• Chong Ho Yu
  • Hyun Seo Lee


As its title implies, this book focuses on lessons from Hong Kong for science and math education. Hong Kong is not the only high-performing East Asian school system that could potentially offer inspiration to the United States. As mentioned in the preface, the United Kingdom has adopted the Shanghai model.


  1. Abbound, S. K., & Kim, J. Y. (2005). Top of the class: How Asian parents raise high achievers—And how you can too. New York, NY: Berkley Books.Google Scholar
  2. American College Testing [ACT], Inc. (2017). The condition of college & career readiness 2017. Retrieved from
  3. Anderson, S. (2013). The importance of international students to America. NEAP policy report brief. National Foundation for American Policy. Retrieved from NFAP Policy Brief The Importance of International Students to America, July 2013.pdf.
  4. Ang, R. P., & Huan, V. S. (2006). Relationship between academic stress and suicidal ideation: Testing for depression as a mediator using multiple regression. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 37(2), 133–143. Scholar
  5. Atkinson, R. D., & Mayo, M. (2010). Refueling the US innovation economy: Fresh approaches to science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM) education. Washington, DC: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Retrieved from
  6. Baron, E. (2018, January 17). H-1B: Nearly three-quarters of Silicon Valley tech workers foreign born. Silicon Beat. Retrieved from
  7. Berliner, D. C. (2011). The context for interpreting PISA results in the USA. Negativism, chauvinism, misunderstanding, and the potential to distort the educational systems of nations. In M. Pereira, H-G. Kotthoff, & R. Cowen (Eds.), PISA under examination: Changing knowledge, changing tests, and changing schools (pp. 77–96). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  8. Berliner, D. C. (2015). The many facets of PISA. Teachers College Record, 117(1), 1–20.Google Scholar
  9. Bjorklund, B. R. (2015). The journey of adulthood (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Google Scholar
  10. Bok, D. (2006). Our underachieving colleges: A Candid look at how much students learn and why they should be learning more. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bracey, G. (2009). PISA: Not leaning hard on US economy. Phi Delta Kappan, 90, 450–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burnsed, B. (2011, May). Combating students’ disinterest in the sciences: Students show diminishing desire to pursue a career in the sciences despite rosy job prospects. US News and World Report. Retrieved from
  13. Calmes, J. (2010, December 6). Obama calls for new Sputnik moment. New York Times. Retrieved from
  14. Carnoy, C., & Rothstein, R. (2013). What do international tests really show about US. student performance? Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved from
  15. Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Chen, X. L., & Soldner, M. (2013). STEM attrition: College students’ paths into and out of STEM fields: Statistical analysis report. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
  17. Cheo, R., & Quah, E. (2005). Mothers, maids, and tutors: An empirical evaluation of their effect on children’s academic grades in Singapore. Education Economics, 13(3), 269–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cheong, C. Y. (2009). Hong Kong educational reforms in the last decade: Reform syndrome and new developments. International Journal of Educational Management, 23(1), 65–86.Google Scholar
  19. Cheow, S.A. (2019, April 12). More teens in Singapore seeking help at IMH for school stress. Retrieved from
  20. Christensen, C. M. (2008). Disrupting class: How disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  21. Chua, A. (2011). Battle hymn of the Tiger Mother. New York, NY: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  22. College Board. (2012). SAT Report: Only 43 percent of 2012 college-bound seniors are college ready. New York, NY: College Board. Retrieved from
  23. Collins, A., & Halverson, R. (2018). Rethinking education in the age of technology: The digital revolution and schooling in America. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  24. Columbus, L. (2017, May 13). IBM predicts demand for data scientists will soar 28% by 2020. Forbes. Retrieved from
  25. Creswell, J. (2010). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Csapó, B., & Funke, J. (Eds.). (2017). The nature of problem solving: Using research to inspire 21st century learning, educational research and innovation. Paris: OECD Publishing. Scholar
  27. Deisenroth, M. P., Faisal, A. A., & Ong, C. S. (2019). Mathematics for machine learning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Department for Professional Employees. (2013). The Asian and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander STEM workforce. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
  29. Emeagwali, N. S. (2010). National science board says US lead in STEM slipping. Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers, 85(3), 10–11.Google Scholar
