Dr. Edward Banfield’s study (Harvard) of the dynamics of social progress in the United States found that those who succeeded were often those who had long-term ideas. When planning activities on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, they had a long-term point of view. They planned ahead five, ten, or even twenty years into the future. They allocated resources or made decisions based on what they expected from their career years later.
This research is an important revelation for practitioners in educational fields. If we can give students early access to professional and academic planning, comprehensive understanding of different disciplines and occupations, and a general understanding of the development of traditional as well as emerging industries, it will undoubtedly offer these students lifelong benefits.
As explorers in education, we are committed to developing more effective educational models and providing better education services. In collaboration with the Ningbo Government’s education policy, in relying on our continuous enrichment of excellent global teaching resources and based on educational and cultural exchanges between Ningbo and Auckland, the Ningbo-Auckland Education Association created the Hi Tomorrow Career Planning Course. The course’s academic cycle will be every half school year, with the aim of providing graduating high school students with vocational education training.
In today’s day and age where information and resources are abundant and readily accessible – an age where anyone with the right mindset can simply access the Internet and learn to do almost anything – the accessibility of information is no longer a major constraint on personal achievement. In its place, the greatest barriers now faced are lack of imagination, lack of creativity and innovation, perceived lack of opportunities to experiment and most importantly, lack of confidence. In other words, in this day and age, those with the right mindset have limitless potential.
Many famous entrepreneurs in STEAM-related industries started with a dream and a vision. With their imagination and creativity, they identified opportunities where no one else did. With their confidence in themselves and their ability, they identified the knowledge and skills that they had, those that they still needed, and strived to gain them to achieve their goal.
How does this program help?
This programme builds on the concepts of STEAM learning and strives to empower participating students. We guide them to take baby steps towards the achievement of their goals – we teach them the tools they need to experiment, guide them through the process of creating something, and in doing so, help them tap into their own imagination and creativity and make them confident in themselves and their ability.
With the right mindset, the perceived lack of opportunities will no longer be a problem as they will see opportunities all around them; the mountain that was previously insurmountable due to lack of confidence and their abilities will become a gentle hill. This is the true aim of this programme and what we wish to achieve.
In this programme, our teaching will be based on project-based learning with a focus on achieving the above. This will create an environment that stimulates the creativity and interest of high school students, enables them to apply their knowledge, and inspires them to become confident in their ability to turn their imagination into reality. To this end, we will work closely with university lecturers and PhD students for course and project design.
We are currently running trials with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland and are delighted to have Dr Aiguo Patrick Hu head this programme. This programme is set to officially launch next year, by which time we will have topics in other areas ready for interested schools and students to enroll in.