate for primary reason.

On the other hand, I've spent a lot of time looking into this, and it appears to me that diminishing returns have not yet badly hit AP testing. As I wrote in VDARE.com in 2009:
Although the quantity of AP tests taken by whites grew 155 percent over the last decade, their mean score dropped merely from 3.04 to 2.96. The fall-off for Asians was even less, from 3.10 to 3.08. ... The “pass rate” (the percent of test takers scoring 3 or higher) is almost the same for whites (62 percent) and Asians (64 percent). But Asians are much more aggressive about signing up for AP tests, taking almost three times as many per year (1.79 per capita per year versus 0.63 among whites). 

There has been a big push to get more NAMs to take AP tests, with predictable results:
The tremendous growth from 1998 to 2008 in Hispanics taking AP tests drove down their average score on the 1 to 5 scale from 2.99 to 2.42. Their passing rate dipped from 60 percent 42 percent.

(And keep in mind that Hispanic mean scores are exaggerated because so many native Spanish-speakers take the Spanish Language test, which ought to be, but isn’t always, a free throw for them. Indeed, 56 percent of all 5s earned by Hispanics in 2008 came on the Spanish Language exam. Excluding it, Latinos in 2008 averaged a 2.17 score with a 35 percent passing rate.) ...

Black scores fell a comparable amount over the last decade, from a mean of 2.21 to 1.91 (with the passing rate dropping from 35 percent to 26 percent).

Still, despite depressingly diminishing returns, more than quadrupling the number of AP tests taken by blacks from 1998 to 2008 helped the absolute number of tests passed by blacks to triple.

So, even with blacks, the number of passing scores is still rising rapidly, so we don't seem to have topped out yet.

In general, there's a big blue state - red state divide in AP testing that goes back, in part, to the regional divide between states on taking the SAT (which, like the AP, is sponsored by the College Board -- and is most popular on the coasts) and the ACT (run out of Iowa and most popular in the middle of the country). The ACT part of the country could probably try taking more AP tests without much harm.

Back to the NYT article:
For biology, the change means paring down the entire field to four big ideas. The first is a simple statement that evolution “drives the diversity and unity of life.” The others emphasize the systematic nature of all living things: that they use energy and molecular building blocks to grow; respond to information essential to life processes; and interact in complex ways. Under each of these thoughts, a 61-page course framework lays out the most crucial knowledge students need to absorb. 

This seems reasonable at first glance. What do you think?

However, I suspect there's a lurking ethnic agenda that's one motivation for this change: there's a common assumption that a shift away from memorization toward critical thinking will narrow the racial gaps that currently exist between Asians and whites and between blacks/ Hispanics and Asians / whites.

But, is there much evidence for this widespread assumption?

I don't know. Asians do well on the AP tests, but they also do well on the Ravens Progressive Matrices, too.

In general, educationalists tend to assume that because they are for (at least in theory) critical thinking skills and against (at least in theory) disparate impact, that, therefore, upping the critical thinking demands of a test will lower the disparate impact. This often turns out to be untrue.

Another questions is whether memorization shouldn't be a dirty work in high school. Maybe that's a better age for memorizing, while grasping the big picture best waits until college. I don't know...

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

For biology, the change means paring down the entire field to four big ideas. The first is a simple statement that evolution “drives the diversity and unity of life.” The others emphasize the systematic nature of all living things: that they use energy and molecular building blocks to grow; respond to information essential to life processes; and interact in complex ways.

"Evolution" is a nifty little idea, but it's just that - an idea, nothing more.

To see people write about it as though it were some sort of a foundational constant [like the acceleration of newtonian gravity, or the speed of light in a vacuum, or Avogadro's number], is, well, more than a little depressing.

There really is no limit to the nihilism of the science pagans.

Anonymous said...

Asians have especially strong visuospatial skills, which are emphasized by Raven's Matrices.

Anonymous said...

"There really is no limit to the nihilism of the science pagans."

So if you think evolution is just a "nifty little idea," what are you doing reading this blog for? Sailer basically hits on natural selection in one way or another in a lot of his most important posts.

Anonymous said...

The version of evolution in this curriculum will surely be one pointed at those benighted rednecks. No mention of evolution above the neck, of course.

Anonymous said...

Also, this whole article is just about dumbing down the APs and teaching PZ Myers' version of evolution (replete with bonobos, but not r/K selection). God forbid kids should learn a lot of facts.

Anonymous said...

So if you think evolution is just a "nifty little idea," what are you doing reading this blog for?

I have to admit, there are a fair number of nihilists here at iSteve.

But my problem was more with the pedagogy and the shoddy approach to the foundations of [what ought to be] "science".

Science is supposed to be about that which is known ["scientia" = the body of knowledge], not that which is conjectured.

We know that we can see various [carbon-based] cellular structures when we look at tissue samples under a microscope - in the here and now - but we have no earthly idea how the various [carbon-based] molecules went about coalescing into any sort of coherent, orderly structure [much less structures which appear to have a purpose - namely, persistence via procreation].

To declare that "evolution" is a foundational aspect of any possible study of "biology" is akin to declaring that the Koran of Mohammed is a foundational aspect of any possible study of ontology.

It's theocratic gibberish, pure and simple.

asdfasdfsdf said...

"However, I suspect there's a lurking ethnic agenda that's one motivation for this change: there's a common assumption that a shift away from memorization toward critical thinking will narrow the racial gaps that currently exist between Asians and whites and between blacks/ Hispanics and Asians / whites."

But maybe some 'analytical' stuff can be graded subjectively by educators, thus favoring blacks and Hispanics for their 'creative' answers and 'thinking' skills.

Anonymous said...

However, I suspect there's a lurking ethnic agenda that's one motivation for this change: there's a common assumption that a shift away from memorization toward critical thinking will narrow the racial gaps that currently exist between Asians and whites and between blacks/ Hispanics and Asians / whites.

But, is there much evidence for this widespread assumption?

I don't know. Asians do well on the AP tests, but they also do well on the Ravens Progressive Matrices, too.


