Sunday, December 21, 2014

Conversations with Educators – Part 2 - Lucknow, Finland and Teacher's Without Borders

There were some very interesting keynotes and panel discussions lined up for the first day of the 7th Ed Leadership Conference in Lucknow in 2013.

After breakfast and registration of the participants, the conference was off to a great start with a musical performance by students of the school.

The Philosophy of City Montessori School 

Teachers at the CMS School, Lucknow

Dr Jagdish Gandhi, the founder of the City Monstessori School started the conference with a talk describing the educational model at the school. Some of the important points that differentiated their model were:-
1)         Focus on spiritual and human education
2)         Family and moral values encouraged.
3)         World Peace events and awareness.
4)         Service to Humanity
5)         Global Understanding
6)         Excellence in all things
7)         Goal Competency
8)         Humility
9)         Tolerance
10)   Strong willpower
11)   Logical Temperament
12)   Encourage Curiosity and Imagination among students.

Dee O Connor from Australia discussed how courage was needed to bring in change in the education system. She mentioned how kids need to be engaged in free thinking and free play. And the focus must not always be on academic achievement. She also mentioned how inspired teacher training programs were a vital part of bringing in this change.

Finland's Education System

Start a conversation with students about the Education they Want
Pirjo Koivula, was representing the Finnish education system at the conference. She mentioned how everything in Finland is shaped around education. In Finland there was compulsory basic education for everybody. The gap between top and bottom schools in Finland was very low.  Mrs Pirjo represented the Finnish national board of education that was more important than the Ministry of Education in Finland. 

They are a country with a small population and the speaker mentioned how they could not afford to lose even one child. Also students need not ask for support, they are observed and when support is needed it is given. Each educational professional is given a specific smaller role that he or she has to do really well. Finland places education at the top of its value list? If other countries need to develop a similar system, they need to re-evaluate their value system and give more importance to education in this list. 

Teachers without Borders

At a school in Mumbai

Dr Fred Mednick represented the Teachers without Borders organization that worked towards empowering leaders in different countries and connecting teachers across borders. He mentioned how leaders were not born or made they just show up. He also described how every country had transformational leaders. It was important to trust these local leaders, depend upon them, connect them, support and believe them and then to get out of their way. He also mentioned various anecdotes about his personal experience as an educator and about inspiring leaders he has met along the way.

Let us Learn Together
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