What is good education? In other words, what kind of education should we provide for our children to help them adapt to an uncertain future?
This is the question I have been thinking about since I joined HD.
I believe good education is based not on restricting but on opening up.
Where there is life, there is an instinct for growth. Good education, thus, strives to echo and amplify this instinct. But the truth is, despite our best intentions, we tend to check rather than cherish children’s instincts and blunt rather than polish their natural rough edges. What education is supposed to do is to provide sunshine and raindrops for flowers to flourish, expecting each to bloom in season. Good education is about fully opening up: Open up the windows so children can fly in the sky; open up the door to truth so children can explore; open up children’s minds so they can breathe freely… Only in an open instead of restricted campus can you see a diversity of smiles, minds and states of growing — “Diversity is the origin of happiness”. Only when we comprehend this key truth can we unlock the door of education.
Good education is not about “teaching”. It is about discovery.
More often than not, we misunderstand the term ‘education’. We simplify education into one-size-fits-all approach set by adults to inculcate, preach and reconstruct our children according to given criteria. In the West, the term ‘education’ originates from the Latin word ‘educare’. The prefix ‘e’ indicates ‘out’, which refers to eliciting or drawing out. I prefer the interpretation that given methods are used to elicit and activate the potential inside children’s bodies and minds. Every child is endowed with some talents that are unknown to us. Education is not about forcing children to conform to a procrustean mold. It is about using our professional sensitivity to explore and capture children’s unique natural qualities. We should try our best to nurture, encourage, guide and accompany them.
Good education is not only about students’ growth, but also about teachers’ development.
When it comes to education, we often pay more attention to children’s development and overlook the conditions of teachers who are accompanying students. No one can ever teach children the knowledge they do not know. Teachers who are not lifelong learners can hardly inspire students to study. Education is a delightful practice in which no one is just a bystander. We are passionate to learn and eager to grow. We enjoy reading and never stop thinking. We teach by doing not by saying. Good education is not a one-way process of targeting students, but a two-way process in which students and teachers help each other fulfill potentials and make progress together. As Karl Jaspers said, “Education is a tree shaking another tree, a cloud nudging another cloud, a soul awakening another soul.” That is to say, to deliver good education, we should start with teachers and motivate them to learn and develop.
Bearing in mind these thoughts about education, every staff member here at HD works hard every day to be an educator devoted to learning and developing, an educator who can think independently, to open the field of education, to enlighten every child, to kindle passions, to inspire …
And then, brimming with joy, we wait for the children to prosper…
Chief Academic Director of HD Schools