The reality is that a shift away from memorization to something more g-loaded will only increase the racial gaps. The black-white and white-East Asian gaps are the largest on the most g-loaded exams.
We can see this in the extreme case, where East Asian Americans are vastly over-represented on the International Mathematics Olympiad team or as Putnam Fellows. Also, African American performance is extremely woeful on more g-loaded math/science tests.

Here's a quote from a paper by Rushton and Jensen...

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf

"Only one
study to date has examined East Asian–White difference on psychometric tests as
a function of their g loadings; it confirmed the hypothesis for 15 cognitive tests
administered to two generations of Americans of Japanese, Chinese, and European
ancestry. In this case, the more g-loaded the test, the greater the mean East
Asian–White group difference favoring East Asians (Nagoshi, Johnson, DeFries,
Wilson, & Vandenberg, 1984).
Studies in Southern Africa"


Though Sailer's readers often accuse East Asian Americans of being grind outs, the fact of the matter is that white European Americans benefit relatively speaking from a test that's less g-loaded and more amenable to preparation/memorization/etc.

Anonymous said...

As it stands, AP classes separate students into the smart and the slow, but quite often don't provide anything valuable (insights) to the students taking them. This applies to AP Biology, AP US and European History unless you count the teacher's politics as insight, and AP Statistics because the popularity of certain ideologies suggests that AP students can't follow a statistical argument even after taking a course on it.

Simon in London said...

My suspicion is that emphasising critical thinking over memorisation won't do much for blacks and Hispanics (unless it brings in bias in marking) but will help whites vs Asians.

Memorisation is an (east) Asian strength, critical thinking is a white-European strength. Given that many more Asians than whites proportionally do the test, the whites are likely a more select group and a critical thinking based test will likely enable whites to score at least slightly higher than Asians.

If these tests affect admissions, this might be a good thing if it reduces white underrepresentation at elite US Universities. Somehow I doubt that was the aim though. And of course it won't do anything to reduce Jewish overrepresentation compared to white gentiles, probably the reverse.

Anonymous said...

A very important new article by a group of Greek and Chinese researchers provides the first quantitative assessment of mental processing in two groups of students, aged 8 to 14, belonging to the Caucasoid and Mongoloid races.

It has long been known that many Mongoloid groups generally have higher IQ scores than Caucasoids, but the reasons for this difference have not been explained. As the authors point out "Intelligence is a multidimensional and hierarchical edifice" which involves both "general" processes which co-ordinate information processing across many domains of thought, as well as "specialized" processes which affect only particular mental tasks, involving e.g., verbal, spatial, or quantitative reasoning.

Mental processing is affected by both genes and environment, and these differ between Greeks and Chinese, as well as between most Caucasoids and Mongoloids in general. For example, Chinese words are shorter than those of Indo-European languages spoken by most Caucasoids, whereas Chinese students have to learn a logographic, picture-based writing system. These differences may affect mental processing, e.g., because "shorter" Chinese words may be stored more easily, whereas more space is required to short the more "complex" logograms of the Chinese writing system.

The article provides three important conclusions. First, the architecture of mental processing is the same in both Greeks and Chinese, involving essentially the same mental processes and organization. In other words, Greeks and Chinese think "the same". Second, the Greeks and Chinese show no difference in the general factor of mental processing which is used across different thought domains. Rather, the difference between the two groups is limited to areas requiring visuo/spatial processing:

Anonymous said...

Calling East Asians "grinds" is unneccessarily derogatory. A more appropriate term would be diligent or industrious.

Looking at the East Asian educational systems, kids attend school for about 8 hours a day. Then they attend an after-hours cram school for another 6-8 hours. They also go to school on Saturday and have shorter/fewer breaks and holidays. It's not clear how much of a difference it makes and whether it'd boost IQ, but East Asian parents have confidence in their system.

SAT prep courses are generally pretty short term, but can boost test scores by at least a little bit. If American kids were attending academic prep courses every day, it's not inconceivable that their test and academic performance would benefit substanially. Of course, that assumes that American kids are diligent enough to work that hard.

Anonymous said...

Flynn's analysis of IQ studies on the children of pre-WWII Asians (Chinese and Japanese) found a mean IQ roughly equal to that of whites, but a much higher level of academic achievement and even better standardized test scores.

He attributes their success to a higher utilization factor and a lower neccessary threshold IQ. To simplify, he's saying that Asians make better use of their talents to achieve professional credentials and academic success.

Anonymous said...

Asian-Americans have been gaining quite nicely on tests like the LSAT, ACT, SAT, and NAEP. Perhaps more elite immigration helps, but a lot of less select Asians are migrating here too.

Even if we compare the bar pass rates of native born Asian-Americans in the 1980s (when native born Asians were overwhelmingly Chinese and Japanese) to now (when you've got a lot of SE Asians and PIs), Asians are doing much better (in overall proportions passing the bar). Again, elite immigration helps, but there's plenty of immigration of NAM-like Asian groups.

Anonymous said...

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A study of college freshmen in the United States and in China found that Chinese students know more science facts than their American counterparts -- but both groups are nearly identical when it comes to their ability to do scientific reasoning.

Neither group is especially skilled at reasoning, however, and the study suggests that educators must go beyond teaching science facts if they hope to boost students’ reasoning ability.

Researchers tested nearly 6,000 students majoring in science and engineering at seven universities -- four in the United States and three in China. Chinese students greatly outperformed American students on factual knowledge of physics -- averaging 90 percent on one test, versus the American students’ 50 percent, for example.

But in a test of science reasoning, both groups averaged around 75 percent -- not a very high score, especially for students hoping to major in science or engineering.

Anonymous said...

When analyzing high scorers on the PSAT in California, it was found that Asians (Chinese, Korean, Indian) were heavily overrepresented, but Japanese-Americans were not..... Japanese were no better represented than white Californians, who the NAEP shows to be a medicore white population group.

What's the difference? Japanese kids, being assimilated into middle class American culture, don't have much of a test preparation culture. They do well otherwise though, which is consistent with their subculture and work habits.

Anonymous said...

