About Yungu School
To be simple, my involvement in the founding of Yungu School has been anchored in the original for the dedication and a dream, which have just coincided with the idea put by Mr. MA (Jack MA) to have a school advancing towards the future by certain efforts and attempts for reform of the Chinese education.
What Education Is Needed for Chinese Kids?
Once, the picture below struck me profoundly, since a school shall not be like a factory, nor shall education be used as a machine for shaping kids. Education imparting is supposed to be in the similar way as a tree grows in the natural manner, both of which entail care and devotion in the course, rather than being in a background reminding of a war or a fierce competition.
Potentials and future shall never be built on a score sheet on the campus, where inspiration and nutrition should be drawn for kids. What the pure vision is for Yungu in terms of education can be found in the book My Ideal Education by Mr. Yongxin ZHU, who has revealed that kids shall be provided with a campus life being happy and whole.
What Education Is to Advance towards the Future?
Just give some consideration to the opinion on study amid us adults before having any thought about the future. Obviously, the popular idea concerning study, which used to be mainly about knowledge learning, can find nowhere to stay afloat in the era today.
As for the future, where it will be impossible to learn all the knowledge under rapid changes, what is about and beyond study need be understood by more educators--the drive and ability to study by constantly applied efforts, the way of thinking, and the aspiration for happiness, all of which are likely to be in company with one’s life with the everlasting influence. We can’t deny that the traditional education, by which we have been cultivated, does have something to learn from, but that is far sufficient. Yet, a systematic analysis can be made by educators based on the shaping up, although the word future sounds quite abstract since nobody can have a precise prediction what it will be in days to come. After all, it is the qualities and abilities to be entailed in the future that are what in reality deserves learning and mastering for kids.
The early period of the school founding saw a clear target presented after discussions with Mr. MA, which has been about targets of student developing. A general view has hold that the following is what our kids in the future should be shaped as to educate happy global citizens and lifelong learners who are charitable and independent, with a strong sense of social responsibility. The practice in the past two and half years, based on the stated targets, has facilitated the staff members of Yungu to have produced a framework regarding student cultivation by further details. Remarkably, ability-and-quality-oriented courses and educating conduction in Yungu will be performed, banking on two core characters, three major basic literacy skills, and three key abilities.
Since the very beginning of the school establishing, we have been unswervingly committed to the given vision of Yungu, to create such a campus as can in a new style correspond to the future, in order that quality educating is expected to become available to more kids by means of the strength of science and technology, by our attempts from the concept to practice step by step and from changes by small innovation, always with our original accompanied.
A popular view goes vital that Yungu is just like a state-owned school by innovation; then does the given innovation mean becoming totally different? From my perspective, innovation of Yungu goes along with promotion and commitment, instead of abandoning all, as an innovation-based school is not necessary to get precedent removed. For Yungu, consideration of innovation has involved in such three fields as education delivering, culture, and the final cultivation in kids with the ability to be innovative.
Innovation can never go against the rules engaged, allowing that education is a time-honored career with distinctive laws and principles. In response, innovation is supposed to be conducted in combination with inheritance and commitment, which shall be followed by all the education staff. Yungu, as a Chinese campus, has adopted the national curriculum, with teaching based on the materials accordingly. The differences lie in the innovated teaching methods, where novel ways have been employed by teachers here concerning ways, paths, forms, and strategies. Hence, the innovation involved has become the largest challenge for the teaching crew.
My opinion holds that all the designs as to experience in a school can be included into courses, despite the curriculum in fact involving a wide range. Correspondingly, the connotation of teaching has also got a richer extension. Thus, a new definition shall be given to teaching and learning. For example, the course-based design shall be unfolded by reconstruction integrated with quality and ability, in the form of modules or with a course combined. In detail, such environments are where learning is carried as the courses about museums, the PBL with the theme of Xixi Wetland, wheel-type debates with open topics, DT courses with a toy middle school designed by senior graders to their junior compeers, and amid others. In conclusion, Yungu is where innovation and promotion is under way constantly to fit in what and how to be taught and learnt.
