Roz Weitzman’s Lecture on “Education in the 21st Century”
Ms. Roz Weitzman, Principal of Cherie Hearts Kindergarten gave a lecture on “Education in the 21st Century” in LPG bar, 20th March, 2011.
Roz, who came to China more than five years ago, is a Canadian educator from Toronto with 26 years of Primary School and Early Childhood Education experience. She loves travelling, writing, making and collecting dollhouse miniatures, and cooking.
Roz explained the realities educators are facing in the 21st century, because of the technology revolution, the fast pace of globalization, and global problems that exist that need a new approach in order to be resolved for future generations. Therefore, the traditional way of education has become outdated and current educational models in a fixed pattern cannot sufficiently prepare the children well for their future lives and careers. The reality calls for changing the education concept. Rather than rote memorization of facts after which the students face a test on, the new approach of education in the 21st century teaches children how to use their new knowledge to think, that is to analyze, problem solve and create. This means thinking in ways to create ideas which didn’t exist in the past. Educators must prepare students for this new reality.
When talking about the objectives of learning, Roz shared the philosophy of Bloom’s Taxonomy with the group, according to which levels of thinking are classified into six stages: at the bottom levels, there are remembering, understanding, and as you move up the categories to higher thinking skills, there is: applying, analyzing, evaluating and at the top is creating. In traditional education the abilities related to higher levels of thinking are largely neglected. Every day in educational circles teachers are learning the techniques by which they can organize activities to help the students practice thinking in the higher levels.
Through comparing the features of the traditional education in 20th century to education in the 21st century, Roz explained that the new ways of education give children more practice to problem solve and create, and helps them to develop according to their own specific potentials. These new techniques break the barriers between different subjects, and also develops an interdisciplinary curriculum that will promote children’s initiative and help them develop in a universal way.
More than 20 MINS club members joined this activity. After the lecture they discussed educational ideas and shared their own opinions with the group. Roz commented after her presentation, “I was elated that my talk opened the door to so many participants expressing their most intelligent and valuable personal ideas. It is such a knowledgeable group…that impresses me a lot!”
The Cherie Hearts No.1 international Kindergarten of Qingdao, located in Laoshan district, is a high-end international kindergarten that operates a 50/50 bilingual program (one fulltime Chinese and one fulltime English teacher in each class). Its curriculum focuses on promoting the integrated growth of the child in all areas of development and encourages every child to be a lifelong learner.
(Reported by Harry Moonshooter)