> I doubt if the increase in the amount of biological knowledge in the world between 1997 and 2010 is the main cause of the decline in average AP score. Instead, the expansion of the number of test-takers would be a much more plausible candidate for primary reason.

Quite right. Even at the GRE level, little has changed. In the mid-00s I used 15 and perhaps 20 year old tests (only a couple are available) to study for the GRE, and it barely occurred to me that they might be outdated. Semi-new things like genome sequencing and genome-wide association studies are not on the test because they aren't fundamental. GWAS are a form of case-control study, and aspects of the fundamental epistemology of those probably are covered by the test.

The GRE is quite challenging, but it's more fundamentalist than Jerry Falwell because the fundamentals are what you need.

Henry Canaday said...

May I introduce a new game for iSteve readers? Come up with multiple-choice questions you will never see on SATs or A.P exams.

Example:

Germany runs an unusually functional social welfare state with a very large public sector. Germans generally balance their budgets, do not inflate and have an effective criminal justice system. German industry is good at continuous improvement. But German industry, science and culture do not yield the kind of dramatic innovations that 19th Century Germany regularly produced. This is chiefly due to:

a) the heavy state sector and resulting taxation;

b) the paucity of Jewish Germans after World War II;

c) Germany’s membership in the EU, which was necessary to gain wider markets, but brought another level of deadening government regulation;

d) the dominance of large corporations and unions in German business;

d) none of the above.

Nathan Cook said...

Evolution is what makes biology comprehensible as more than a grab-bag of unrelated facts. It has tremendous predictive power, which is what lets you see what's genuinely surprising rather than being swamped with the extraordinary amount of detail that organisms all embody. Latin is brilliant - I just started learning it - but it doesn't define what science is, for crying out loud. Etymology isn't determinative.

As for memorization, that's something that it's quite possible to improve at as an adult. Whereas, if you come out of high school with fundamentally wrong ideas about the world, which nevertheless seem 'good enough' to you, it's very optimistic to think that you'll be motivated enough to unlearn them and learn the correct ones instead.

josh said...

I teach an AP course at an alternative school, the first we have ever offered. The principle was really a true believer in the power of raising expectations and, I think, wanted to get her name in the paper. It is actually the cream of the crop of our student population. One student may do okay (a Muslim doctor's kid who was expelled for having pot in his backpack). The others, all NAMs, are not going to get college credit.

So, I don't waste their time with a lot of worksheets. We really focus on theory and analysis. It's more enjoyable for all of us.

sykes.1 said...

If "evolution" is not explicitly Darwinian, it's not evolution. Nearly all people who claim to believe in "evolution" actually believe in Spencerian or Lamarkian evolution, both of which are false.

By the way, I taught environmental engineering and science for 37 years, and a substantial amount of memorization of basic data is essential for professional competence. The vast majority of teachers who want to teach "how to think" are themselves irrational.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the Han+Japanese+Korean pattern relative to Whites is like this:

Strongest advantage on visuo spatial subtests, second strongest advantage on generalised math tests through the vs pathway, third largest on less g loaded exams due to the prior facts feeding into "We're smarter!" feeding into a higher study ethic. While there is very little difference on verbal and scientific reasoning based tasks (except presumably where they're gatekept by visuo-spatial and math abilities upsteam).

On top of this, outside of purely reasoning based abilities, Whites possibly have slightly greater psychoticism and stronger emotional sensitivity (without formal social rules) than Asians.

Howard Hughes said...

For kids with IQs above 115-120 and some intellectual interests - both these things are needed - memorization ordered by teachers is often quite boring. Then again, since American teachers seems to be a mediocre bunch - it's the same in Sweden - they probably can't create an environment for critical thinking either. All this talk about critical thinking is interesting: education professionals never accept critical thinking about, say, race. Or WW2. Or drug prohibition.

"Another questions is whether memorization shouldn't be a dirty work in high school. Maybe that's a better age for memorizing, while grasping the big picture best waits until college."
Lots of kids can see the bigger picture, analyze and reason already in high school. I'm guessing, though, that those kids will mostly train those skills in their spare time. Compulsary education is really not a perfect idea... nevertheless, it does a decent job at educating the great majority of all people.

TH said...

Second, the Greeks and Chinese show no difference in the general factor of mental processing which is used across different thought domains.

That study did not use representative samples of either Greeks or Chinese, so you cannot draw any conclusions about the level of g in those peoples based on it. The Greek kids in the study came from families with at least one university-educated parent, while the Chinese kids were described as coming from roughly similar backgrounds.

In his Super-Economy blog, Tino wrote a post that showed that Asian Americans spend a lot more time doing homework than other Americans -- the racial gaps between Asians and other groups in this measure are larger than the gaps between any other groups. Thus, the Asian advantage in school is certainly not just a matter of IQ. (I cannot link to Tino's post because his blog has mysteriously disappeared.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe biologic diversity is a politically dangerous topic to study in high school. Diversity arises from geographic segregation, in the case of squirrels in the Grand Canyon. Also, many variants of a species or subspecies may suddenly move to the same location, but usually one crowds out all the others. They don't interbreed, and they aggressively poach each others territory and food supply.

Anonymous said...

I've observed a lot of very young Asian and white kids working side by side in classrooms. Asians aren't necessarily the quicker thinkers, but when solving problems, their thinking is more transparent. They take small, manageable steps when solving a math or science problem. White kids stare off into infinity and try to put everything together in their head before they blurt out the answer. There is something to commend both approaches, but the Asian approach gets the correct answer more often.

Carol said...

"critical thinking" - pah. You need to know things before you can think critically. If I want to figure out if someone's cooking the books, do I take the numbers to an experienced CPA, or do I take it to one of the telemarketers?

Anonymous said...

The following used to be regarded as critical thinking:


We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is love.


I see that not much has changed, except the words they are expected to parrot.

Testament, perhaps, to the fact that memorization of certain things is a skill that even many of the lower classes have.

Perhaps it also illustrates the social processes that are always in operation and tells us something about the presence of people who would make their living from parasitically manipulating other people.

Allison said...

