There were two hundred school principals attending the 4th International Forum of Leading Schools hosted by High School Affiliated to Xian Jiao Tong University. The Forum lasted for three days and closed on 7 April 2009.
Mr Tony Little and Mr Steve Murray made a report at the Forum and received a round of applause from the principals and guests alike after the Forum. The content of the report enlightened China’s educators in their practice.
“They Pay Attention To Students’ Gracefulness and Not Their Passing Rate”
While speaking, Mr Little was gesturing and showing the picture of Eton College. He shared his education experience and model with his Chinese counterparts.
Mr Little is not only an administrator of a boys’ boarding school, but also a head of the big family. Eton College has 1,300 boys living in 25 dormitories and a group of 50 boys different in age constitute a family unit responsible for the management of the dormitory and students’ daily lives
‘The main responsibility of the headmaster is to pick a right master to be in charge of the dormitory’, Mr Little said. In the community of Eton, students have to get along with gardeners, nurses and teachers, and the relationship forged among boarders is often lasted for life.
Du Bao Ding, a headmaster of a boarding school in China saying that Eton students start their day from saying a prayer, attending church service and taking part in some cultural and entertainment activities. Eton emphasizes on students’ gracefulness and conducts, and is markly different from the school in China where the examination takes priorities.
Questions have no correct answers, only applaud and confirm
Mr John Murray, US School Principal explained his job is to arouse students’ interest. He suggested that the first of his list is the good relationship between teachers and students, then curriculum design and finally teaching methods.
Mr Murray agreed a small class teaching is effective. He commented that teachers are not right all the time neither the students. He didn’t want students just to repeat what the previous people’s achievement. He invited the principals from the first row and 2nd row to be his students. He recited the American poem written by Frost, named ‘Mended Wall’ and invited the principals to air their understanding of the poem. One school head suggested that a wall represented a system and rules. Only have a system, then we can live in harmony and happiness. Mr Murray said, ‘he cannot agree more.’ Five principals gave different reasons: some said, ‘the wall should be pull down.”, others said, ‘there should be a wall, but the wall should not hinder the trust and communication among people.’
Mr Murray only gave applause and confirmation to the five principals, but with no correct answers!