Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Future Education

Professor Yong Zhao visited AICFE

On January 13, 2017, Professor Yong Zhao visited Advanced Innovation Center for Future Education (AICFE) at Beijing Normal University. He is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He is also a professional fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia. In addition, he is an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education and has ranked as the top 10 education scholars in public influence in the U.S. In the morning, Professor Zhao had an academic exchange meeting with directors and staff at AICFE. In the afternoon, Professor Zhao delivered a lecture on An Education Paradigm Shift: Why and How, which attracts around 60 audience offline and more than 400 audience online.
Professor Shengquan Yu, Dr. Baoping Li, Mr. Tom Tang, Dr. Yi Zheng, Dr. Wei Cui, Doctoral student Dan Tao, and Ms. Sylvia Gao attended the academic meeting in the morning. Professor Yu, the Executive Director at AICFE introduced the center, followed by a demonstration of the Smart Learning Partner (SLP) conducted by Sylvia Gao. After listening to the introduction and demonstration, Professor Zhao claimed that we need to spend more time and money to improve SLP. Moreover, he said education is different from teaching, teaching focuses on obtaining knowledge, but education is about human development, about fostering confidence and ability. In future education, we should distinguish human’s work from machine’s work, and the last thing we want to do is to send a man to do a machine’s job. For example, machine can teach grammar but teacher’s value is face-to-face communication in small groups.
Professor Zhao also believed that the ongoing “Future School 2030 Program” is very meaningful. The “Future School 2030 Program” has attracted around 20 professors and researchers from China, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Finland to discuss trends at schools. Professor Zhao thought this is meaningful because “school” existed or not in 2030 has not determined yet. AICFE is good at thinking and studying on education theory. Therefore, AICFE should keep on the path of education theory development and lead future education. The academic exchange meeting is a good start for cooperation between Professor Zhao and AICFE.
Professor Zhao’s lecture starts on 2pm at the School of Educational Technology, Beijing Normal University. Professor Fati Wu, the Dean of School of Educational Technology and Mr. Tom Tang, the director of International Cooperation Office at AICFE hosted the lecture. Mr. David Ross, the CEO of Partnership for 21st Century Learning attended the lecture as a special guest. The lecture attracted more than 60 audience in the conference room 208 and 400 audience on China Mobile’s live streaming. The main theme of the lecture is that in a world to be transformed by the 4th Industrial Revolution, human beings cannot and should not try to compete with smart, very smart machines for jobs. Instead, we need to be more human, creative, and entrepreneur instead of mechanical employees. However, the traditional employee-oriented education was designed to prepare employees, whose jobs are being rapidly taking over by technology. Thus we need to abandon the traditional paradigm and create a new one, one oriented toward preparing human creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Professor Zhao thinks that Elements of a world class education are global, creative, and entrepreneurial.

Picture 1: Academic exchange meeting attendees

Picture 2: Professor Zhao is delivering a lecture

Picture 3: The lecture is broadcasting online at the same time

Further Reading:
World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students
Zhao, Y. (2012). World class learners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, a Joint Publication with the National Association of Elementary School Principals.