You cannot think about the big picture in any depth if you don't know the facts beneath it. Memorization must precede "analytic thinking", or else there's nothing correct to think about.


But this post means you've just barely entered the rabbit hole that is education in the US. There are several false dichotomies the education theorists have successfully propagated through at least two generations of teachers now. The second biggest is
"facts and skills vs. high order thinking". The ed theorists pretend that it's either/or, and one is trivial and meaningless while the other is meaningful. This is because the biggest false dichotomy they've created is teaching vs learning.

Ed school is where you learn theories of learning now, not theories of teaching. Teaching is inauthentic. It is an efficient mechanism for transmitting information--and efficiency and mechanization are bad. Instead, Learning is all that counts. Learning is where the student guides themselves to explore their world, creating their own path to knowledge, because the theory goes, only when you discovery facts or ideas for yourself (instead of being told them) do you really understand them.

Now, this is ridiculous. It took 6 thousand years of math to get to where we are now--so having to discover your way there authentically in 12 years isn't going to work. Similarly, while our brains are wired for verbal language acquisition, learning to read is not a natural process. (A related problem is ed school thinks that you create experts by mimicking experts, rather than understanding that being a novice requires fundamentally different skills on your path to becoming ax expert. It's cargo cult education.)

But the learning vs teaching thing is the perfect out for teachers, schools, and administrators. The problem is now the student's fault. If they aren't learning, it's their (or their family's) deficiency. It's NEVER the school's fault. And in practical terms the "guide on the side" vs "the sage on the stage" means low expectations for everyone, and no expectation that any child will be moved more than epsilon along their current intellectual trajectory. (cont)

Allison said...

It's too hard to tell from this article whether the AP changes are better or worse. But overall, it's a response to students being unable to handle the workload of a lot of information AND the processing of it at the same time, because no one ever taught them the information earlier when they could have assimilated it. How much bio could you have discovered on your own?

Allison said...

So a move to "higher order thinking" is really a way to lower the achievement gap by preventing anyone from learning enough about anything to succeed at it. win win!

Anonymous said...

The reality is that a shift away from memorization to something more g-loaded will only increase the racial gaps.

That was my first thought, as well.

Anonymous said...

How do you teach critical thinking skills? That can't be taught. As for memorization, its a great skill to have. If anyone thinks memorization ends in high school, they should look at the first two years of a medical school curriculum.

Anonymous said...

With rote memorization out, I suppose that means articulating and defending any sort of opinion during the AP tests will do. Graders are going to have a fun time with this.

20 years ago, I wrote in my American History AP test essay that democracy is ultimately doomed to failure. I received a 5. But I'm also asian and very good on multiple-choice tests.

Anonymous said...

I did AP courses in high school and in comparison I felt like I had to learn more and work harder in high school to get a 4 or a 5 on the AP test than than to get an A at my university (a midwestern flagship).

Anonymous said...

Having worked with many Korean engineers and businesspeople, my impression is that they are extremely industrious but very rigid in their thinking (and bureaucratic in their organization). I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general, they don't appear to have the creative spark required for outside the box thinking or disruptive innovation. Nonetheless, most industry depends on operational efficiency and continuous improvements, and so they and their Asian brethren are taking over our industrial base.

sdafasdfadsf said...

"COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A study of college freshmen in the United States and in China found that Chinese students know more science facts than their American counterparts -- but both groups are nearly identical when it comes to their ability to do scientific reasoning.
Neither group is especially skilled at reasoning, however, and the study suggests that educators must go beyond teaching science facts if they hope to boost students’ reasoning ability."

"American" is meaningless. You have to look at JEWISH SKILLS AND IQ to understand the real American advantage in science and medicine.
Similarly, "American" is meaningless when we are talking of US dominance in stuff like basketball and short distance track. We have to look at BLACK SKILLS AND STRENGTH.
It's not Mexican-Americans or Chinese-Americans comprise the Dream Team that won all the golds in the Olympics.

The difference between US and China is US has very high peaks(Jews in intellectual stuff and blacks in athletic stuff/pop music) and very low valleys(especially blacks in intellectual stuff)whereas China is more like a vast plateau with some high points (but nowhere near the high peaks of the Jews)and some low points(but not as superlow as blacks when it comes to education and messing up communities).

adsfadsfasdf said...

Germany runs an unusually functional social welfare state with a very large public sector. Germans generally balance their budgets, do not inflate and have an effective criminal justice system. German industry is good at continuous improvement. But German industry, science and culture do not yield the kind of dramatic innovations that 19th Century Germany regularly produced. This is chiefly due to:

a) the heavy state sector and resulting taxation;

b) the paucity of Jewish Germans after World War II;

c) Germany’s membership in the EU, which was necessary to gain wider markets, but brought another level of deadening government regulation;

d) the dominance of large corporations and unions in German business;

d) none of the above.

------------

Interesting question. But my ignoramous self needs to ask... was most of German innovation in science and culture in the 19th century owing to Jews? Didn't Jews really take off in the very late 19th century and in the 20th century, at least up to early 30s when Nazis took over?
I could be wrong but I think most of the innovative minds of 19th century Germany were gentile Germans. Perhaps, this great achievement is what filled Germans with such pride and made them so resentful of being outdone by Jews in the 20th century.

Jews in the Austro-Hungarian Empire prolly achieved a lot more in the 19th century.

Mr. Anon said...

"For biology, the change means paring down the entire field to four big ideas. The first is a simple statement that evolution “drives the diversity and unity of life.”"

The term "diversity and unity of life" does not sound remotely scientific - it is merely a bit of left-wing propaganda dressed up as a scientific principle. Diversity is our strength - Darwin said so.

As to the term "critical thinking" - it is noxious and redundant load of crap dreamed up by "educators" - i.e. not teachers, but rather the denizens of multi-cult PoMo education colleges. If it meant anything, "critical thinking" could simply be called "thinking". In practice when some educrat uses the term "critical thinking" what he really means is "think the way I tell you too".

sabril said...

Isn't it really the same story as with everything else?

