I recently returned from a trip where I spoke in Bangkok at the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA) Conference and in Singapore at the International Association for Scholastic Excellence (INTASE) Conference. The following article was originally posted as part of my blog series on the Huffington Post where I am sharing experiences and insights I gained from my trip.Â
I just returned from Asia where I spoke to educators at theÂ NESA conferenceÂ in Bangkok and to 1200 school leaders from 13 countries at theÂ International Association for Scholastic ExcellenceÂ (INTASE) conference in Singapore. Most of the attendees in Singapore were leaders in their schools, spanning the entire education spectrum:
18% – Primary level (7-12 years)
15% – Secondary level (13-16 years)
14% – Tertiary level (17-19 years)
29% – Ministry of Education, Singapore
23% – Others (university, colleges, private consultancies, etc)
There were many interesting and inspiring topics covered during the conference, and a few concepts that especially struck me that could improve education in America.
High Standards.Â While students in Singapore hold the bestÂ PISA scores, their educators realize that students also need to develop creative, innovation, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial skills to be prepared for the complexity of today’s professional world. It was these topics that I was asked to address. Whether their grads are going to discover the next scientific break-through, the most cutting-edge architectural structure, the most imaginative start-up, or the next service company, academic prowess alone won’t cut it. The rethink, reinvent, and revolutionize theme is at the core of the Singaporean education system and workforce. In a culture that has transformed itself in one generation to become a world-class city, these are people who never rest on their laurels no matter how great their achievements.