EdCamp Hong Kong – “The Amazing Race”

Reblogged from Bad Kids Collective 

Across the ocean from home, EdCamp Hong Kong satisfied a few of my curiosities and fueled a ton more. When I arrived in Hong Kong nearly 4 months ago I didn’t know much about the Hong Kong education system and I had no intention of planning an event, and yet my curiosity got the best of me. I was struck by the number of tutoring companies, art centres, Montessori schools, various universities and colleges; it was clear that education was important. I sent a few tweets out in the world and was quickly connected to Neil and it seems like all the piece just fell into place after that.

Neil is the vice principal at Quarry Bay School and the proud host of the day. I was ecstatic when our conversations of alternative learning spaces landed us in the kindergarten classroom at QBS. The room was the perfect setting for our conversations of curiosity and connection. The room is colourful, has thoughtful signage, pictures of kids on the door, water play table and designated zones for learning, I don’t see why all classrooms and offices for that matter don’t look more like this.

As with any first time event, I always get a tingle when the first few people trickle in, it means our curiosity will bond us. Without failure, this day brought many curious folks who each sparked and shared ideas and questions.

Here are a few of my take aways:
– labels and categorizations of people don’t ever seem to be helpful
– the words that are so important in education are the ones that seem to mess us up the most; success, motivation, assessment, learning, purpose, passion, school…
– whenever we make something standardized, it becomes outdated
– where is the trust in school?
– the connections that matter are the ones that stay with us
– participation and learning doesn’t look a certain way
– culture and context are not secondary in education

My biggest take away was that no matter which side of the ocean we are on, the challenges seem to be the same. There is a lot of work to be done and it will be an uphill battle and where to start is just to keep going. Every one of these conversations leads to another and another and together we will figure out the next step. The race to get to the top, to be the best, to compete for more has long been tied to success, but it is the same race that makes us fall further behind? 

EdCamp Hong Kong was the first EdCamp in Asia, I surely don’t think it will be the last. And I will just need to book my plane tickets accordingly!