The reasoning is this:

(1) Some people do X (own houses, go to college, own computers, , etc.).

(2) People who do X (disprortionately whites and asians) seem to have better life outcomes than people (disproportionately NAMs) who do not.

(3) Let's get more people to do X and thereby improve their life outcomes.

In this case, "X" is taking AP tests.

jody said...

"Another questions is whether memorization shouldn't be a dirty work in high school."

should "work" be "word" here? typo?

jody said...

who's this anonymous person who keeps showing up and talking about voluntary high school math competitions like they mean anything? they don't mean much. having been in lots of high school academic competitions, they're major nerd-outs. there are definitely many smart kids in there, but contrary to anonymous, plenty of them are straight up grinders. period, point blank. i doubt anonymous has been in many of these fun but goofy little rinky dink competitions if he/she thinks otherwise.

i hardly think east asians aren't smart, but voluntary high school math competitions prove about as much as spelling bees.

Anonymous said...

The person who thinks evolution is about "nihilism" may benefit from this list of computational biology problems:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK20262/

BLAST and all its derivatives are based on the concept of sequence evolution. And you can calibrate macroevolutionary rates by looking at microevolutionary substitutions -- all the way from individual bacteria up to parent child trios (the recent 1000 Genomes Nature paper had some good estimates).

Rich Lenski's work on 9,000+ generations of E. coli evolution is also worth looking at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

Anonymous said...

" A preview of the changes shows that the board will slash the amount of material students need to know for the tests and provide, for the first time, a curriculum framework for what courses should look like. The goal is to clear students’ minds to focus on bigger concepts and stimulate more analytic thinking. ...

"The changes, which are to take effect in the 2012-13 school year, are part of a sweeping redesign of the entire A.P. program."


Okay, friendly wager that 2013 the colleges will start requiring higher a AP score for credit to be given. That or they will stop allowing students to test out of Biology.

Odds?

Anonymous said...

"The vast majority of teachers who want to teach "how to think" are themselves irrational."


YES ! ! !


And don't forget education bureaucrats and ed school profs etc!

Chief Seattle said...

Anyone who can't understand evolution and natural selection really shouldn't be allowed in an adult conversation. Farmers have understood and directed evolution for thousands of years - it's really not that hard. Far more accessible and provable to the average man than relativity or Quarks or any of that.

Disgruntled said...

In the case of AP US History, critical thinking about history requires some knowledge about history. Without knowing some historical facts (memorization) it is unlikely that you'd be able to say anything meaningful. If you don't know what the Progressive era is or what the Gilded Age refers to, you can't really think "critically" about it.

It would be nice for the AP to give a more precise idea of exactly what will be tested. A lot has happened in the last 300 years.

ATBOTL said...

"To declare that "evolution" is a foundational aspect of any possible study of "biology" is akin to declaring that the Koran of Mohammed is a foundational aspect of any possible study of ontology."


That evolution is foundational to our understanding of biology is the consensus of practicing biologists.

"It's theocratic gibberish, pure and simple."

Talk about this pot calling the kettle black.

TH said...

Tino's blog is back. Here's the post about racial differences in time spent doing homework I referred to above.

David said...

Henry, what about

f) betting it all on military action and then getting their a**es epicly kicked and only just dodging being Carthaged, a mere 66 years ago.

World Wars take some measure of the piss out of the loser for a while - forever, possibly.

Picture the level of innovation that we may expect the loser(s) of WW3 to regain.

The point is well=taken that "advanced advanced" placement students, petit masters of "critical thinking" (critical of whom? one wants to ask), cannot validly answer your or any multiple-choice question without having some "boring" knowledge of (ugh) facts. In this case, of history.

The whole educational industry thrust, seemingly, is toward thinking without having a brain. Or at least toward appearing to do so. Well, it can't work.

Whiskey said...

Oh Steve you MUST have seen this:

Why Chinese Mothers are Superior:

Kids were not allowed to:

attend a sleepover
have a playdate
be in a school play
complain about not being in a school play
watch TV or play computer games
choose their own extracurricular activities
get any grade less than an A
not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
play any instrument other than the piano or violin
not play the piano or violin.

Read the whole thing. Chinese mothering demands from kids lots of extra studying with mothers coaching/drilling (requires high IQ moms). VERY disciplinarian, affection based on achievement/accomplishment.

Mr. Anon said...

"Disgruntled said...

In the case of AP US History, critical thinking about history requires some knowledge about history."

Yes, quite so. Thinking requires facts. One can no more think without having facts than one could do carpentry without having lumber.

Anonymous said...

A bit off topic:


Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

For example, if a child comes home with an A-minus on a test, a Western parent will most likely praise the child. The Chinese mother will gasp in horror and ask what went wrong. If the child comes home with a B on the test, some Western parents will still praise the child. Other Western parents will sit their child down and express disapproval, but they will be careful not to make their child feel inadequate or insecure, and they will not call their child "stupid," "worthless" or "a disgrace." Privately, the Western parents may worry that their child does not test well or have aptitude in the subject or that there is something wrong with the curriculum and possibly the whole school. If the child's grades do not improve, they may eventually schedule a meeting with the school principal to challenge the way the subject is being taught or to call into question the teacher's credentials.

If a Chinese child gets a B—which would never happen—there would first be a screaming, hair-tearing explosion. The devastated Chinese mother would then get dozens, maybe hundreds of practice tests and work through them with her child for as long as it takes to get the grade up to an A.

Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them. If their child doesn't get them, the Chinese parent assumes it's because the child didn't work hard enough. That's why the solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish and shame the child. The Chinese parent believes that their child will be strong enough to take the shaming and to improve from it

Anonymous said...

The notion that East Asian Americans are purely academic grind outs is quite frankly a canard. Obviously Steve Sailer and his white nationalist readers have never heard of World of Warcraft or Starcraft 2. East Asians generally tend to spend their free time doing things that nerdier Europeans Americans do, i.e. computer/video gaming, etc. East Asians may exhibit a higher degree of conscientiousness on average relative to European Americans, but both groups spend time doing things for entertainment. With European Americans, it's more likely to be physical sports. With East Asians, it's more likely to be computer gaming, etc.

