Prof Zhao has been in New Zealand for about a week. He has been visiting schools and meeting with educationalists and business leaders. He has also met with Education Minister Hekia Parata last Tuesday afternoon. Prof Zhao has said, "I want to warn the New Zealand Government - you may be raising your test scores, but you may be losing something else, and that might be very important for the future." (NZ Herald 25 September 2013)
Professor Yong Zhao, the presidential chair at the University of Oregon's College of Education, said a focus on measuring traditional success risked producing homogenous, compliant workers ill-suited for a modern economy - and he explained this in his presentation to the NZEI Annual Conference.
Prof Zhao calls schools traditional sausage factories. Children come in with their individual differences, their multiple intelligences, their cultural diversity, full of curiosity, passion and creativity, go through the sausage factory of schooling and pop out the other end with "employable skills". He used the graphic below to illustrate this.