World class thinker

Earlier this month we had the pleasure welcoming Professor Yong Zhao to Parramatta to deliver the 2014 Ann D Clark lecture.  I recall last year when Larry Rosenstock, founding principal of High Tech High in the US was here for PBL World, he told us we wouldn’t be disappointed hearing Yong speak.  And we weren’t.

One of the many things that impresses me about Yong is  his willingness to look outward and to “read the signs of the times”. He is continually questioning his own worldview while coming up with fresh ideas and challenging ways of thinking.

I had the opportunity of sitting down to chat with Yong while he was here.  He is definitely a world class thinker.

6 thoughts on “World class thinker

  1. Dear Greg,

    Love receiving these learning emails from YOU! Will Professor Yong Zhao’s full presentation be available? If so, when? This clip is so thoughtful. My best, Deanna

  2. Thanks Greg for the short clip. I was lucky to spend a few days with Prof Yong Zhao last year where he challenged us as school leaders and our political leaders not to try and beat the better Asian countries in Pisa test scores unless we wanted to beat them at their own game (e.g. going to school 6 days a week).

    I heard him say 3 things that stick in my mind:
    – be inventors not copiers
    – teachers as curators of learning who inspire, challenge and role model the humanism we need in 21st century (relationships)
    – leaders need to be courageous and promote risk taking amongst other attributes (just not on my child?).

    So what about tomorrow or next year – what am I going to be a risk taker in – promoting intercultural understanding I think is one such aim.


    1. Mark, thanks for the comments and your reflections on Yong’s discussions. The sage point here is that we can’t expect our students to push their own boundaries of learning if school and system leaders aren’t risk takers. Yong certainly challenges educators in the West to re-think the nature and purpose of schooling in the context of a globalised world. His new book will be a fascinating read.

  3. Professor Zhao has made some profound, but not new, comments on the need for schools to be innovative and enterprising in their focus for the future and for students to be nurtured in developing skills of entrepreneurialship. I have always been a great believer that young people have the capacity now to create their own employment opportunities in this smart and creative world economy. Trained Career Counsellors in schools are well positioned to forward and implement this proposition. We cannot predict the future of the workforce, but we can shape attitudes, develop strategies for innovation and creativity and provide young people with the tools for resilience. The Chaos Theory of Career Development (Bright & Pryor, 2011) is a practical guide on how to do this in schools.

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