Mitch said...

However, I suspect there's a lurking ethnic agenda that's one motivation for this change: there's a common assumption that a shift away from memorization toward critical thinking will narrow the racial gaps that currently exist between Asians and whites and between blacks/ Hispanics and Asians / whites.


Yes, that is the intent.

The highest performance blacks have on the APs comes in English, where 2 is the mode instead of 1. That's because the scorers can give a "pity pass" on one of the essays.

They are looking to be able to do that in history and bio. I'm really depressed, vis a vis history--they'll be destroying a great test.

Obviously, what they should do is require 2 years of US history to graduate. It's hardly complicated--there's no history requirement for freshmen.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese are actually pretty creative in many respects. Take a look at Wii or Playstation or DVD technology or anime......

If we compare East Asians to other ethnic groups, they do have much more diligent work/study habits and a more obediant personality type, which is highly helpful in constructing a rigorous academic environment. To what extent that's a product of genetics rather than culture/environment, I'm not sure. I'd guess genetics must be the primary factory.

Their mean IQ must be at least fairly strong to establish those high test scores, but it's not clear that they would need to exceed the Western IQ mean in order to exceed Western test scores substanially.

Anonymous said...

The East Asian and Indian school year is effectively 2-3 times as long as ours.

Anonymous said...

"The following used to be regarded as critical thinking:


"We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is love."


Um, that is catechism, which means "echo". So, no, they were upfront in saying that they expected the catechumen to say/repeat it.

Belief is something else.

Repeating it may lead to belief.

I think we know that repeating doesn't always lead to belief, because we are here reading because we didn't believe the standard line on some subjects.

Anonymous said...

"I could be wrong but I think most of the innovative minds of 19th century Germany were gentile Germans. Perhaps, this great achievement is what filled Germans with such pride and made them so resentful of being outdone by Jews in the 20th century."

That is correct. Jews contributed far out of proportion to their percentage of the population (they were very big in banking, the area that caused by far the most resentment) but the technological achievements in Germany were not dependent on them. The "Nazi" scientists that Russia and the U.S. fought over after WWII were obviously not Jews. In America the were part of Project Paper Clip in Project Paperclip (which led to the development of NASA and the "space race" Remember the famous line in the "Right Stuff." Americans shocked after Sputnik went into space, sputtering "but our Germans are better than their Germans!"
IMO the Jews probably made Germany more interesting culturally, but Germany's tech achievements long preceded Jewish involvement. German speaking populations were inventing clocks in the 13th century and automotons in the 16th century. There's a long history of mechanical inclination and interest in abstract science among German speakers.

Anonymous said...

East Asian Americans are not complete academic grind outs, but that's not the issue The issue is to what extent Asian achievement is a product of IQ v.s. effort. If Asians study more than other groups and are more likely to pursue higher education, it suggests that higher effort plays at least some role.

In East Asia and India, the students are pretty much complete grind outs, as they spend most of their waking time in school. Among East Asians and Indians in America, there is a lot of time devoted to school, but they do have extracirricular interests too. I would agree that Asians play a lot of Warcraft and that the average native-born East Asian-American kid is not a grindout. In my view, East/South Asian-Americans represent a well balanced middle ground between the super rigorous east and the overly lax rest of the world. I think everyone would benefit from acting more like them.

Within America, everybody slacks off so much that East Asian-Americans look like workaholics in comparison. Realistically, East-Asian Americans just tend to be more sensibly conscientious, while non-domestic Asians are truly workaholic.

Svigor said...

Though Sailer's readers often accuse East Asian Americans of being grind outs

You morph "state" into "accuse," thus tipping your hand. Oh well, not much use knowing which side some guy named "Anonymous" is on...

the fact of the matter is that white European Americans benefit relatively speaking from a test that's less g-loaded and more amenable to preparation/memorization/etc.

You construct this as if you've highlighted some contradiction here. What might that be?

Svigor said...

"critical thinking" - pah. You need to know things before you can think critically.

In my experience, the most important things in teaching critical thinking are 1) that it exists and what it is, and 2) that it's important. After that, people with a facility will develop it on their own.

as said...

Hi!

Steve, are you going to comment of the "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" article from the Wall Street Journal?

Anonyia said...

"SAT prep courses are generally pretty short term, but can boost test scores by at least a little bit. If American kids were attending academic prep courses every day, it's not inconceivable that their test and academic performance would benefit substanially. Of course, that assumes that American kids are diligent enough to work that hard."

Who cares, no kid should be going to school 8 hours a day and cramming 6 hours afterwards. That is ridiculous. Piling on extra homework doesn't make anyone any smarter. Whatever happened to childhood, and free-time? Kids shouldn't have unreasonable expectations placed upon them like that. Life is short, you can work reasonably hard and be industrious without grinding yourself into the ground.

Anonymous said...

""Evolution" is a nifty little idea, but it's just that - an idea, nothing more."

Yeah, and "gravity" is a nifty little idea, but it's just that - an idea, nothing more.

Go back to the children's table, Mr. Anonymous #1; the adults are talking here.

Anonymous said...

"I have to admit, there are a fair number of nihilists here at iSteve."

You can always spot the theologically-motivated cranks on the discussion forums here, thanks to their constant abuse and misuse of the word "nihilist".

Black Sea said...

To a considerable extent, critical thinking is simply the application of the scientific method to a host of questions and controversies. Critical thinking also highlights the distinction between areas of thought which are suject to empirical verification, and those which are not. In this sense, critical thinking can be taught, though the extent to which it will be learned depends of course on the student. But this is true of everything.

From what I've observed, and read, the less you know about a subject, the harder to it is to think critically about it (hardly surprising). The second, less obvious point, is that people compartmentalize this practice. A research engineer who spends all day thinking critically about technical problems and solutions may go out and buy a car on a whim, knowing almost nothing about its performance characteristics. In other words, there isn't much critical thinking carry-over from one area of our lives to another.

