I am exceptionally energized and inspired with hope by the conversations and experiences we’ve shared with Chinese colleagues here in Hangzhou this week. We have a great deal to learn together and from each other, as we both continue to explore a variety of issues and challenges. Among theses, the role of ICT in the learning process, and more generally the ways creativity and innovation can be supported within as well as outside of formal educational institutions, are critical issues. The respect with which the Chinese treat and regard educators in their society is a breath of fresh air in so many ways. These relationships of respect can pose challenges in the context of 21st century learning, however, as we encourage educational leaders to be co-learners and facilitators of learning with students. Just as teachers in the United States can have LOTS of problems letting go of their perceived CONTROL over the learning environment, the role of Chinese educators as the director of all activities in the classroom is supported culturally, institutionally, and politically. Our challenges in these conversations about 21st century learning and educational transformation are formidable. Fortunately, there are a LOT of very smart and courageous people involved in these conversations, and our continued work together is bound to bear abundant fruit.
Creativity and Innovation in Chinese Society and Schools