• [Beijing Forum 2011] Education Panel: Ligament between tradition and modernity


  • Peking University, Nov.5, 2011: From November 4 to 6, 2011, the Education Panel of the Beijing Forum 2011 will be held centering on the theme "Education, Inheritance and Innovation", with the discussion focused on the vitality of educational traditions, innovations, the power of educational technologies and so forth. The journalist interviewed Associate Professor Shang Junjie, chairman of the Education Panel and associate dean of Peking University (PKU) Graduate School of Education, and had his views on the significance of the upcoming panel.


    Almost every year, the Education Forum is set up as part of Beijing Forum. Professor Shang told the reporter, “Since education contributes to the harmony of civilization and inheritance of culture, it serves as the ligament between tradition and modernity. This year’s theme ‘education, inheritance and innovation’ is closely related to the main theme of the Beijing Forum 2011, in the meantime, has highlighted the distinct feature of education.”


    A hundred years ago, China’s education started its transformation to modernity. In the recent 30 years, the development of information technology and knowledge economy has accelerated the modernization process. Professor Shang said, “Against such a background of high speed transition in the society, we hope to establish a platform for scholars all over the world to review the history, discuss the pressing issues of the present, and look forward to the future. Meanwhile, we will engage them in exploring a wide range of topics ranging from the rupture and reestablishment of the education tradition, the efficiency and equality of education, the personal development as well as technological revolution and education transformation. ”


    Seek for the Core of Education Tradition


    “The previous discussions of the education panel often concerned more about the education reality. It is the 100th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution this year, therefore, it has far-reaching significance to review Chinese education traditions and find traditional values from modern education in such a point-in-time, ” Cai Leike, another faculty member from PKU Graduate School of Education, introduced.


    Cai pointed out that Chinese traditional education weighed much on the cultivation of human dignity, humanity, righteousness, manners, wisdom and faith that made up the core values of traditional culture. However, in the process of modernity, Chinese traditional values have been abandoned for being regarded as dross, resulting in the lack of values in education. “Chinese education has experienced the course from importing the western knowledge, being integrated into the world education, reshaping Chinese education, and heading to the world. In the background of globalization, it is necessary for us to review the education tradition, reestablish fundamental Chinese education principles and realize the system innovations,” said Cai.


    As introduced that the attendees are all Chinese scholars coming from US, Chinese Taiwan and Mainland. On the education panel, the scholars will reexamine the characteristics of Chinese traditional education from all aspects and try to excavate the values of traditional Chinese education in the contemporary society. In a microcosmic perspective, they will rethink the Chinese academy of classical learning, discuss the modern spirit, and review the ideas of the Chinese educators in contemporary China, especially find reference to contemporary education from Cai Yuanpei’s idea of university and Qian Mu’s analysis of relationship between a nation and its education.


    Explore the Path to the Innovation of Education


    Professor Shang introduced, “This year’s Education Panel is both the absorption of the traditions and outlook for the future, where education innovation will be a hot topic.”


     “Globalization” and “diversity” are the important backgrounds and features of the topic “Education Innovation”.


     “In the context of globalization, communications and dialogues between different countries and regions are increasing and broaden, which brings chances for education innovation.” Cai Leike introduced that the sub-theme will focus on the globalization of education. The scholars involved separately come from Germany, America, Canada, Australia, Korea and Mainland China, which manifests the feature of “Globalization”.


    The presentations at the education panel include “The Crisis and Challenge of Education in the Future,” “The Difficulties and Chances that Confront Higher Education” and ”How to Reform the Higher Education in International Cooperation.” Attendees from Canada, Japan and Korea will share experiences of reforming education in their own countries in the background of globalization. Those who are from America and Australia will use their unique angles to discuss the tendency of higher education in China and the source of education innovation. Besides, some scholars will discuss in microscopic view centering on “The Inspiration of Teaching Research to the Professional Development of Teachers”.


    “Education innovation combines reference, rethinking and transcendence together. It is not only the reference to successful models and experiences of other areas, but also the respect to the diversification of values,” said Cai, “The core topics are discussing the difficulties and challenges of education in the future, and meanwhile, introspecting the experiences of other countries, and finding the ways for Chinese education innovation.”


    Highlight the Power of Education Technology


    The development of information technology, based on that of internet technology, has impacted the traditional pattern of education and management. Furthermore, it has brought about significant reform of education in aspects such as ideas, contents, and methods. Nowadays, the application of technology in education is a very important topic.


    According to Professor Shang, “This year’s education panel focuses more on technology, which weighs much on the application of various information technologies in education, how to apply technology to education in schools with an aim to impel the transition, and the innovation of study patterns.” Scholars from Germany, Norway, Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese Mainland will discuss deeply in the new characters of education technology, the potential of new media technologies in education, methods to combine education technologies with traditional media, and how to narrow the education gap in the situation of globalization - all of the related topics confronting different countries when they try to make education reform and transformation.


    Professor Shang told the reporter, “We have specially invited Mr. Lata, officer of the United Nations Children’s Fund in China, and Wang Zhuzhu, head of the National Center for Educational Technology. Based on the practical working experiences, They will separately share their comprehensions of the development of education technologies, as well as the innovations of education. ”


    Reported by: Feng Huiwen and Pan Congping

    Edited by: Arthars

    Source: Beijing Forum