Education is a priority for parents in China. Indeed, parents in Beijing and Shanghai spend more on education than other families across the globe, consequently expectations are high. To meet the demand for high quality education there are more international style schools in China than any other nation. Therefore, what does it take to be a leader in this market?
Great schools offer an excellent education, an inspiring learning environment and produce outstanding outcomes. There are many great schools in China but the leader in the market will provide that listed above and more, they will approach what they do in a truly progressive and innovative way.
All schools and school groups draw on best practices, guidance and policy from external sources. For instance, research conducted in universities informs policy or initiatives that in turn drive development and improvement inschools. This is sufficient to create great schools, but not sufficient to be the leader.
The Huili Institute of Learning has been established to support the Wellington College China and Huili Education schools in becoming the leaders in the cities in which they serve pupils, perhaps leaders in China and potentially global leaders. To achieve this, our aim to is to move away from being informed by research conducted externally, along with initiatives and best practice from institutions in other parts of the world. Instead our aim is to be the generators of research, initiative and contextual best practice.This direction has been set because of the following:
1. Much of the research that informs policy and practice is not conducted in a comparable context to bilingual or international school education
2. Policy and practice needs to be contextualised.
Moreover, if a school group can generate sufficient high quality research content, this could be used to influence policy makers and universities to engage with research that is contextually appropriate. This challenge has been embraced fully across the Wellington College China and Huili group of schools and we are fully engaged in research that include the following areas:
- Comparative analysis of leadership in Chinese and international schools
- The impact of pedagogical approach on pupil engagement; drawing on the application of AI technology
- Language acquisition in a range of bilingual models
- Exploration of how reasoning and problem solving can be developed through a bilingual mathematics programme
- Strategies to support pupils with special educational needs in learning Chinese
- The relative impact of reflection on the quality of pupil work
To strengthen research work undertaken, the Institute of Learning has established a strategic partnership with Durham University, the leader in the UK for education, along with working alongside leading universities in China.
Importantly, the outcome from these research projects will have a powerful influence on the strategic development of the schools and what is understood about education in the international and bilingual context of China. The educators undertaking the research projects will present their finding at conferences in China and beyond. The strongest research projects will be published in a journal developed specifically for research conducted by school-based educators and reviewed by professors at the school of education, Durham University.
School-based research methodology has been taken beyond the Wellington College and Huili family of schools and is now being led in Europe, Middle East along with East Asia. Together, the Institute of Learning is aiming to create a research movement designed strengthen education in China and beyond. This may prove to be the progressive and innovative approach needed to be the leader in a competitive market.