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Three Crucial Links in Cultivating Innovative Talents in Secondary Schools

Distinguished leaders, principals and colleagues,

Good morning!

There are things which are easier done than understood, and there are things which are easier said than done. Cultivation of innovative talents is a typical example of “Easier said than done”. I sincerely hope that the summit will be both pragmatic and theoretic, combining the enhancement of ideas with the addressing of actual problems. For our generation of educators, the most important liability is to dance with fetters, making strenuous efforts to explore a new pathway and to open up a new world for fostering innovative talents. To this end, we will continue our odyssey delightfully without any worries, any complaints or regrets.

Basing on the above-mentioned perceptions and my educational practice over several decades, I would like to deliver a speech on the three crucial links in cultivating innovative talents in secondary schools, and I am willing to hear your comments and suggestions.

The three links in cultivating innovative talents in secondary schools are: selection, cultivation and transfer.

Selection is the first link of the “trio” in talent cultivation. A person is born to this world, each with one’s own gift. As materialists, we have to admit that each person differs in his/her aptitude and gift as well as in his/her level of creativity. Cultivating innovative talents should be targeted at those who carry with them innovative potential. Not as reserved as Chinese in terms of talent cultivation, Americans are more straightforward with the direct and most resounding slogan----To hold tight onto the 5% of the population with exceptional creativity. And it is their tradition to devote main energy and attention to the identification and soliciting of innovative talents. Their experience is highly practical and worth being referred to.

For universities, there is no problem with the selection of innovative talents. “985 colleges and universities and “211 Project” key colleges and universities are able to solicit innovative talents by ways of gaokao (the National College Entrance Exam) or independent enrolment. For secondary schools, however, it poses a major challenge. Without selection, you cannot make bricks without straw. Once you go for it, all sorts of voices of criticism will arise.

“Teaching without the distinction of classes” or each child has the access to education: this is the minimum educational equality. “Teaching in accordance with aptitude” or each child can enjoy the suitable education: this is also educational equality, a higher-level educational equality. At present, we have basically realized the minimum educational equality, and should go on toward a higher level. If children with extraordinarily innovative aptitude fail to be identified and fostered, it is unfair and even a great waste of resources. Therefore, it is highly crucial to select talents in secondary schools.