The third annual Wellington College China Festival of Education took place in Hangzhou on Sunday, October 22nd, following on from events in Shanghai on October 20th and 21st. The first time being held in Hangzhou, the event took the form of WellingTEN Talks – 10 minute presentations – where speakers discussed the internationalisation of education, and what it means to provide quality education in the 21st century.
With the accelerated pace of education, educators and parents have paid increasing attentions to the educational convergence between China and the West. Stephen Jacobi, Director of Culture at Wellington College International Shanghai, Paul Rogers, Founding Executive Master at Wellington College Hangzhou, Shen Guoqiang, Head of Junior High at Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou and Simon Zou, mathematics teacher, and Headmaster of Hangzhou Yulan Cambridge International Centre, participated in the discussion. The group discussed the general principals of good teaching, the implications of bilingual education and the merging of Eastern and Western teaching methodology.
Dr. Stephen Jacobi, Director of Culture at Wellington College International Shanghai
Paul Rogers, Founding Executive Master at Wellington College Hangzhou
The 21st century has witnessed a great change in China’s education system, and the need for greater quality education continues to increase. During the WellingTEN Talks, Mr. Paul Rogers delivered a keynote speech about quality teaching. In his opinion, quality teaching requires educators to be qualified with professional knowledge, but more importantly be equipped with the soft skills required to (among other things) support, motivate, and guide pupils’ growth; helping them realise their full potential. “Obviously children are not the same. If you have a class of 24 children, you have a class or 24 individuals. As such teachers need to understand the need to teach in different ways that take into account their different learning styles, passions and interests and not fall back on the easier route of standardized text books, worksheets, instruction, homework and so on”.
Simon Zou, mathematics teacher, and Headmaster of Hangzhou Yulan Cambridge International Centre
Shen Guoqiang, Head of Junior High at Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou
With the globalisation of education, Chinese families are no longer only looking for traditional educational pathways. Instead, they are looking for more international solutions. Mr. Shen Guoqiang noted the current trend of Chinese families choosing more globalised educational solutions for their children, arguing that “we propose education for everyone, focusing on the individual, to help pupils realise their full potential. Basic education needs to be holistic, with the help of an international teaching staff. For a bilingual education, it’s essential to have an early start, but most importantly is to have full language immersion. The best way is for pupils to feel confident to communicate one to one.”
Musical scholars from Wellington College Shanghai International
Initiated by The Wellington College in England, the Wellington College Festival of Education has been running successfully for 7 consecutive years. As a benchmark educational event in the UK, the Festival attracts thousands of participants to discuss hot topics on education every year and in 2015 Wellington College introduced the Festival to China.
The exploration of education at the Festival not only serves as a challenge to what many consider to be normal, but also seeks to find better ways for children to discover their talents.