  30. Fisher, S. (1994). Stress in academic life: The mental assembly line. London, UK: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Forlin, C. (2010). Developing and implementing quality inclusive education in Hong Kong: Implications for teacher education. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 10, 177–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fuchs, C. (2018, June 18). Plan to diversify New York’s top high schools divides Asian-American groups. NBC News. Retrieved from
  33. Goodman, L. A. (1961). Snowball sampling. Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 32(1), 148–170. Scholar
  34. Grigg, W., Donahue, P., & Dion, G. (2007). The Nation’s report card: 12th-grade reading and mathematics 2005 (NCES 2007-468). National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: US. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  35. Grobler, G. C. (2018). STEM in a day. Hong Kong Science Teachers’ Journal, 33, 21–25.Google Scholar
  36. Gustafsson, J. F. (2016). Lasting effects of quality of schooling: Evidence from PISA and PIAAC. Intelligence, 57, 66–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hanushek, E. A. (2005, June). Why quality matters in education. Finance and development42(2), 15–19.Google Scholar
  38. Hanushek, E. A., & Woessmann, L. (2008). The role of cognitive skills in economic development. Journal of Economic Literature, 46, 607–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hui, A. N. N., & Lau, S. (2010). Formulation of policy and strategy in developing creativity education in four Asian Chinese societies: A policy analysis. Journal of Creativity Education, 44, 215–235.Google Scholar
  40. Ho, E. S. (2009). Characteristics of East Asian learners: What we learned from PISA. Educational Research Journal, 24, 327–348.Google Scholar
  41. Ho, E. S. (2010a). Family influences on science learning among Hong Kong adolescents: What we learned from PISA. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8, 409–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ho, E. S. (2010b). Assessing the quality and equality of Hong Kong basic education results: From PISA 2000 + to PISA 2006. Frontiers of Education in China, 5, 238–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hojo, M., & Oshio, T. (2010). What factors determine student performance in East Asia? New evidence from TIMSS 2007. IDEAS, Department of Economics, University of Connecticut. Retrieved from
  44. House, J. D. (2000). Relationship between instructional activities and science achievement of adolescent students in Hong Kong: Findings from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). International Journal of Instructional Media, 27, 275–288.Google Scholar
  45. House, J. D. (2006). Mathematics beliefs, instructional strategies, and algebra achievement of adolescent students in Japan: Results from the TIMSS 1999 assessment. International Journal of Instructional Media, 33, 443–462.Google Scholar
  46. Huan, V. S., See, Y. L., Ang, R. P., & Har, C. W. (2008). The impact of adolescent concerns on their academic stress. Educational Review, 60(2), 169–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hunt, E., & Wittmann, W. (2008). National intelligence and national prosperity. Intelligence, 36(1), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Isaacson, W. (2017). Leonardo da Vinci. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  49. Joncas, M. (2008). TIMSS 2007 sample design. In J. F. Olson, M. O. Martin, & I. V. S. Mullis (Eds.), TIMSS 2007 technical report (pp. 77–92). Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College.Google Scholar
  50. Jyoti, S., & Neetu, S. (2013). Implications of corporal punishment on primary school children. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 15(6), 57–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kaku, M. (2011). America has a secret weapon [Video file]. Retrieved from
  52. Kannankutty, N., & Burrelli, J. (2007, June). Why did they come to the United States? A profile of immigrant scientists and engineers. National Science Foundation Info Brief, NSF07-324. Retrieved from
  53. Kennedy, B., Hefferon, M., & Funk, C. (2018, January). Half of Americans think young people don’t pursue STEM because it is too hard. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from
  54. Kepner, J., & Jananthan, H. (2018). Mathematics of big data: Spreadsheets, databases, matrices, and graphs. Boston, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  55. Klein, D. (2003). A brief history of American K-12 mathematics education in the 20th century. In J. M. Royer (Ed.), Mathematical cognition (pp. 175–259). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  56. Kornblut, A. E., & Wilson, S. (2011, January 26). State of the Union 2011: ‘Win the future,’ Obama says. Washington Post. Retrieved from
  57. Kung, D. (2013). How music and mathematics relate. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company.Google Scholar
