《声音》 VOICES Ivy's VOICES Fall/Winter Edition 2018 - Page 3

FOUNDER’S NOTE W hen I entered 7th grade in Singapore back in 1984, I was selected into a 4 year secondary program where 100 students – 66 boys and 34 girls – were put into a separate curriculum. The program was so new back then that the governmental department that created it didn’t have a proper name but it was just called the “Special Project Unit.” During the four years, while we did spend some time on the usual school subjects, the majority of our time was spent on personal projects that emphasized on creating things. We chose what projects we wanted to do (my favorite project was building a solar cooker) and figured out how to make things work with our teachers as a guide. As there were many gaps within our knowledge, we had to do a lot of our own research. Two amazing things happened after this. First, the 100 of us were among the top academic achievers in the entire nation when we graduated. Second, while Singapore traditionally churns out financiers, doctors, and lawyers from its educational system, within our group we had professional chess players, historians, and entrepreneurs. This really shaped two of my deeply held beliefs in education. First, everyone has different strengths, and we’re all meant to do different things. A good school should help the child discover for themselves what that is. Second, learning is most effective when we empower students to choose what they want to learn. At our Ivy Kindergartens, one of the things that our teachers are passionate about and skilled at is helping students figure out how they are smart. We provide them with a powerful tool – the multiple intelligences theory, which gives our teachers a deep understanding into different intelligences, and help students leverage that to build up competency in other areas. Empowerment is also a powerful concept in learning that we utilize in our classrooms. We try to incorporate our young learners with as many opportunities as they can to choose what they want to learn. In the classrooms, we provide many learning corners where during free choice time, students decide what they want to do. We are also piloting the “I Can” initiative at our Sanlitun campus whereby children decide on their own how they will change the world, and devise strategies to make it happen. Incredible things happen when we believe in and empower our children! Sincerely, Jack Hsu CEO and Founder of Ivy Education Group 1