Education trends from abroad are gaining cachet as political and educational leaders strive to bring American schools in line with the demands of the 21st-century global economy, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Researchers cite effective practices from places as varied as Finland, Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Switzerland. When it comes to improving education, "there’s a globalism in the perspective of … the high-achieving countries, [and] they’re all talking about each other," says Linda Darling-Hammond, an education professor at Stanford University. "It’s an important change that there’s some interest in that now" in the U.S., she says. Yet observers caution that some attempts to compare U.S. and international education can be too simplistic. "We can learn from other countries, but we do have to be careful with whether or not the practices of any one country can be imported into another," says Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a policy research group in Washington. "Many of these practices are so culturally bound that the fact that something works in Singapore doesn’t necessarily mean it will work in the United States." It’s also worth noting that even in countries scoring higher than the U.S. on certain tests, educators have their own share of complaints and worries about the future…

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