  58. Law, W. W. (2004). Translating globalization and democratization into local policy: Educational reform in Hong Kong and Taiwan. International Review of Education, 50, 497–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lee, J. (2018, January 23). It takes more than grit: Reframing Asian American academic achievement. Social Science Research Council. Retrieved from
  60. Lee, J., & Zhou, M. (2015). The Asian American achievement paradox. New York, NY: Russell Sag Foundation.Google Scholar
  61. Lee, J., & Zhou, M. (2017). Why class matters less for Asian-American academic achievement. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(14), 2316–2330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Leshner, A. (2009, January 12). A wake-up call for science education. Boston Globe. Retrieved from
  63. Levitt, S. D., & Dubner, S. J. (2014). Think like a freak: The authors of freakonomics offer to retrain your brain. New York, NY: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  64. Linton, J. (2010). United States department of education update. Journal of Correctional Education, 61(1), 6–8.Google Scholar
  65. Mathematical Association of America. (2015). US team takes second at International Mathematical Olympiad. Retrieved from
  66. Mathematical Association of America. (2016). US wins first place at International Mathematics Competition in Hong Kong. Retrieved from
  67. Mathematical Association of America. (2017). US students bring home medals at International Mathematics Competition in Brazil. Retrieved from
  68. Mathematical Association of America. (2019). Symphonic equations: A mathematical exploration of music. Retrieved from
  69. McGonigal, K. (2016). The upside of stress: Why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it. London, UK: Penguin.Google Scholar
  70. Menon, R. (2000). Should the United States emulate Singapore’s education system to achieve Singapore’s success in the TIMSS? Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 5, 345–347.Google Scholar
  71. National Academy of Sciences. (2010). Expanding underrepresented minority participation: America’s science and technology talent at the crossroads. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  72. National Science Board. (2010). Preparing the next generation of STEM innovators: Identifying and developing our nation’s human capital. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation.Google Scholar
  73. Ng, M. (2017, November 21). Hong Kong pupils among world’s best group problem-solvers (but Singapore tops the chart): Results from Pisa assessment of how well students work together for solutions show Japan in second. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from
  74. Ngiam, X. Y., & Tung, S. S. (2016). The acceptability of caning children in Singapore: the fine line between discipline and physical maltreatment. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(2), 158–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2007). PISA 2006: Science competencies for tomorrow’s world. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD].Google Scholar
  76. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2010). The high cost of low educational performance: The long run economic impact of improving PISA outcomes. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. Retrieved from
  77. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2011). Lessons from PISA for the United States–Shanghai and Hong Kong: Two distinct examples of education reform in China. Paris: Author.
  78. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2012). Literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments framework for the OECD survey of Adult Skill. Retrieved from–%20Revised%2028oct2013_ebook.pdf.
  79. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2013a). Technical report of the survey of adult skills (PIAAC). Retrieved from
  80. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2013b). Students’ drive and motivation. Retrieved from
  81. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2016). Skills matter: Further results from the survey of adult skills. Retrieved from
  82. Otto, W. (2016). What teachers should know about why these students perform so well: An examination of Korean-American achievement through student perspectives of East Asian parenting beliefs, styles, and practices. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 9(1), 167–181.Google Scholar
  83. Parsons, S., & Bynners, J. (2005). Does numeracy matter more?. London, UK: National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.Google Scholar
  84. Pearson, E., & Rao, N. (2006). Early childhood education policy reform in Hong Kong: Challenges in effecting change in practices. Childhood Education, 82, 363–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Ravitch, D. (2011, February). Keynote address. Speech presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of School Administrators, Denver, CO. Retrieved from,_2011/DianeRavitchSpeech-NCE11-text-format.pdf.
