1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Peide School Principal: Innovative Education for Chinese Kids

September, 2017
Leave a comment 1569 views

In this era of constant change and with novel ideas popping up endlessly, what kind of education is most suitable for the Chinese children today?

The challenge looks pretty big, but pioneers don’t flinch.

Dr. Nie Aijun, the new Principal of Peide School, has some great thoughts to share with us. 

An alumnus of Peking University, Cornell University and State University of New York, the newly inaugural Principal of Peide School was one of the earliest promoters of camp education in China and helped push forward educational innovations in rural areas of Hunan Province, Central China.

Located in Shunyi District, Beijing, Peide School is dedicated to providing education that stems from Chinese roots while having a global view. It boasts a stylish campus that weaves together traditional Chinese and Western elements with modern presentation, and a unique way of teaching that dates back to Confucianism but with modern modifications. 

peide-nie-1Dr. Nie was a professor of public policy at the University of Minnesota in the early 2000s, after which he began to work for the New York State Government in 2006 and later became a member of the State’s Educational Reform Commission, which studied the public schooling system in the state and proposed reform policies to the Governor.

He came back to China in 2008 and has since devoted himself to bringing innovative educational ideas and concepts into China. Since 2012, he played an active role in making camp education a popular practice in China, because he believes that if well-designed, this could be experience-based learning for children, which may supplement what conventional classroom learning lacks.

That’s why he helped incorporate this idea into the educational practice of High Schools in rural regions of Hunan in 2013, which is still going on and has made obvious difference in the students’ performance.

“After practices in college and secondary education, I felt strongly that the very beginning of one’s education, in Kindergarten and Elementary school, is of the utmost importance, and I would like to make use of all my experience here at Peide,” says Dr. Nie.

He envisages that students getting education at Peide School should have three major qualities, which he believes will enable Chinese children to face and handle challenges in the future.

Firstly, they should have values that are rooted with the best part of Chinese cultural tradition and at the same time based on a good understanding of Western culture. Secondly, they should be equipped with a wide sphere of vision and able to think long-term, and thirdly, they should have the ability to take action and turn an idea into reality.

Holding that existing educational systems, be it the complete Chinese way or totally Western method, are not good enough to foster such qualities, he is determined to lead Peide School in search of suitable, innovative education for all Chinese children. 

peide-nie-2In his opinion, a prominent feature of Peide School is the aesthetic environment it provides. “We place special importance on environmental, spatial and humanities aesthetics, which is embedded in all aspects of the school, ranging from the style of the campus, the set-up of the classrooms, as well as interactions among people,” he says, adding that this is actually an ancient tradition throughout Chinese history, which emphasized very much on the surroundings of where students learned.

On top of such a unique environment are Peide’s self-developed curricula and programs, which combine both Chinese and Western content, according to Dr. Nie. The Chinese part aims to nurture the young ones with core values of Chinese culture and build up the Chinese spirit within them.

For example, Peide teaches the children Chinese poems based on the 24 Solar Terms in the traditional Chinese calendar. Upon combing through the daunting amounts of ancient poems, Peide categorizes the selected ones according to the Solar Terms and then groups them again for different age groups. This, combined with other daily programs, will guide the children to know the Chinese culture and gradually become passionate about it.

In parallel, the children will also be immersed in Western culture by delicately designed courses and experienced foreign teachers throughout the day, ensuring that they have good knowledge about other cultures and ways of thinking.

peide-nie-3Another special arrangement at Peide is that the children, by different age groups, are taken outside of the campus each Wednesday to go on hiking trips or visit interesting places like zoos and museums for them to experience the real world. This is added to by a two-week study tour, either domestic or overseas, in spring and autumn respectively every year.

On each of the remaining four days when the children stay on campus, there is an art class, a PE class and a handicraft class, all taught at different levels for children of different age groups.

“Some of the arrangements have been with Peide for a while, and some are new, but in general, the Peide educational system is an interdisciplinary, experiential and project-based deep learning process,” Dr. Nie summarized. This principle governs all subjects, be it classic or modern literature, mathematics, or English.

The focus at Peide now is that efforts are being made to work out a complete educational system, under which each of the subjects that Peide is teaching, including ancient Chinese literature, English literature, etc, will be developed into a series of textbooks, with the fusion of various foreign experience, says Dr. Nie. He expects that within one year or two, a set of such textbooks catering to children from Kindergarten to Elementary School will be completed. And those for secondary school will come along in the long run.

At the same time, training of teachers at Peide will be reinforced, so that everyone will deeply understand the Peide philosophies and put them into practice. “After all, this system is new to us all, and we all got to learn,” he says.

And Peide won’t keep all to itself. According to Dr. Nie, the textbooks will be published for all to use, and a training body will be set up to train teachers from all over the country who wish to adopt the system.

 

BY QIN CHUAN,
LITTLESTAR MAGAZINE

 

 

 

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • MSN Reporter
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz

admin Feature

Related Articles

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.