Yong Zhao Ph.D. | Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, University of Oregon

Yong Zhao Ph.D.

Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, University of Oregon

Yong Zhao Ph.D.

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in Australia. He previously served as the Presidential Chair, Associate Dean, and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Prior to Oregon, Yong Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the International Academy of Education.

Yong Zhao has received numerous awards including the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association, Outstanding Public Educator from Horace Mann League of USA, Distinguished Achievement Award in Professional Development from the Association of Education Publishers, and ACEL Nganakarrawa Award. He has been recognized as one of the most influential education scholars.

His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and nearly 40 books, including Duck and Cover:  Confronting and Correcting Dubious Practices in Education (2023), Learning for Uncertainty: Teaching Students How to Thrive in a Rapidly Evolving World (2022), An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success (2019) What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education (2018), Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children (2018),  Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes(2016), Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job: Correcting Top 5 Ed Tech Mistakes (2015), Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World (2014), Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization (2009)and World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (2012).

Zhao was born in China’s Sichuan Province. He received his B.A. in English Language Education from Sichuan Institute of Foreign Languages in Chongqing, China in 1986. After teaching English in China for six years, he came to Linfield College as a visiting scholar in 1992. He then began his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. He received his masters in Education in 1994 and Ph.D. in 1996. He joined the faculty at MSU in 1996 after working as the Language Center Coordinator at Willamette University and a language specialist at Hamilton College.

Yong Zhao Ph.D.
Featured Videos

Current: Improbable Probabilities: Equitable Education For All

Time 57:06

More Videos From Yong Zhao Ph.D.

Improbable Probabilities: Equitable Education For All
Time 57:06
Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All
Time 33:58
University of Oklahoma
Time 46:14
TEDx: Every Child Is A Rudolph
Time 18:00

Speech Options:
Speech Options:

• Perils or Promises: Education in the Age of Smart Machines
• Reach for Greatness: Empowering Your Kids to Harness Their Talents to Conquer the Challenges of the Modern World
• American Education in the Age of Globalization
• Integration of Eastern & Western Educational Practices

Yong Zhao Ph.D.
Featured Books

Duck and Cover Confronting and Correcting Dubious Practices in Educationby Yong Zhao Ph.D.

Duck and Cover Confronting and Correcting Dubious Practices in Education

by Yong Zhao Ph.D.

In the 1950s and 1960s, students practiced ducking under their desks in case of an atomic bomb attack. We know that this was silly and provided no protection and many school practices that are popular today are equally silly. This book explores a wide range of what the authors label “duck and cover” policies—ideas that may have started for good reasons but whose usefulness has declined over time, ideas that may lack sound theoretical foundations or long-term evidence, ideas that violate basic logic and reasoning or cause serious and proven damage. Ginsberg and Zhao explore how and why these policies were adopted, along with the underlying factors that push school leaders to maintain them. They also offer recommendations for reconsidering, replacing, or just removing these dubious strategies from practice. Topics include standardized testing, kindergarten readiness, college and career readiness, social and emotional learning, teaching evaluations, class size, professional development, time management, and much more. Duck and Cover will help readers think about their schools’ policies and practices in new ways, encouraging ongoing consideration and feedback about what actually works.

Book Features:

  • Invites K–12 educational policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to question the effectiveness of everyday practices.
  • Shows that some commonly practiced and even sacred beliefs in education are not scientifically sound or even logical.
  • Points to actions that leaders can take to remove, reconsider, or revise detrimental practices—a duck-and-cover audit guide with questions readers can use to examine what they do.
Improbable Probabilitiesby Yong Zhao Ph.D.

Improbable Probabilities

by Yong Zhao Ph.D.

A memoir of growth and development in leadership for educational equity

Improbable Probabilities is an analysis of opportunity as seen through the journey of renowned scholar Yong Zhao. From an obscure village in a China wracked by the Cultural Revolution to acclaim as one of the most influential international voices in education today, Yong’s journey reveals that disadvantages may become advantages and assuming risks that others avoid can open unforeseen opportunities.

In this instructive title, you will learn about:

  • Why families are important for children, through Yong’s experiences growing up impoverished in a supportive but illiterate family

  • How low or no expectations may benefit some children, as illustrated by an absence of familial expectations that freed Yong to explore and discover a love of language, reading, and writing

  • Students’ potential to find and take advantage of opportunities

  • How Yong discovered, explored, and pursued opportunities others failed to see in order to become internationally recognized as a researcher, professor, and writer

  • Why Yong’s publications and perspective challenge many of the current orthodoxies in education, especially regarding how to improve the learning of students living in low-wealth communities

Learners Without Bordersby Yong Zhao Ph.D.

Learners Without Borders

by Yong Zhao Ph.D.

The future of education centers empowered students in a global learning ecosystem.

Despite decades of reform, the traditional borders of education—graduation, curriculum, classrooms, schools—have failed to deliver on the goals of excellence and equity.

Despitemassive societal changes, education remains controlled by an old mindset. It is time to change that limiting mindset and, more importantly, the ineffective practices in education.To truly servealllearners, future classrooms must remove the boundaries of learning and become student-centered, culturally responsive, and personalized—supportive and equitable environments where each student can direct their own learning and seek multiple pathways to skills and knowledge in a global learning ecosystem. This compelling call for transformative change offers all involved in education

  • Evidence-based arguments that reveal the need to break the traditional borders that limit learning
  • Strategies to personalize learning and remove the confinement of traditional pathways
  • Examples from around the world to create equitable and student-centric learning environments
  • Resources for creating a school learning environment that expands opportunities for personalized learning into the global learning ecosystem

It is time to now imagine a different kind of learning,without borders, and to begin the shifts in practice that will result in personalized learning for all students.

World Class Learnersby Yong Zhao Ph.D.

World Class Learners

by Yong Zhao Ph.D.

Prepare your students for the globalized world!

To succeed in the global economy, students need to function as entrepreneurs: resourceful, flexible and creative. Researcher and Professor Yong Zhao unlocks the secrets to cultivating independent thinkers who are willing and able to create jobs and contribute positively to the globalized society. This book shows how teachers, administrators and even parents can:

  • Understand the entrepreneurial spirit and harness it

  • Foster student autonomy and leadership

  • Champion inventive learners with necessary resources

  • Develop global partners and resources

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