About the Author

Cornelius N. Grove completed an M.A.T. degree at Johns Hopkins University in 1964, then served for four years as a high school teacher in White Plains, NY. From there he moved into educational publishing at two houses in New York City. During 1971-73, he and his English wife sojourned for a year in rural Portugal and traveled in Europe and across Africa. He returned to graduate school at Columbia University.

While completing his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree, Cornelius became fascinated with the cross-cultural factors that affect children’s ability to learn in classrooms. For his dissertation project, he examined the cultural challenges affecting immigrant Portuguese students in a Massachusetts middle school. After graduating, he became Director of Research for AFS, the international student exchange organization. He also held adjunct teaching posts at New School and Columbia Universities, at which he created and taught courses entitled “Cross-Cultural Problems in Classroom Communication.” During the spring of 1986, he taught at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Some of Cornelius Grove’s publications between the mid-1970s and the early 2020s are cited in the column to the right; most can be read with a single click.

After delivering a conference paper on instructional styles across cultures in 2006, Cornelius decided upon a mission for himself:

To reveal the historical and cultural reasons for American students’ poor academic performance in comparison with their peers in other nations.

Three books fulfill this mission:

The Aptitude Myth: How an Ancient Belief Came to Undermine Children’s Learning Today (2013)

The Drive to Learn: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us about RAISING Students Who Excel (2017)

A Mirror for Americans: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us about TEACHING Students Who Excel (2020)

In addition, Cornelius authored an entry on “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” for the Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (2015). And for the International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication (2018), he authored lengthy entries on “Cognitive Styles Across Cultures” and his specialty, “Pedagogy across Cultures”.

Beginning in 2020, Cornelius undertook a somewhat different mission for himself:

To reveal what is known about children’s learning in traditional societies, where schools play little or no role in their lives and that of their extended families.

His most recent book, published early in 2023, fulfills this mission:

How Other Children Learn: What Five Traditional Societies Tell Us about Parenting and Children’s Learning (2023)

Currently, he is gathering sources for a new book on cross-cultural barriers to effective instruction.

Beginning in early 1990, Cornelius’s day job was as managing partner of GROVEWELL LLC, which delivered executive coaching and cross-cultural services for corporations worldwide. After 31 years in business, GROVEWELL closed in December 2020.

Prior Publications