Business, Economics and Jobs

The Smartest Kids in the World: a Look at Schooling in Finland, South Korea, and Poland


Amanda Ripley, author of "The Smartest Kids in the World." (Photo: Brooke Bready)

When journalist Amanda Ripley decided to exam the world's leading educational systems, she wanted to get the perspective of insiders, of those most affected by each system, that is, students.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

She spent a year following American exchange students in Finland, South Korea and Poland.

Through these teens she begins to examine the school systems in these countries, which are reportedly the best in the world, and has compiled what she's found into her latest book, "The Smartest Kids in the World."

Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Amanda Ripley about what she discovered.

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    Children pray during a religious lesson in a public elementary school in Warsaw October 4, 2012. Society in Poland is changing and with it, the relationship between the Polish people and the Catholic church. In this country where, since the end of Communist rule, prime ministers have sought the blessing of the church before making important decisions, Catholicism is losing its influence. Opinion polls show that the number of people who go to church or pray regularly is in decline. And now a series of initiatives - on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), ending state subsidies for the church, and homosexuality - is challenging Catholicism's role at the heart of the state. Picture taken October 4, 2012. To match story POLAND-CHURCH/ REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION EDUCATION) - RTR398Y2