The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley
"On its surface, the basic structure of the book doesn’t seem all that exciting. However, The Smartest Kids in the World becomes a fascinating case study of global teaching pedagogy. Amanda Ripley puts her investigative reporting skills to use when she follows three students during their year in a study abroad program. What’s unique about these high-performing American students is that each spends his or her year in countries categorized as “high performing” according to international standardized testing. Using a combination of the students’ narratives coupled with research and data from Ripley’s observations on the various educational systems and how they help (and hurt) their students, The Smartest Kids in the World becomes a fascinating glimpse into how a school’s mission influences and molds the young people of the world."
Also, here is a video of author Amanda Ripley talking about the book.