ISB hosts Early Childhood Education Conference
People seated clapping

By Nick Yates, ISB Communications

The International School of Beijing (ISB) hosted a conference on Saturday for teachers from around the region to discuss best practice in early childhood education. More than 100 delegates from ISB and other international schools attended the event on campus, while more than 60 joined virtually.

The ACAMIS Early Childhood Education Conference took the theme “Inspire, explore, create: Who are we as teachers and learners?” ISB’s youngest students are set to benefit after their teachers spent this time considering how to further improve their lessons. Delegates heard from experts in the field, including ISB staff, and shared experiences of innovative early childhood education.

ISB’s programs are carefully designed to be based on best practice in pedagogy, and the school empowers its staff to think about new approaches and adapt their teaching so that it is most effective for students. Around 70 percent of ISB’s school-fee revenue is reinvested on personnel, including funding training for them. While ISB recruits highly qualified, experienced, and passionate teachers, it is also almost unmatched in Asia in terms of the resources it puts into coaching for its world-class faculty.

ISB is an enthusiastic member of ACAMIS (the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools), which has focuses including advancing staff professional development.

People seated facing a big screen

It was timely for this ACAMIS conference to be hosted in ISB’s Early Years Learning Community (EYLC), one of a number of new facilities opened here for 2020-2021. The EYLC space was purpose-built for ISB’s youngest learners, based on science that shows how creative learning environments help children thrive. Planning of the EYLC included development of a new ISB Early Years (EY) Curriculum Framework and EY Philosophy statement, grounding teaching and learning approaches in the belief that students are inquirers, creators, and explorers who can make meaning of the world around them.

This work was assisted by early childhood education consultant Dr. Will Parnell, who gave a keynote address at Saturday’s conference. Dr. Parnell’s credentials include being president of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and his research has focused notably on disrupting traditional thinking in early childhood education.

ISB’s Elementary School Assistant Principal Dr. Dustin Collins, who serves on the ACAMIS Conference Planning Committee, said, “Thank you to all the participants in the ACAMIS Early Childhood Education Conference. The ISB delegates and those from other international schools all left inspired by what they heard and ready to use it to inform challenging and joyful learning for their young students.

“We were thrilled to be able to showcase our intentional learning environment in the EYLC and to be able to share our expertise and hear insight from elsewhere on early childhood education. At ISB, we see each child as competent, resilient, and capable, and we empower students to develop attitudes and dispositions for success. As educators, we give students our very best every day, and we are committed to keeping it that way through opportunities like Saturday’s conference.”

 

Visit the Early Years Learning Community section of ISB’s website to learn more about this bright corner of the school and watch a video about ISB’s Early Years Philosophy.

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