Taking the Best of East and West for a School

I’m a big believer in "skim the top." Emulate the best parts of people. Find the best parts of French culture and try to integrate it into Americanism (while leaving behind the negative parts). Use the best of all religions — I’ve been reading The Teachings of Buddhism while in Japan and love some of the Buddhist ideas, though I don’t think I could adopt it all the way, nor could I any religion. Why not take the best of Buddha, Jesus, and a few other philosophers?

The Academy of the Pacific Rim is a charter school in Boston which claims to take the best of East and Western educational traditions. This is an awesome approach. I love some parts of Asian culture, such as the character building, loyalty, and so forth. But I miss the individualism and entrepreneurship and diversity that is part of Western culture.

I believe that with globalization comes synthetic cultures, and rather than pine for the old, more "pure" culture, we should embrace synthetic cultures — and approaches to education — as taking the best of all worlds. I tip my hat to the Academy of the Pacific Rim for building an institution around this vision.

Thanks to Chris Yeh for the pointer!

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