The final thing I would say is that crititcal thinking isn't something that you teach in a course, it's something that does (or doesn't) permeate a curriculum. And teaching it still isn't that effective, because in fact critical thinking is a highly unnatural activity. One of the first things people need to learn is how to be comfortable saying, "I don't know enough to have an opinion."

Anonymous said...

"
Who cares, no kid should be going to school 8 hours a day and cramming 6 hours afterwards. That is ridiculous. Piling on extra homework doesn't make anyone any smarter. Whatever happened to childhood, and free-time? Kids shouldn't have unreasonable expectations placed upon them like that. Life is short, you can work reasonably hard and be industrious without grinding yourself into the ground.

"

In India and East Asia, among the middle classes, the mentality is that a child shouldn't play too much. Childhood is for studying and a child should learn to obey his parents and teachers. If you don't study, you'll fall behind and not get a professional job, so you'll end up working class and won't marry well. You also will be stigmatized by society and shunned by your family.

Sports, dating, partying, hanging out, "finding yourself", being a kid, etc. are Western concepts that Asians/Indians would term as BS. Life is about grinding and doing what your parents want. Most everything else is frivolous.

As both Asians and Indians tend to be submissive/docile low-testosterone populations, the parents and society can push the kids to spend all their free time cramming and doing homework. Unruliness, teen rebellion, and kids who fight back are almost unknown in these cultures.

This mentality is what produces those Asian/Indian academic superstars. You might not like it, but this is the reality of the east.

If America wants to continue to maintain its edge, it might need to embrace the mentality to an extent, if it can.

When Amerians think of minorities, groups like blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos come to mind. For Europeans - it's Africans, Arabs, Muslims, Turks, and Middle Easterners. If you deal with Asians and Indians, it's striking (REALLY STRIKING) just how different they are from NAMs. It's almost like they live in a different universe, behaviorally and culturally.

Anonymous said...

The notion that East Asian Americans are purely academic grind outs is quite frankly a canard. Obviously Steve Sailer and his white nationalist readers have never heard of World of Warcraft or Starcraft 2. East Asians generally tend to spend their free time doing things that nerdier Europeans Americans do, i.e. computer/video gaming, etc.

Speaking of which, I follow e-sports (professional video gaming), and there's a nearly parallel perception among the community that asians are only the best players because they practice a lot. Anything but admit they're more talented.

There's a thinly veiled desire in Starcraft 2 to see a non-Korean win the GSL (biggest SC2 tournament), which leads to Western players who really aren't that good being hyped up to death as if they're an elite talent, like Idra, who has never cracked the top 10 in GSL.

And check out the comments after this Defense of the Ancients article.

http://www.gosugamers.net/dota/news/14144-gosuawards-2010-solo-player-of-the-year

After all 5 nominees for best player are Chinese, do comments like this sound familiar?

You see, individually Asian players aren't better, but since they practice more and thus have better teamwork, they win more. This kind of news makes GosuGamers look so ridiculously biased towards Asia, which I'm sure is not your intentions.
Please at least consider that not splitting it up into two polls was a mistake, and perhaps do it next year (if you do this again).

Simon in London said...

My impression from the evidence I've seen is that nort-east Asians have an IQ advantage over whites in visuospatial abilities, but a fairly small natural advantage is accentuated by working harder than white children.

This doesn't apply in my field; at my University the hardest working students IME tend to be northern European (male + female), especially Germans, and black African female, esp southern African. I've seen very little sign of south-Asians being particularly hard-working, neither British born nor overseas students, though there are individual exceptions.

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of Asians that love e-gaming. It wouldn't surprise me if they had some natural talent for it.

I don't think many people are complaining that it's unfair that Asians work/practice harder. Asians have been working harder for decades and gaining admittance to elite American universities and professions at a disproportionately high rate. Nobody, except on the left, is suggesting that we insitute affirmative action to dramatically lower the Asian percentage at these schools and programs. Asian immigrants can immigrate to California, send their kids to UCLA (over the kids of some caucasian or black guy), and not get any trouble from society. Asians playing the game fairly and winning, so people are fine with it.

The issue is whether work habits and personality can explain their attainment better than IQ. If those factors are better than IQ, it doesn't take away from Asian achievement.

Regardless of why Asians are doing better academically, they are doing better. So they win.

Some people might also have issue with whether children should be pushed to study long hours. This is more subjective, so you can argue either way.

Anonymous said...

Simon, I thought that South Asian (Indian and Pakistani) kids were overrepresented in the British universities and were especially well represented in medical, dental, pharmacy, and law schools. They (at least Indians) also get more good GCSEs than white students.

The stats show South Asians are academically outdoing British whites.

Out of curiosity, how do white British view South Asians? What are some stereotypes associated with them, their children, and their enclaves?

Anonymous said...

South Asian (Indian and Pakistani) kids were overrepresented in the British universities and were especially well represented in medical, dental, pharmacy, and law schools

My understanding is, Pakistani and Bangladeshi no, Indian yes, but moving more towards no for Indians as their population balance moves away from descendants and relatives of the high skilled East African diaspora merchants and the South Asians bought here as medics (but this is happening relatively slowly, as most new Indians are still the result of chain family migration and India is rather stratified). British folk who use racist epithets conflate and use the word "Paki" for all South Asian groups as the Pakistanis were the earliest large migration (AFAIK) and aroused more conflict with the natives. Poor Pakistani and Bangladeshi folk still do better academically (if not professionally) than poor White British folk, presumably as a result of cultural values and possibly of genetic potential for IQ not being quite as "sorted" in this population.

Out of curiosity, how do white British view South Asians? What are some stereotypes associated with them, their children, and their enclaves?

Hindu South Asian: Quiet (not talkative), studious, unathletic, materialistic (in a "Keep Up with the Joneses" kind of way), Nouveau Riche, large extended families with lots of internal hierarchy and grumbling, arranged marriage, abstemious.
Muslim South Asians: As above, but not intelligent or prosperous. More oppressive towards daughters, less push for them to work outside the home.

Truth said...

"but contrary to anonymous, plenty of them are straight up grinders."