Further, innovation in Yungu has referred to a kind of spirit, which is of the greatest help to put an end to our mindset. For me on some occasions, a fast decision would be habitually made out of the ages’ experience as a headmaster before working in Yungu. Yet, I have come to realize how important it is to break free of the usual thinking way and adopt an alternative for Yungu a school built on innovative genes, after my employment here and collaboration with those from Alibaba in particular. In return, accumulation and experience should be taken into consideration for reference but a constant reminder is also needed against empiricism.
Consequently, a second thought would be applied when my being confronted with a problem--is it OK to do so? Is it the only way? Is there an alternative solution to have a try? The principle of being a headmaster in Yungu comes along with that no limit shall be set on me or teachers, but chances are allowed for the latter to express their complaints or ideas. That is to say, common creation and shared growth are just in the genes and soil of Yungu, where teachers are more than a role of teaching but innovators and school builders.
All the innovation in Yungu is people-centered. Based on teaching and cultural reform, a hope has been pinned on the staff to develop into innovators coupled with practice, who are considered to have such rolled into one as self-recognition, improvement and growth individually and knowingly, and the ability to judge, think, and solve problems from a higher height, so that a difference will be made to the people around and even the world when the said strength becomes powerful enough. Back to practice, innovation and the judgment to introduce a change are based on the educational belief of being people-oriented.
For me, the most striking difference of Yungu lies in the focus on people by taking people as what they are. Which should come first, the fame, awards, scores, and ranking on the part of the school, or the real needs to be met on the part of living individuals, kids and teachers? For a school consisting of people, the advancement of figures is the starting and the terminal points for all Yungu is doing and will do, which is also the only standard for me to make a choice and judgment. To be detailed, that refers to whether we have offered student-centered courses, and whether or not we have provided a teacher-steered school. To both groups, appreciation shall be engaged, to make what they are before growing into those to be whole and happy. Yungu has just anchored its culture profoundly in value seeking and developing of being what people should be.
For years, Cultivation, as a highly frequent word, has appeared on the campus of Yungu. What Yungu has held in terms of education leads to the overall development of people, as in the process of quality-oriented courses, the individuals with distinctive characters shall be set a premium on, who boast differences from each other in interest, hobbies, learning styles, will power and qualities, and levels of abilities. Accordingly, we have established a corresponding ecosystem to support for their individual growth to the kid learners, and have progressively built a supportive system for every teacher. In the long run, we hope the people-centered concept will gain a wider range of influence on students, teachers, and parents, on communities and even on the society. Tellingly, growth, just like agriculture, involves a periodic process, with a progressive course, which determines that no immediate yield will be produced despite the early devotion. What Mr. MA said has still lingered on my mind, when his answer came that Yungu would become fully developed if three decades permitted to my question about how long Yungu would take to become a full-blown school. That a school is to be shaped at a pace with solid practice is reminiscent of walking with a snail, which indicates that slow work yields fine and rapid development in the future rather than having nothing to do.
So, to answer the question what are the standards to measure how successful Yungu is shall start from the definition of success to us. In the future, the progress of kids and teachers needs to have a new connotation. What a kid to grow into can be regarded as a success? To me, success has nothing to do with becoming rich or with a high status in the society. Instead, being successful refers to independent thinking and recognition of the world, the ability to deal with life and lead a pleasant life, and the ability to accept something new and learn from it rather than holding a negative attitude, and further, to becoming aware of what is wanted and how to get the desires fulfilled, with kindness and respect to other individuals and groups. Plus, being successful means an understanding of how to cooperate with other fellows and reach an agreement, and being able and brave to take the responsibility instead of a sharp egoist.
So, what is the successful education of Yungu like? In Yungu, a common expectation refers to that kids have brightness in eyes and dreams in hearts. The minors can feel no worries outwardly and inwardly, regardless how capable a young student is in learning, as their brightness in characters and qualities has led to being gracious when they get along with others. When it comes to academic abilities, they are not beneath what is normal at least in the environment focusing on ability and quality cultivating, considering that they are better at understanding, applying, and expressing, rather than learning by rote. In addition, such students do better in problem solving, independent learning, and innovation exploring, by virtue of their abilities involved.
In the first half of the year, we gained what pupils and the junior students of Yungu should be like. Specifically, for pupils, it is supposed to be relieved and polite, with curiosity, attention, and toughness; for bright junior peers, it is expected to be willing to be cooperative, do exploration, and pursue dreams proactively.
