Ameson successfully co-organizes 3 major October conferences

T

he Ameson Foundation successfully co-organized three major conferences in October 2010. With stops in Beijing, Shijiazhuang and Shaoxing, fifteen distinguished overseas guests met with high level officials and educators to discuss the challenges facing both the American and Chinese high school systems. In addition, plenty of time was had to make connections and develop networks, for sake of future collaborations.

On Thurs. Oct. 14th, the Ameson Foundation and the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Basic Education Curriculum magazine presented a Beijing roundtable dialogue entitled “Identifying and Cultivating Gifted Students.”

On Oct. 15-16, Ameson co-hosted and co-organized the Shijiazhuang “Education Strategy and Education Quality International Forum” in tandem with the Municipal Government of Shijiazhuang, the China National Institute for Educational  and Scientific Research and the China Education Press Agency.

Finally, on Oct. 18, Ameson co-organized a spirited roundtable dialogue in Shaoxing called “Education Strategy and Education Quality”. That event was co-organized by the Zhejiang Society of Education, the Shanghai Society of Education, the Jiangsu Society of Education and the Shaoxing Education Bureau.

Bejing roundtable

At the event, four globally-renowned educators will address that topic from four different perspectives.

Opening the conference was Mr. Thomas Toch, the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington. Mr. Toch addressed the topic of “identifying and cultivating gifted students”, and then fielded several questions from the panel.

Next, a case study was presented by Mr. Richard Ewing, the Principal of the Norwood School.

In the afternoon session, Dr. Deborah Stipek (the Dean of Stanford University’s School of Education) made a powerpoint presentation entitled "Promoting Success", which focused on the skills needed for the 21st century (innovative thinking, problem solving, flexibility), and what schools should consider to help students develop such skills. 

Following Dr. Stipek, Mr. Andreas Schleicher, (Director, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), OECD) gave a talk that focused on defining characteristics of exceptional students, and also effective methods to identify gifted students across borders.

The closing speech at the Beijing event was made by Professor Sean Zhang, the Vice Chairman of the Ameson Foundation. Once the event was over, the foreign guests enjoyed a sightseeing trip to the Great Wall, and then moved on as a group to the second leg of the conference in Shijiazhuang.

Shijiazhuang Forum

The two-day Shijiazhuang Forum (Oct. 15 & 16) saw more than Chinese 500 delegates (education researchers, school principals, professional educators, government officials) come together with the fifteen foreign guests to make presentations and exchange ideas. On Mon. Oct. 18, the Shaoxing Dialogue (co-organized by Ameson, the Zhejiang Society of Education, the Shanghai Society of Education, the Jiangsu Society of Education and the Shaoxing Education Bureau) will feature talks by Mr. Tom Toch, Mr. Thomas Price (Principal of the Branson School), Mr. Richard Ewing (Principal of the Norwood School), Mr. Paul Miller (Director of Global Initiatives, National Association of Independent Schools) and Dr. Deborah Stipek.

As with the Beijing forum, each of the speakers discussed various school and student development issues including: identifying and promoting innovation, methods of identifying exceptional students, statistical analyses of global education trends, case studies. 

At the tail end of the Shijiazhuang Forum, Mr. Richard Ewing (Headmaster of the Norwood School) commented: "I was interested to learn more about the Chinese system’s movement from quantity to quality, and was happy to see real interest in trying to get at the issue of promoting creativity and innovation."

Shaoxing Dialogue


 
On Mon. Oct. 18, the Shaoxing Dialogue (co-organized by Ameson, the Zhejiang Society of Education, the Shanghai Society of Education, the Jiangsu Society of Education and the Shaoxing Education Bureau) featured talks by Mr. Tom Toch, Mr. Thomas Price (Principal of the Branson School), Mr. Richard Ewing (Principal of the Norwood School), Mr. John Braman (United World College USA), Mr. Paul Miller (Director of Global Initiatives, National Association of Independent Schools) and Dr. Deborah Stipek.

Topics discussed

  • "Schools of the Future" by Paul Miller
  • "Identifying and Educating Gifted Students" by Thomas Toch
  • "Experiential Learning for Educational Excellence and Intercultural Understanding" by John Braman
  • "Educating Gifted Students at the Norwood School" by Richard Ewing
  • "Identifying and Cultivating Gifted Students in the 21st century" by Dr. Deborah Stipek
  • "Global trend analyses and methods of identifying gifted students" by Andreas Schleicher
  • "Gifted Education: Theory, Policy & Practice" by Xiang Bo Wang (Vice President of Relationship Development in Asia, The College Board)

Feedback from foreign guests

“Ameson is a highly professional organization that created tremendous opportunities on this trip for us to learn and work with Chinese educators at all levels. It was a fantastic experience that laid the foundation for building many different cooperative programs.

Now, we have a much better understanding of the issues our Chinese colleagues are facing, and how we can work together to address the challenges that we both face.
Ameson really understands how both systems work, so it’s in a very strong position to bring the two together.”

– Thomas Toch, Executive Director, Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington

“I think the benefits gained from these conferences are twofold: on the one hand, you get to meet people and make contacts with schools.

This is important because our schools want to have a global experience, be able to contact Chinese schools, they want exchanges, and a chance to find out about each other.

Secondly, the conferences have been extremely interesting, I’ve learned a lot. Finally, Ameson has treated us like royalty. The transportation, the hotels, the meals, everything has been great. The people who work for Ameson are great.”

– Paul Miller, Director of Global Initiatives, National Association of Independent Schools


“I found that many of the issues facing Chinese educators and American educators are identical, although the contexts are different. I found the exchange of ideas both encouraging, I know the experience of attending these conferences will be helpful in my own practice.

Nothing that we accomplished on this trip would have been possible without Ameson’s coordination and introductions to key people. We were able to much more efficiently learn what we needed to learn because Ameson had done the groundwork that had made it all possible for us.”

– Thomas W. Price II, Headmaster, the Branson School

In the photo from left to right: Mr. Chen Guoyang (Director of the Shaoxing Municipal Bureau of Education); Mr. Ye Shuitao (President of Jiangsu Provincial Society of Education); Mr. Thomas Toch (Executive Director of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington); Mr. Zhu Yongxiang (Secretary General, Zhejiang Provincial Society of Education); Ms. Ding Xiaoyan (Vice Mayor of Shaoxing Municipality); Mr. Thomas Price (Headmaster, the Branson School); Mr. Zhang Mingsheng (Vice President of the Chinese Society of Education, President of Shanghai Municipal Society of Education); Mr. Paul Miller Director of Global Initiatives, National Association of Independent Schools); Ameson Vice Chairman Prof. Sean Zhang; Mr. Richard Ewing; Dr. Deborah Stipek (the Dean of Stanford University’s School of Education); Mr. John Braman (Director, Outreach Program, United World College); Ameson Shanghai Principal Grace Guo.

Complete listing of foreign attendees: Deborah Stipek (the Dean of Stanford University’s School of Education); Thomas Toch, the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington; Paul Miller, Director of Global Initiatives, National Association of Independent Schools; Andreas Schleicher, (Director, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), OECD); Thomas Price (Headmaster, the Branson School); Gerald Boarman (Headmaster, Bullis School); Ann Miller (Director of Admissions, Madeira School); Susanna Jones (Headmaster, Holton-Arms School); Kathleen Smith (Director of Acedemics, Langley School); Susan Atkinson (Headmaster, Langley School); Melissa Brown (Global Education Director, Holton Arms School); John Braman, Director, Outreach Program, United World College; Xiang Bo Wang (Vice president of Relationship Development in Asia, the College Board).
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