Helping Chinese young people to get a real education

The following is a press release that the College issued earlier this year.

“Dr Ian Cunningham of Brighton’s Self Managed Learning College argues that:

“It’s madness that the UK Government wants to copy the Shanghai schooling model – an approach that fails its young people and its society. We have entered into a partnership with iSkool in Shanghai to support this new school to revolutionise education in China.”

Ann Qiu, its Director, commented: “If a ‘successful’ education system is based on shaping students as conformists and passive learners without confidence in their own creativity, imagination or human potential, then the Chinese school system is remarkably efficient. Chinese schooling has to change – even the Chinese government is starting recognise this. We are partnering with SML College so that we can use their approach to shape a totally new approach to Chinese education. For instance we have been translating their materials and books into Mandarin and we have jointly signed a cooperation agreement.”

Dr Ian Cunningham, chair of Governors of SML College said “Ann Qiu is a real pioneer who is creating an important model for the future of education in Shanghai and we are delighted to work with her. One outcome that is planned is possible student exchanges as well as joint development work. Adding Shanghai to our international partnership work is part of our objective to influence the direction of education globally.”

Ann Qiu added that “It is a crucial time to for us to think about education for humankind instead of just for a nation. A background to the need for change in Shanghai is that while it tops international league tables in areas such as maths and science it also tops the international league table for suicides among young people. The pressures of our schooling system are a major contributor to this scandal.”

SML College says that Self Managed Learning encourages a real education that develops young people to take charge of their own lives within a supportive community. By responding to the needs of each person and avoiding the unbalanced schooling model promoted by the Government students go out in the world equipped to deal with its complexity. Instead of a life of tests they learn to face the tests of life.”