from their examples have spawned just about every company in Silicon Valley, and
many more around America.
Singapore provides another example. Its government has
used its multi-billion-dollar national superannuation fund to finance many high-tech
industries, and has provided generous tax-breaks to attract 3,000 international companies
to the city state.
The Chinese back-to-your-roots model
One of the most exciting models of all is to rediscover
the great strengths of a society's own culture. That's why China is one of the most
exciting countries in the world to visit today. Probably no society has a stronger
"learning ethic" than China.. No large developing country is racing harder to
join the world of space-age communications; by early the year 2000 or 2001, China will
rank next to the United States in the number of Internet connections. Yet China is
striving, too, to marry the era of "networked intelligence" to its own
traditions and roots.
In doing so it is rediscovering that many of today's
most effective learning methods were those first taught 2,500 years ago by Confucius and
his close followers. Many critics credit Confucius with a Chinese preoccupation with
examinations, forgetting that he urged these in particular to select , on merit, the main
advisers the country's rulers. But many of his other concepts are even more valid now than
they were when he became China's most famous early teacher:
Confucius urged the blending new ideas with old proven concepts.
He was a democrat - and wanted to bring about social reforms
He believed strongly in "learning by doing".
Confucius used the whole world as his classroom. He did not teach
in the confines of a school.
He used music and poetry extensively in both learning and
He believed that learning how to learn was as important as
He believed that everyone had different learning abilities, and
able teachers should cater to these individual abilities.
And he believed strongly in the importance of values and courteous
behavior, still two key characteristics of Chinese schooling.15
Contents Page Preface