With the implementation of the new national curriculum, the concept of "student-oriented" education has been recognized by more and more educators. As a bilingual school, NACIS Shanghai has always been thinking about how to create a personalized education suitable for students' personality development, so that they can cope with core competitiveness in an unknown international environment.
With the high teaching standard insisted by NACIS teaching staff, our thematic research projects The Secondary History Curriculum Construction Based on Cultural Heritage and Remain Rooted in Chinese Culture and Promote International Understanding - Personalized Bilingual In-depth Reading of Think Series were affirmed as Connotation Development and characteristic projects of Private Schools in Minhang, indicating that our academic research has been recognized by the authorities.
Philosophy is the core of a school. We make our philosophy into practice through curriculum. At the beginning of the founding of our school, we have put forward the curriculum philosophy of “Remain rooted in Chinese culture, blend international elements and promote life development”. The implementation not only needs top-level design, but also requires persistence in marching forward day by day. At NACIS Shanghai, our national and international staff have shown their adherence to the philosophy.
As a teaching project with us since the founding of our school, “Think Series " has been deeply rooted in all aspects of our school life. With the education concept of thinking, appreciation and action, it inspires students' creative expression, thinking ability and action in a multi-dimensional manner and helps them grow into future leaders with civic awareness. After years of practice, the concept is no longer confined to the classroom, but has been integrated into every aspect of primary life to help students develop a subtle mode of thinking and action.
By implementing the strategy of "intensive reading", we encourage teachers and students to spend a semester or even a year reading a bilingual world classic, such as "The Little Prince" and "Journey to the West", so as to develop the in-depth reading habit of "drawing lessons from one example". We find that reading classic gives children more space for imagination and development. Even for a short piece of text, children can also extend personalized understanding through performance, painting, music or multimedia creation.
In a recent primary Chinese class, students and teachers read a text about love and understood a deep caring love between parents and children from between the lines. During independent homework after class, students expressed their love for parents in a creative way. Some students made a handmade greeting card with a paintbrush, some expressed thanks with words, and some took on the housework at home. Elsa, a grade 5student, wrote a piece of calligraphy for her parents.
"Think Series” not only immerses children in the world of personalized reading, but also allows them to share their dynamic and beautiful inner world with more people. During the learning journey, we have seen growth and love. Based on and beyond the text, our teaching team integrates character education into primary class, help students establish the values of "Honesty, Integrity, Serenity and Fortitude" improve their wellbeing and fulfil the mission of holistic education.
Being motivated in different situations, Elsa shows great enthusiasm for calligraphy. Recently, she won the first prize in the 2020 Sunshine Angel Cup Primary Group (Calligraphy) Competition in Minhang District by virtue of her calligraphy of Spring Journey of Qiantang Lake.
Ms. Gu Wenxiu, Head of NACIS Primary, Said:
“Based on the requirements of national Chinese learning literacy and our vision, "Think Series” not only focus on being rooted in mother tongue, but aims to build a bridge for children to learn English from mother tongue and encourages them to realize the internal transfer of ability and literacy in the interdisciplinary learning. There is no doubt that "Thinking Series" is a significant and valuable ladder in the learning journey of NACIS teachers and students. It has been deeply rooted in the hearts and daily lives of many NACIS teachers, students and even parents. However, it requires persistence and wisdom to realize the goal of any reform. We need to do a better job and enable it to play a positive role in the growth of teachers and students.
We believe that today we plant seeds in the hearts of children that will grow into towering trees in the personalized education environment at NACIS Shanghai.
As a twelve-year school, the effective connection between primary and secondary is particularly critical for the establishment of students' knowledge system and the cultivation of their comprehensive abilities.
In the scientific research project of The Secondary History Curriculum Construction based on Cultural Heritage, we place the cultivation of core attributes as the research goal, aiming at cultivating lifelong learners who can view and solve problems with critical thinking. Nowadays, our acquisition of history knowledge is no longer limited to history textbooks and class teaching, but we can also enhance our understanding of history by visiting museums and historical sites at home and abroad.
NACIS history teacher Ms. Lizzy shared the original intention behind the project: “We hope to continuously develop the history teaching resources. We refer to "cultural heritage" defined by UNESCO World Heritage Committee instead of limiting history to the category of "antique”, so as to understand and interpret history from different latitudes.”
For example, we understand the structure and construction of historic buildings from a scientific perspective; Analyze the style and historical environment of the building from the perspective of art; Explore ancient sites from the perspective of aesthetics, ethnography or anthropology and study the connection between man and nature. Through the deep integration of different disciplines, we broaden students’ horizons and inspire their active learning interest. History is no longer a dry text, but a true and traceable cultural journey. Through the exploration of historical stories, students are motivated to reflect on the past and look into the future.
Through interdisciplinary mode and project-based learning approach, NACIS teachers are committed to cultivating students' historical literacy, including historical materialism, time-space concept, historical evidence, historical interpretation and patriotism. Our history curriculum will be full of variety based on the curriculum resources of cultural heritage.
This teaching mode has also been introduced into our daily teaching, starting from the ancient and modern Chinese history, and then to the modern Chinese history and world history. Following the river of history, students will build a solid professional history knowledge. As a characteristic research project, NACIS Secondary will invite external experts and scholars to set up an interdisciplinary research group together with the secondary Chinese, history and geography team to explore the interdisciplinary project and formulate learning plan around Chinese history and culture, so as to achieve the teaching and research objectives.
Based on the solid historical and cultural foundation, we require students to think the following questions. “What kind of person do I want to be? What can I do for the world? What changes can I make?” With a more comprehensive knowledge structure, our students will explore the historical process and future development of the motherland and grow into patriotic Chinese with critical thinking and action.
We hope that every member of NACIS can work together to maintain our research results and improve the research connotation and promote the growth of teachers and students through continuous practice. Thank all of you for your efforts on the project!