Student Achievement

Comparing American, Chinese, and Indian Students

By Katie Ash — January 09, 2008 1 min read

My colleague Andrew Trotter has written a story about a documentary called 2 Million Minutes that compares 6 high school students from three different countries--India, China, and the United States. As you might imagine, the documentary examines the steadfast dedication of the Indian and Chinese students in contrast to the relaxed attitude of the American students. It’s worth noting that all of the students the documentary follows are bright students who are at the top of their class.

According to the story, both the Indian and Chinese students emphasize their long-term career and education goals when talking about their education, while the American students “seem unfocused and unconcerned about their future prospects.” The story also notes that the American students seem to have less parental involvement than the Indian and Chinese students.

The economic benefits of being highly educated and having a “safe” career seem to be major motivators for the students in India and China, but not for the Americans.

Watch the trailer:


A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.