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Teaching is learning – EduGems in Beijing, China

PDC (Project Drive Create) and Future school are part of our new vocabulary and in this blogpost we tell you why. EduGems Pedagogical Director, Marianne Juntunen, was invited to give a lecture and workshops on circular economy and sustainability at the CACIE Future Education Forum and the 2nd PDC International Education in Beijing on 17-19.10.2019. Marianne was accompanied by Managing Director Linda Suomela-Hemangkorn and Development Director Eva Roos.

P – Project

Drive – desire and interest; practice and experience; thought and awareness

Create – experience and skills; accomplishment and emotion; attitude and value

PDC International Education Alliance was founded in 2015 at the Hu Jia Lou Central Primary school when the school put forward the practical education concept of PDC (Project Drive Create). The amount of PDC member schools has since grow and today there are more than 100 schools that embrace and promote the PDC educational reform. The ambition is “to bring education from classroom to life, from school to society, and make students acquire comprehensive skills and understand real life, so that they can adapt to the future society, and have a sense of responsibility”.

PDC is very future-oriented, and the schools are therefore called Future schools.

PDC education represents a new education revolution that challenges traditional practice in China. By integrating the wisdom of frontier education at home and abroad, and focusing on real life problems and the development of students’ core literacy and future ability, it is defined as a future-oriented education.

PDC (Project Driven Create) education represents a revolution of thoughts, and a change of ideas, which activates, changes and develops students in a project-driven way.

The focus is on six dimensions of students’ growth that come under the headings of Self-discovery, Social Practice, Return to Life, Understand Culture, Science Exploration, and Nature Study, which deal with students’ relationship with themselves, nature, and the society.

PDC education, with a focus on real life issues, tries to solve real problems from a child’s standpoint. By participating in the project, children build their values for life and the world, acquire the future-oriented practical ability and innovative spirit.

We share the same goals as the Finnish national core curriculum for basic education has a strong emphasis on students active role in learning. It is important to integrate the student in the process as a whole to create a wholesome learning process.

Marianne held a live broadcasted lecture and workshops at Hu Jia Lou Central Primary School in Beijing. Marianne gave a lecture with the title Education for sustainable development possibilities and challenges. Key words were circular economy, 21st century skills and sustainability. This lecture was followed by a workshop for a group of students. The students were introduced to the key concepts of circular economy and 21st century skills. They warmed up by learning some fascinating facts about Finland and how to say hi and bye in Finnish – this was a sweet and simple example of cultural exchange. The students enjoyed the product life cycle task, and came up with innovative and creative ideas. They got to practice argumentation skills through different games and activities, and they had an admirable joy and enthusiasm towards learning.

Marianne’s enthusiasm was also felt and seen, she is a passionate teacher in any classroom environment and in front of any audience. She teaches and learns at the same time, and this inspires the students as well. Together we can solve problems: by cooperating, not competing. With active and activating knowledge and teaching methods.

In Finland we have very student-centered methods and approach, and this is something that catches a lot of interest and fascination in China. The classes are big in China, up to 40 students per lead teacher. This makes it difficult to give personalized focus and feedback – exams and scores therefore take a huge place in China, while simultaneously less so in Finland.

Thank you Beijing, all the students, teachers and personnel for assisting and welcoming us!

This was a great learning experience for EduGems, because teaching is simultaneously learning, and only by keeping an open and critical mind can we succeed in creating a more circular and sustainable future, and happier students who find their inner motivation and drive.