Once again, a simple error in understanding:

There is no such thing as a "grinder", either one has the intellect to pass these tests, or he does not. If he does not there is nothing he can do to develop it.

Svigor said...

The final thing I would say is that crititcal thinking isn't something that you teach in a course, it's something that does (or doesn't) permeate a curriculum.

That's what I was getting at; IME critical thinking is a value you teach, more than a process.

Anonymous said...

Simon, I looked up the statistics.

In terms of good GCSEs, Indians have been increasing their lead over British whites for the last 10years. Pakistanis do worse, but they've been narrowing the gap significantly. Bangladeshis are almost doing as well as whites. Chinese are way ahead of almost everyone, but not too far ahead of Indians.

Pakistanis and especially Indians attend college/university at a much higher rate than white British. Bangladeshis are about equal. Indians seem to be vastly overrepresented in law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, etc. whearas Pakistanis are evenly represented. Whites are underrepresented.

I think you're right that the Gujarati merchants (Patels, Shahs, Parikhs, Mehtas) and medics in Britain are much more prosperous than Sikhs, who came as laborers. However, even Sikhs are about as prosperous as white British.

A few questions come to mind....

1.) Why are Pakistanis and Indians so overrepresented in higher education?
2.) If they have lower mean IQs, how can all the South Asian groups be so competitive with British?

I would guess that by your description of South Asians (quiet, studious, overbearing parents, unathletic) that they are a lower testosterone and more submissive/docile group by nature. So maybe that's conducive to pushing their kids to attend school, study, and not rebel - even if the kids aren't all that bright.

Anonymous said...

Grind = focused and hardworking. Use the terminology you wish, but I respect hardwork. Though I do think there needs to be a balance between work and play too. We need to be more like Asians/Indians, but they should be more like us.

A lot of people have this image of white Americans as being sober, responsible, well-behaved, hardworking, etc.... Realistically, they aren't too bad, but there's a moderate amount of teen rebllion and rowdiness, combined with a tendency to do the minimum to get by. White Americans do have some tendency to slacking, even it's not too severe.

Asians only look like such grinds because they're compared to groups with these slacking tendencies.

By the way, would are Indians grinds?

Mr. Anon said...

"Black Sea said...

To a considerable extent, critical thinking is simply the application of the scientific method to a host of questions and controversies."

I agree with everything you wrote. My point in an earlier post was merely that the term "critical thinking" is redundant. If critical has any meaning in the context, it has no meaning which is not subsumed by the simple word "thinking". The use of the CT term by the education establishment shows nothing but thier own faux-erudition and thier fondness for sixty-four dollar words which add no meaning.

Anonymous said...

"The stats show South Asians are academically outdoing British whites."


Great. Now they can go back to South Asia and live happily ever after.

Anonymous said...

Simon, I looked up the statistics.

Hi. I, anonymous, who answered you, am not Simon, to clean up any confusion. But thank you for your reply.

Some of the overrep may come from Pakistani folks registering in bogus colleges to gain leave to stay in the UK, but if all these folks are British citizens, that's of course not the case. If they are not British nationals, but merely people of Pakistani origin, thus aggregated, this would explain the whole of the difference, I would think.

If not it would be interesting why Pakistanis with good results are more interested in the higher education track rather than going straight into work.

You are right that it's curious about the Sikhs. I've known mostly East African Sikhs in London, who in my experience have been like the Hindus in that they are from East Africa and to quote a site about them "also had the further advantage of usually being highly skilled and employable, in contrast to the humble labourers from the Punjab", although most of the Sikhs in the UK have, as you say, arrived as labourers. The exact proportion of each is somewhat difficult to obtain.

Presumably this dual nature of Sikhs is why I've been confused in the past when comments on iSteve have discussed the so called "Sikhs working as labourers". I would assume that the "African" Sikhs have boosted the "Punjabi" Sikhs accomplishment somewhat, but possibly not enough. Possibly they inspired their Sikh brothers somewhat as well.

You are right that these groups still overaccomplish relative to the sub-90 IQ ceteris paribus estimates from India, which indicates that these are incorrect or that migration has been relatively selective.

Anonymous said...

Asians only look like such grinds because they're compared to groups with these slacking tendencies.

Heh. Funny how the doctrine of the mean always turns out in practice to "mean" that wherever I am, that's the golden mean! ;)

(Not to confine this to Asians of course. I should this will become more common among Whites the more they are intermediate between Africans and Asians - why, they're just the golden mean, that's it!).

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster who mentioned that Asians only seemed like grinds because other groups were lazy. In my opinion, blacks, whites, and Hispanics are congenitally lazy compared to East Asians.

Svigor said...

If whites are so much less intelligent and industrious than Chinese and Indians, we're just forced further afield to explain why China and India suck, and any sane Chinese or Indian would emigrate to a European country.

We talk about creativity a lot here, but honesty (trust) plays a role, too. Chinese and Indians don't have an honest (trusting) bone in their bodies, relative to Euros. And there's agreeableness; too much agreeableness means authoritarianism.

And it's not as though the Chinese, for example, aren't the sort to get rich and sit on their asses; I just read an interesting Cablegate memo about the friction between "princelings" and "shopkeepers" in the Communist party elite. The princelings are the sons of the leaders of the revolution, who think their pedigrees mean they get to rule. A harbinger of Chinese complacency to come?

In short; everybody's hungry when they're poor. Let's see how the Chinese and Indians perform after a few generations of prosperity.

Anonymous said...

Terms like "lazy" or "grind" are really subjective. For the average Asian person, everyone else (except maybe Indians) are lazy. For the average white and especially NAM, Asians are grinds.

Objectively, it'd be fair to say that for non-Asians, most time is spent in leisure. For Asians, most time is spent studying or schooling. Depending your value system, Asians are grinds or everyone else is lazy. Take your pick.

Personally, I believe in the work/life balance. I don't approve of the East Asian academic system, but I do think most Americans, of all races, slack to some extent. It wouldn't kill us to extend the school day and cut back on all these breaks, but the East Asians should let their kids play more. Balance tends to optimize things.