YCYW's Inaugural International Education Symposium: An Overwhelming Success Presenting Chinese and International Thought Leaders from the Educati

Published : Monday, March 4, 2024, 4:14 pm

HONG KONG, March 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Education Symposium, "Transforming Education, Empowering Humanity: China's Contributions to the Understanding of International Education," hosted by the Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network (YCYW) and co-organised by the International Education Research Office of the Shanghai Changning Institute of Education, concluded successfully at Yew Chung International School of Shanghai Puxi (Hongqiao Campus).  This two-day event on March 1 – 2 attracted over ten thousand participants, including Chinese and international staff members, parents, and alumni, both in-person and online. 

YCYW's 2024 International Education Symposium: “Transforming Education, Empowering Humanity: China’s Contributions to the Understanding of International Education”
YCYW's 2024 International Education Symposium: “Transforming Education, Empowering Humanity: China’s Contributions to the Understanding of International Education”

With Ms Cheng Ying, Vice District Mayor of Changning District, as the guest of honour, the event brought together Chinese and international education thought leaders to explore the future direction and challenges of education.

Rooted in China with a global perspective: YCYW's international education earns high recognition

Dr Betty Chan Po-king, YCYW's CEO & School Supervisor, stated in her opening address, " For over 90 years, we have dedicated ourselves to providing quality education in China and internationally, blending Chinese and Western principles in our pedagogy to deliver our answer to Chinese international education. While celebrating the school's 30th anniversary, we also reaffirm our commitment to advancing international education in China and beyond."

Ms Chen Ying, Vice District Mayor of Changning District; Mr Chen Feng, Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Changning District; Mr Zhang Min, Deputy Director of the Education Bureau of Changning District; representatives from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Shanghai; representatives from Chinese Testing International, along with officials from International Education Centre of Pudong New Area, and officials from International Education Association Shanghai, attended the symposium.

Ms Chen Ying remarked, "Since its establishment in Hong Kong SAR in 1932, Yew Chung, has been firmly rooted in China, and has consistently remained at the forefront of international education. In 1993, the founding of YCIS Shanghai made history as the first independent international school in Shanghai officially recognised by and registered with the Chinese Government. Today, Yew Chung and Yew Wah schools have flourished, extending their presence to 10 cities. YCYW provides a comprehensive education system, spanning from early childhood programmes to primary, secondary, and tertiary education, thus covering the entire spectrum of education from "baby to bachelor"."

"YCIS Shanghai not only provides education to more than 2,300 students from over 50 countries and regions but has also become a part of the educational system of Changning District and Shanghai, thriving together with our city, contributing to mutual development and prosperity." she continued.

The release of The Yew Chung Approach to Early Childhood Education (Chinese Version)

In her speech, Dr Chan remarked, "In the 1970s, upon my return from academic training in the United States, we embraced the Western concept of 'learning through play' and integrated it into the traditional early childhood education settings in Hong Kong SAR. Decades of evolution and refinement, as noted by Professor Kathy Sylva from the University of Oxford, have seen Yew Chung cultivate a distinctive, homegrown ECE approach. This approach marries the enduring principles of Chinese Confucianism with the Progressive educational theories of John Dewey. What sets it apart in the realm of ECE is its deep roots in Chinese heritage, enriched with over two thousand years of traditional values, while also embracing global perspectives."

Dr Chan then introduced the newly released of The Yew Chung Approach to Early Childhood Education (Chinese Version). The book summarised the "12 Values", and the English version of the book has been published by leading academic publisher Routledge. The Chinese version of the book has now been published, enabling us to extend the reach of our ECE philosophy to an even wider audience in China. This symbolises one of the YCYW's contributions to China's international education.

