International seminars

seminars-picAttendees at a 2008 Ameson Foundation symposium

E

very year, the Ameson Foundation sponsors, organizes and hosts several forums and conferences on educational issues. These forums bring together officials and professionals in the field of education with the goal of enhancing international educational communication and cooperation.

As one example, the Ameson Foundation and the College Board co-organized the first ever AP Courses Symposium, held on December 15-16, 2011 in Shanghai. Attracting over 250 professionals including the Vice President of the Chinese Society of Education, the symposium focused on the promise and problems of integrating different educational systems.

Discussions ranged from how best to localize AP courses to make them accessible to students with a Chinese cultural background, how to select and train teachers who can bridge the gap between Chinese students and an international curriculum, and how to increase popular awareness of the benefits of AP curricula among Chinese students and parents.



Bridging east and west through dialogue

 
Ameson seminars over the years

A quick overview of notable Ameson events in recent years:

 
Typically, forums concentrate on building connections on a regional level, such as at a 2-day education forum in Shijiazhuang, China (October 2010). There, more than 500 Chinese delegates (education researchers, school principals, professional educators, government officials) came together with fifteen foreign guests representing top-tier American institutions and education organizations.

Aside from exchanging ideas via formal presentations, plenty of time was set aside for participants to make connections and develop networks, laying the foundations for future collaborations.

As another example, in 2009, a Nanjing forum on Education reform saw the Vice Chairman of Jiangsu's Provincial Committee and the Director of the Nanjing Bureau of Education meet with noted overseas guests that included representatives from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Consortium for Educational Change.

These forums are organized with the goal of supporting broader international cooperation with sound partnerships on the local and regional level. For instance, at the Jiangsu-Ontario International Educational Cooperation Forum in 2005, the Jiangsu People’s Government declared its new policy of promoting educational reform through increased Sino-foreign educational cooperation, and the representatives of Ontario’s Ministry of Education and 12 of Canada’s top universities provided the connections necessary to kick-start the Jiangsu government’s plans.

Building the foundations of effective cooperation

Building bridges between China and the WestOne of the most important functions of these seminars is bringing the right people together. Chinese people attach much importance to guanxi, or social connections, and rely heavily on their social networks to get things done. Everything from business deals to intergovernmental cooperation is built primarily on a foundation of friendship, and the key to building this foundation is through face-to-face interaction, especially through eating and drinking together.

Ameson seminars provide not only a platform for the exchange of ideas between people with the power to turn ideas into reality; they also provide the opportunity to foster the personal relationships that gradually bring the international community together.

To learn more about Ameson's events, please click here.

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The Correspondent, Spring 2015

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The Correspondent
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