Educating Teachers in the 21st Century

Written by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer

The two day Conference in March was a celebration of the 85th Anniversary of Yew Chung and Yew Wah Schools. Over 1200 teachers participated in various locations across Hong Kong and mainland China, with the theme being: ‘Reinvention: The Future Beckons’. This theme highlighted that we, as a school, need to constantly focus on the future and the skills and competencies our students will need to prepare them for that future. The theme also represented YCIS’ stated mission to pioneer educational pedagogy through the introduction of ‘Learning Communities’ and a focus on global competencies.

The Pudong Campuses of YCIS along with Yew Wah Lingang and Yew Wah Kindergarten in Pudong, converged on Century Park Campus for our section of the conference.  In total there were 300 educators meeting over the two days. During the first day, teachers were able to attend a variety of teacher-led workshops on topics such as reading, co-teaching, communication with parents, technology and growth mindset. Some of our teachers and non-teaching staff also participated in First Aid Training.

On the second day, we used video conferencing links to connect with 1,200 other colleagues from the global network of Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS) and sister schools, Yew Wah International Education Schools (YWIES), who gathered concurrently in five other cities around China to focus on the future of education.  Several education specialists were invited to share their expertise at the conference providing keynote presentations on topics such as Differentiation, Technology (robotics and artificial intelligence) and our unique ECE programme.

Throughout the event, workshops and panel discussions served to augment the continuous professional development offered to educators at YCIS. Following in-depth discussion and debate, tactical implementation of ideas for new learnings were proposed across the school network.  According to Dr Troy Lui, Chief Education Officer at YCIS and YWIES schools:

“If schools want to rethink the direction of education, it is not enough to rely solely on past experience. It is imperative to consult scholars and experts to understand the latest research results and practical experience.”

“The fact that there is not only one school but many other schools working in the same direction is quite powerful. Meeting people from other schools having the same fundamental values was also very inspiring.” YCIS Pudong Community Relations Officer Roseline Yang.

“I really enjoyed the first morning where we got to exchange with other peers from other schools. By comparing ourselves, I could see that some of the teaching strategies I was using were quite useful for others, and at the same time, I could learn new ideas from teachers from other schools.” YCIS Pudong Y1 Joanne Taylor

“‘Reinvention’ is precisely our call to action. This is our opportunity to reinvent education. As we gather here to celebrate our 85th Anniversary, we come together to lay the future direction for the education of our children. The existing pedagogy, methodology, and content should be modified to equip the next generation so that they will become the leaders of tomorrow.” YCIS & YWIES CEO and School Supervisor Dr Betty Chan said during her Conference opening address.

Dr Lui concluded: “This conference affirmed that our schools are taking the lead in 21st-century teaching methodology. We’ve already implemented teaching methods which prepare children to be successful in navigating the unknown challenges they will face in the coming decades. We aim to be a shining example for educators worldwide through our forward-thinking approach.”

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