What has been the impact of your solution to date?
We are constantly featured in the Chinese media, and have a website where each week we file a report on our progress. We understand that we are an education experiment, and that to help promote reform in Chinese schools we must be open, clear, and honest about our difficulties and our weaknesses. Our biggest impact is that we are demonstrating that education reform is indeed possible in China.Our students have improved greatly as individuals as well: They are happier, more confident, more creative, more curious, and more motivated to learn. Our parents were at first skeptical, but now they are actively promoting our program in their social networks.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
We would like to start a debate in China as to the meaning of education. Most Chinese think that education is about getting students into top colleges, but for us education is about teaching students to be global citizens and life-long learners. We want to challenge the traditional notions of education, parenting, and success in China.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Chinese cultural values are dominant and persistent, but we do hope to impact a minority of parents and students who believe in our progressive education. The best way to do that is to educate our students to the best of our ability, and to be honest and forthcoming about our mistakes so that our students and our parents are learning from the experiment as much as we are.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
In six months, we would like to be so well-known in China that we focus the education reform debate in China.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
We want Chinese schools and social entrepreneurs to emulate our model, learning from us while working with us to adapt our model
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
I’m a Chinese-Canadian, born in China, raised in Toronto, and educated at Yale College. I’ve always believed in the power of education to transform lives; My father washed dishes for a living, but through persistence and hard work in the Canadian public school system I won a scholarship to study at Yale. After graduation in 1999 I went to Beijing to teach in the public school system, but became disappointed in the rigidity and narrow-mindedness of China’s test-oriented education system.In 2008, I visited a friend, Wang Zheng, who was principal of a high school in Shenzhen, China. Many of his students were now planning to leave the Chinese education system in order to study abroad, and I could see an opportunity to impact Chinese education positively.Also, there’s growing concern within the Chinese government that its schools must begin emphasizing creativity if the Chinese economy is to be competitive in the 21st century global marketplace.