On Thursday 15th November, Huili parents joined Dr Terry Qian, a renowned independent researcher, educational consultant and a governor of Wellington College China, for an interactive lecture: Education in the Future. During his initial presentation, Dr Qian outlined how a radical rethink of the education system is required to help children succeed in their lives after school.“The world is changing fast, so we have to be practical in preparing our children so they may leave school with the mental, physical and emotional capabilities needed to thrive in such a fast-paced environment. The future is here, but sadly we are not ready for it yet. Across the world and in China itself, there are whole sections of the education industry that have not moved with the times and therefore need to update the way they approach the vital task of preparing children for their individual futures.”
Dr Qian briefly explained how emerging technological innovations are opening up entirely new possibilities and career paths while at the same time wholly replacing more traditional jobs. While describing his work with various innovative schools around the world, including the Moonshot Academy, Dr Qian highlighted the need for parents and teachers to be supportive of one another in their task of guiding children towards having future-proofed professional aspirations and accordingly giving them the tools to pursue such career paths.
“Essentially, the whole schooling format needs to be upgraded. Teachers must be able to facilitate the independent acquisition of knowledge so that the pupils themselves become the centre of learning, not the school. We have to think much more broadly about how we assess children and how we judge their competency for the future jobs market. They need to feel sufficiently motivated and well-equipped to go out and discover the path that will allow them to manage their own future successfully.”
After the presentation, Dr Qian led a lengthy Q&A session where parents shared their own experiences, ideas and concerns about their children’s current and future education:
“I expected the Q&A session to last for around 30 minutes but our discussion lasted more than twice as long, which I think is indicative of the enthusiasm and responsiveness of the Huili parents. They were extremely generous with their time and energy, contributing valuable ideas and volunteering thoughtful questions. This is the best kind of audience that any educational speaker can hope for. My style of presenting is interactive, I don’t want to talk non-stop, because I believe that eliciting questions and challenging what we think we know is often a more meaningful process than just standing and delivering information. This sentiment applies to the classroom teacher too.”
This was Dr Qian’s second visit to Huili School Shanghai since it opened earlier this year. In closing, Terry thanked the parents for their participation and highlighted the importance of their willingness work together with the staff of Huili:
“In a short space of time, the parents and teachers have come together to create an excellent learning environment which concentrates on posing the right questions and subsequently finding the best solutions in order to provide the best education possible for the children attending Huili. It is heartening to see these bonds of cooperation being forged so quickly. Within a few months, both sides have clearly committed to creating a united and collaborative community. This is very important for Huili’s future as a pioneer of progressive bilingual education.”
For those parents who were in attendance, we hope that you enjoyed this interactive experience and found it valuable when considering the future of your children’s education. Thank you for your continued support and participation, and please look out for further opportunities to attend similar parent workshops in the near future.