  86. Rayome, A. D. (2018, December 4). 62% of China’s machine learning graduates leave to work in the US. Tech Republic. Retrieved from
  87. Renzulli, K. A., Weisser, C., & Leonhardt, M. (2016, May 16). The 21 most valuable career skills now. Money. Retrieved from
  88. Root-Bernstein, R., & Root-Bernstein, M. (2004). Artistic scientists and scientific artists: The link between Polymathy and creativity. In R. J. Sternberg, E. L. Grigorenko, & J. L. Singer (Eds.), Creativity: From potential to realization (pp. 127–151). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.
  89. Rothstein, R. (1998). The way we were? The myths and realities of America’s student achievement. New York, NY: Century Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  90. Royster, P., Gross, J., & Hochbein, C. (2015). Timing is everything: Getting students back on track to college readiness in high school. The High School Journal, 98, 208–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Rudy, A., & Sussman, A. (2013). IES grant writing workshop for exploration projects. Retrieved from
  92. Salzman, H., & Lowell, L. (2008). Making the grade. Nature, 453, 28–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Sing, C. C., & Khine, M. S. (2008). Assessing the epistemological and pedagogical beliefs among pre-service teachers in Singapore. In M. S. Khine (Ed.), Knowing, knowledge and beliefs (pp. 287–299). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Soulé, H., & Warrick, T. (2015). Defining 21st century readiness for all students: What we know and how to get there. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 9(2), 178–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Strauss, V. (2016, July 18). U.S. students win prestigious International Math Olympiad for second straight year. Washington Post. Retrieved from
  96. Tam, J., & Zhao, S. (2013, December 3). Shanghai teens still world’s best at reading, maths, science in Pisa survey. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from
  97. Tan, C. (2011). Framing educational success: A comparative study of Shanghai and Singapore. Education, Knowledge and Economy, 5(3), 155–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Tan, C. (2012). “Our shared values” in Singapore: A confucian perspective. Educational Theory, 62, 449–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Tan, C. (2017). Private supplementary tutoring and parentocracy in Singapore. Interchange, 48, 315–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Trump, D. (2019, February 11). Executive order on maintaining American leadership in artificial intelligence. The White House. Retrieved from
  101. U.S Department of Labor. (2017). Employment projections: Fastest growing occupations. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from
  102. U.S Department of Labor. (2019). Labor statistics. Retrieved from
  103. Venezia, A., & Jaeger, L. (2013). Transitions from high school to college. The Future of Children, 23(1), 117–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Vilcek, J., & Cronstein, B. N. (2006). A prize for the foreign-born. Journal of the Federation of American Societies for experimental Biology, 20, 1281–1283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Wang, J. (2018). Innovation and government intervention: A comparison of Singapore and Hong Kong. Research Policy, 47, 399–412. Scholar
  106. Weiss, S. F., Murray, R. E., & Cyrus, C. J. (2010). Music education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  107. West, M. R. (2012). Global lessons for improving US education. Issues in Science & Technology, 28(3), 37–44.Google Scholar
  108. Wildavsky, B. (2011, February 21). Relax, America. Chinese math whizzes and Indian engineers aren’t stealing your kids’ future. Think Again: Education. Retrieved from
  109. Wiseman, A. (2015). How the world learns: Comparative educational systems. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company.Google Scholar
  110. Wößmann, L. (2005). Educational production in East Asia: The impact of family background and schooling policies on student performance. German Economic Review, 6, 331–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Wong, T. H. (2015). Social foundations of public–private partnerships in education: The historical cases of post-war Singapore and Hong Kong. History of Education, 44, 207–224. Scholar
  112. Yeung, L. (2013, December 9). Reflections: Hong Kong does well in OECD table, but not all are impressed. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from
  113. Yu, C. H., Lee, H. S., Lara, E., & Gan, S. G. (2019). Adult learning across USA, Canada, and New Zealand: A cross-cultural study of PIAAC. International Education Studies, 12(5), 1–16. Retrieved from
  114. Zakaria, F. (2015). In defense of a liberal education. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chong Ho Yu
    • 1
  • Hyun Seo Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusaUSA
  2. 2.Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusaUSA

Personalised recommendations