Inside SFS

Steve’s Shoutout: Looking to China for Lessons and Partnerships

The lights of Shanghai are beaming outside my hotel window.

The night sky is filled with glitz and glamour - neon colors shaded only by thick smog. I am in
the midst of a seven-day trip to Shanghai and Beijing at the invitation of former school parents and friends, Eric and Yijing Li. 

Eric and his wife are outspoken advocates for the Chinese education system- and they have much to be proud of! In their hometown of Shanghai, students are determined to thrive and learn and their families are driven to make this possible. During this whirlwind week in China (which included visits to over 10 schools of all shapes, sizes and pedagogical approaches), I have learned that the desire to understand progressive schools like The San Francisco School, is insatiable, and educators are implementing the lessons they are learning at a rapid pace.

One of the most surprising moments during this visit has been walking into a k-5th grade public elementary school (the school where Eric and Yijing’s children attend) and seeing a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Math) program. This is an educational approach that integrates topics that have been traditionally taught as distinct disciplines.  Coincidentally, our upcoming teacher workshop day will include time for a cohort of SFS teachers and administrators to discuss our own STEAM initiative.  I am amazed to see it implemented here in China where the educational model is historically known for its traditional approach. The blend of traditional and progressive education is evident and truly impressive.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will have a chance to further reflect and share opportunities from this trip to China that hopefully impact many parts of our community going forward. What an amazing week!

Steve Morris, Head of School

Posted October 16, 2014