Presented with the kind permission of Dave Compton, Broken Pencil Productions & Two Million Minutes

In 2007 the provocative documentary film Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination premiered. Comparing and contrasting the two million minutes of high school in India, China and the U.S., the film raised awareness and rattled cages from Harvard to the halls of power.

Now one year later, the students have completed their freshman year of college. In Two Million Minutes Chapter 3, we bring together the two American students and the two Chinese students for a candid, compelling roundtable discussion.

How well did high school prepare them? Do they wish they had done things differently? How do they see their peers in other countries now? What has their first year of college been like? How different is the college experience between these two countries?

With a mission to “cultivate within each of its students a balance of Chinese wisdom and a global perspective”, Xiwai International School is pioneering a new path in Chinese education – a public-private joint venture in education between Xiwai Investment Co. and Shanghai International Studies University . The former is a company specializing in education investment; it consists of shareholders and senior managers, including individuals from the international banking sector, such as Goldman Sachs, and from Chinese and overseas educational institutions. Shanghai International Studies University is one of China ‘s key universities, directly under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Ministry of Education.

How is traditional Chinese K-12 education changing? What are the strengths of the historical approach? What are you trying to achieve with new approaches? How much freedom do high school principals and teachers have? How do you balance teaching Communist philosophy with capitalist economics? China seems to have a very active “Gifted and Talented” program – can you elaborate? What can Chinese educators learn from America? What can American educators learn from China?