Experts gathered for collaborative discussions on the future of education

As the keynote speaker on Day One of the Symposium, Professor Zhang Min-xuan, Director of the UNESCO Teacher Education Centre; Director of the International Education Research Institute, Ministry of Education, China; and Director of the Centre for Comparative Education, The Chinese Society of Education, delivered a keynote speech titled "School Education: International Expectations and Trends." Citing important documents from international organisations including the United Nations and recent educational research from various countries worldwide, Professor Zhang provided a comprehensive overview of how the education sector is responding to emerging trends and prospects, particularly in the context of digital education transformation.

As the keynote speaker on Day Two of the Symposium, Dr Troy Lui Tsz-tak, YCYW's Chief Education Officer and Head of the Curriculum and Professional Development Division, delved into how YCYW prepares students for the future. Mr Liu Jian, Deputy Director-General of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and Director of the Shanghai Astronomy Museum Administrative Committee, captivated the audience by shifting the perspective from the Earth to the cosmos. He said that astronomy will develop students' interest in science, while offering ample opportunity for the integration of the arts, humanities etc., and can help students develop holistically through interdisciplinary and integrated education. YCYW will collaborate with the Shanghai Astronomy Museum in the development of its science curriculum.

Throughout the symposium, 20 professional workshops covering diverse topics, including YCYW's innovative teaching approaches, the Bilingual Learning Communities, and Creative Arts Education, attracted enthusiastic participation from the audience. Teachers from public schools in Changning District also led a number of workshops.

Lifelong learning and learning community: YCYW's enduring legacy

The two-day symposium coincided with the annual YCYW Professional Development Days. A diverse array of professional development activities and discussions were held across different YCYW campuses, reflecting YCYW's distinctive learning community and commitment to lifelong learning.

Looking into the Future: YCYW champions ongoing advancements in international education within China

While the inaugural YCYW International Education Symposium has concluded, the discussions on education remain ongoing. Just as Dr Chan emphasised in her speech, " As we embark on this transformative journey, let us reflect on YCYW's enduring commitment to education that transcends borders and cultures. Together, let us contribute to the ongoing dialogue on international education, ensuring that we empower humanity through the power of knowledge."

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About Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network (YCYW)

YCYW is a global education pioneer with roots in Hong Kong, China. It seeks to combine the best of Chinese and Western cultures to create a truly distinctive spectrum of educational provision. Its mission is to nurture compassionate global citizens for the building of a better world.

Madam Tsang Chor-hang was a visionary and education pioneer who founded the first Yew Chung School in Hong Kong SAR in 1932. In 1970, her daughter Dr Betty Chan Po-king joined Yew Chung to assist in its management. As a dedicated researcher in early childhood education, Dr Chan developed the innovative concept of "learning through play". In 1985, Yew Chung organised the "Pillars of Tomorrow", an Early Childhood Education Exhibition in Beijing, which was officiated by Ms Kang Keqing, the then Chairwoman of the Beijing Soong Ching Ling Foundation. In 1989, Yew Chung collaborated with UNICEF to organise the world's first academic forum on early childhood education, promoting exchanges between early childhood education communities in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong SAR and around the world.

In the 1990s, Yew Chung was invited to Shanghai and Beijing to run schools for expatriates in the Chinese mainland. Following in her mother's footsteps, Dr Betty Chan Po-king and her husband, Professor Paul Yip Kwok-wah, later founded the Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network, nurturing Chinese and expatriate students to contribute to the international stage.

After more than 90 years of development, the YCYW Education Network encompasses the entire spectrum from early childhood to tertiary education including Yew Chung International Schools, Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education, Yew Wah International Education Schools, Yew Wah Schools, Yew Wah International Education Kindergartens, Yew Wah Infant and Toddler Education Centres, and Yew Wah Infant and Toddler Discovery Centres in Hong Kong SAR, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Qingdao, Yantai, Zhejiang Tongxiang in China; and in Mountain View in Silicon Valley in the USA; and Somerset, in the UK. Each year, YCYW provides quality education and development opportunities for more than 13,000 teachers and students around the world.  

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