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Chinese Feature and Global Vision Inheritance and Reform Tracing Back to the Source with Innovation Pursuing Excellence and Courageous with Responsibility

“Though an ancient state, Zhou must forge ahead with the Heaven-bestowed reform;reaching its greatest brilliancy while pursuing the course of the Mean”. These two sentences were drawn from the history of Chinese philosophy by Mr. Feng Youlan, a famous philosopher in China. For him, the above words may very well embody the spirit of Chinese culture. In my career of service in education for over 40 years and as principal for 10-odd years of RDFZ, what I feel deeply might boils down to the above-mentioned words.

“Though an ancient state, Zhou must forge ahead with the Heaven-bestowed reform”. This is exactly the rudimental secret for the continuation and vitality of Chinese civilization for over 5 thousand years. “Reaching its greatest brilliancy while pursuing the course of the Mean” represents the most powerful magic instrument for us to mitigate all sorts of conflicts, coordinate all kinds of relations, and to solve various difficulties. These two sentences are the lifeline of Chinese philosophy as well as the essence of Chinese education.

Since reform and opening up drive, the process of Chinese educational cause is one featuring reforms and innovation step by step. RDFZ has been advanced better and faster, simple because we have a deep and thorough comprehension of the two sentences and have implemented them to the letter.

Over the past ten-odd years, the school philosophy and school-running practice of RDFZ can be summarized as follows: Chinese feature and global vision, inheritance and reform, tracing back to the source with innovation, pursuing excellence and courageous with responsibility.

Sticking to “Chinese feature and global vision”, we strive to build up a “leading in China, first-class in the world” school; following the principle of “inheritance and reform, tracing back to the source with innovation”, we make aggressive explorations in content and form of teaching as well as educational management with continuation and innovation, thus formulating a future-oriented educational system with zeitgeist and Chinese characteristics; along the path of “pursuing excellence and courageous with responsibility”, we provide assistance to resource deficient schools to achieve common progress with a strong sense of responsibility, enthusiasm and practical measures, thus making due contributions to the enhancement of overall quality of China’s basic education.

Education knows no boundaries, yet an educator has his/her country. Where am I from? Where am I heading for? These are the utmost questions, requiring educators to constantly consider and ask themselves. Chinese educators need to stand on the Chinese soil and to have their own cultural and national distinctions.

After the Opium War in 1840s, modern China was forced to open its door; in recent 3 decades, China has opened up to the outside world in an active manner. How to deal with the Sino-foreign relationship in a scientific way following opening up drive remains a core issue in the cultural field. I’d like to draw an analogy. This is just like the sea holding water from all rivers and streams. After all rivers and streams run into the sea, however, water becomes salty. To be willing to accept all the rivers and streams, this is an inclusive approach; water becomes salty, that is self-centered. Therefore, dealing with the Sino-foreign relationship in the right way means that we are determined to empty ourselves into the sea while maintaining our own features. Only in this way can we combine Chinese feature with global vision.

To promote education in today’s China, it is a must for us to absorb and borrow the advanced educational concepts and methods of developed countries. To absorb and refer to, however, doesn’t necessarily mean copying or total westernization, but rather self-promotion and self-perfection after thorough comprehension. As educators in the present day, we should neither be ignorantly complacent nor excessively belittle ourselves. Instead, we need to learn from others and also share with them our own successful experiences. By way of “making foreign things serve China”, we are bound to deliver a national, scientific and popular Chinese education geared towards the future, world and modernization. And this is truly self-consciousness, self-confidence and self-improvement in education.