As being a kid, a premium has been put on protection of nature and characters, which will have bigger space to develop and penetrate with solid formative cultivation when the little have grown into junior teens. Thus, the interest-based enthusiasm is promised to be brought out. As for the ninth-graders, a growing strength concerned is obvious to see; the said individuals have progressively formed a clear idea about where to go, after the nourishment drawn in the three years earlier. Driven by the goal set, action will follow and be added to the fulfillment. These changes in teenagers, which are what education is strong and valuable at, are remarkably great.
With consideration for growth of individuals, we have offered them an outlet conducive to a smooth mental development on the one hand and on the other we spare no efforts to provide them with more preparations for abilities to settle in the future. The spurred enthusiasm will pay dividends by efforts actively and positively, when a rising number of kids have acquired the turn to private advancement inside from feeling relieved outside. That is what Yungu has been seeking on the value of education--the lifelong impact on kids, which is where Yungu will forge ahead, as my firm belief holds, even if it has taken no more than two years to have the very attempts.
Banking on the said belief, a different definition need be involved as regards how successful a teacher is. For teachers in Yungu, no longer have the norms of performance been fixed on high marks, famous schools, and awards; instead, witnessing improvement in students out of education is just when a sense of self-worth is largely produced, and even the stated change may stand in the individual life involved.
The fact that Yungu is also confronted with pressure from the earthly world will give way to the growing acceptance by the public in the future, which has persisted in me. Yet, currently, it is necessary for the teachers to harden the belief with a stronger mind, like dancing in shackles, on the way taken to our target in the specific direction with more fixed determination. So, for Yungu, a different standard has been adopted to select its teaching members, which has employed a sense of worth, devotion to education, love of kids, and dedication to the students.
Teachers in Yungu are popularly referred to those who are after being perfect, with dreams and action, or to be simple, who put ideas into realities. Besides the sense of self-worth, teachers in Yungu will also get full support for their promotion in terms of the acquisition of a highly balance of abilities and their advancement academically and professionally. My hope lies in that every teacher here will obtain an acquired and satisfactory taste of abilities, vision, and the cognition level.
As the cognition extends, a penetrating understanding will be triggered of education, which will also be followed by a different way to get along with others and the world before the shadowed impact is produced on the conduction of education and even the families as well. Here in Yungu, the educational environment is more like the PBL, where the advancement has never stopped concerning course designing, activity doing, ability improving to solve problems, and desire rising to make explorations.
What Are Households and Kids Like to Find Their Feet in Yungu？
Literally, it is impossible to have a digit-based standard to group parents, whether allowing the educational background or posts. That a shared sense of worth shall come first for a potential family to get a foot in Yungu, which requires a common idea and hope towards education amid both sides, coupled with the willingness out of parents to have attempts for a change and growth. Otherwise, such a family shall be crowded out as only focus on scores but is ignorant of the soft strength in the kid. Once, we had four expectations in parents, which were enthusiasm for education, trust in the School, patience for kids, and requirements on selves.
It is normal to get the jitters in the presence of the big educational climate, but parents shall, first of all, have themselves improved, before the expectation is produced for their kids, which entails an example set by them for the offspring to follow on their own initiative. For the senior generation, proper strategies and ways, combined with calmness, are a must, which has been strengthened by Yungu with the preparation of www.yunguxt.com, where learning and exchange can be obtained about how to become a better parent.
What are the opposite families like for Yungu? Progressively, shared accumulation has been reached, which is more about the parents. Some parents have come, out of the fame of Mr. Mr. MA, but known nothing about Yungu. Some are driven by the broken relationship with their kids, in the hope of escaping from the trouble by settling them in such a school, while they have no willingness to make improvement or to become better parents. Others want to have the best of both worlds, with a focus on the weaknesses of their teenagers. And, many more others have acquired no clear boundary about what shall be done for a parent and for a school, ignorant of the responsibility of the formative period interwoven with the role of parents, and with a persistent view that what they do is absolutely right.
It goes without saying that there are no perfect parents in the world, who are indeed imperfect to some extent. Yet, Yungu is willing to facilitate them to access to self improvement. As the core strength of cultivation, parents are the closest fellows of the School. Only by a shared agreement can our common vision and wish in education be realized.