About the Author

Cornelius N. Grove’s mission has been to explain to Americans the historical and cultural reasons for their children’s comparatively mediocre performance in schools. In The Aptitude Myth (2013), he reveals the deep historical origins – all the way back to the ancient Greeks – of Americans’ belief that a child’s inborn ability, rather than his effort, determines his level of school performance.

Dr. Grove’s professional career began when he completed an M.A.T. degree at Johns Hopkins University, then served for four years as a classroom teacher in Baltimore, MD, and White Plains, NY. From there he moved into educational publishing at two houses in New York City, after which he and his English wife travelled in Europe and Africa, and sojourned for a year in rural Portugal, during 1971-73. He then returned to graduate school at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Grove became fascinated with the cultural factors that affect children’s ability to learn in classrooms while completing his Ed.D. degree in intercultural communication. For his 1976 dissertation, he used anthropological methods to study the cross-cultural challenges that were affecting immigrant Portuguese students in a Massachusetts school district. Soon after receiving his doctorate, he became Director of Research for AFS, the international exchange organization for students and teachers. During his 11 AFS years, he also held adjunct teaching posts at Teachers College and New School University, where he created and taught courses on cross-cultural communication in the classroom. During the spring of 1986, he taught in China at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Since 1990, Dr. Grove has been the managing partner of the business consultancy he founded, GROVEWELL LLC, which delivers global leadership solutions for major corporations around the world.

Cornelius Grove’s first publication in his field of specialization came in 1976 when, at the request of the National Education Association, he authored a short book entitled Communication Across Cultures, in which he overviewed the relevance of cross-cultural research findings for American classroom teachers. Three publications followed the completion of his dissertation, one of which was a 1978 magazine article that compared the classroom cultures of Portugal and the United States. In 1991, he co-authored Encountering the Chinese, an introduction for Americans to Chinese values and behavior (3rd Edition, 2010). In 2003, he wrote a short paper on how people in different cultures learn; then in 2006 at an international conference in Singapore, he delivered a major paper on instructional styles across cultures. The Aptitude Myth came in 2013, after a historically oriented chapter he was drafting for a book on American children’s learning became too long.

Soon after The Aptitude Myth was published, Dr. Grove was interviewed about it by The interview still is available, and you may click here to read it.

Cornelius Grove is married to Christine Martin, an Englishwoman who has retired. They are proud of their three children, all of whom hold senior leadership roles in major American and global businesses. So far Dr. Grove and his wife have five grandchildren, three boys and two girls. He and his wife walk a great deal; they haven’t owned an automobile in more than 40 years!

On his consultancy’s website you will find Cornelius Grove’s full professional biography, including a link to his full professional bibliography.

Prior Publications

Dr. Grove’s publications subsequent to The Aptitude Myth include:

  • Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (2015) “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” [and nine other entries] Publisher’s webpage
  • The Drive to Learn: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us about Raising Students Who Excel (2017) Publisher’s webpage | The book’s website
  • International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication (2018) “Pedagogy across Cultures” [and one other entry] Online abstract
  • A Mirror for Americans: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us about Teaching Students Who Excel (forthcoming, Spring 2020). Watch for this book’s new website to appear at
  • Dr. Grove’s full professional bibliography (150+ citations) is available here