Education has been of great importance to the Vietnamese — both for those in the country and abroad. It’s evident in the increasing number of online learning platforms enabling educators and learners to use technology in their day-to-day tasks.
But as they say, “experience is the best teacher” and that’s the concept behind Embassy Education Group’s “Symphony of the Mind” — the annual conference that talks about the future of education from Vietnamese experts from around the world. Its goal is to deliver the message that “Creativity is the Next Intellect.”
The Symphony of the Mind’s first event, which happened on October 8-9, welcomed international intellectual thought-leaders across multiple fields, including education, psychology, mathematics, business and arts who talked about the different approaches to education for a new era.
President of Meeting Vietnam, Professor Tran Thanh Van highlighted that a good education environment should be able to expose children to a larger world, thus offer them opportunities to show their great potential and independent thinking skills, as well as allow them to raise their voice without being judged by any misconception. During the conference, the professor led the discussion on the role of education in the new era and also addressed the future of education.
“It’s not about the left or right brain but the harmony in your mind to let the imagination and creativity run wild.”
After the panel discussions, all the guest experts across multiple fields, agreed that creative education is the inevitable educational movement in the present and the future.
Creativity boosts the ability to study in many ways
When it comes to navigating creative education in the future, Professor Tran Thanh Van claimed that humans, at any time, always have to nurture their intellectual abilities, specifically the abilities of their brains.
“I picture the brain as a musical instrument with many strings. When being stimulated, the instrument will produce sounds. Could that be the symphony of the mind?”
Therefore, a capable brain is a creative brain, where both mind and heart function harmoniously. Education should encourage children to develop a creative brain – to be curious about life, thus to be proactive in discovering the world around them.
Regarding how to build a creative education environment, Professor Ngo Bao Chau encouraged parents to inspire their children to be proactive in choosing what they want to learn and what they should learn.
These early experiences would contribute to building a future independent individual who can take control over their life, have capacities to enjoy the beauty of life, and bring joy to other people.
Both international artist Dr. Alex Tu and educator Tony Diep agreed that a teacher should be more of a coach, who sometimes walks before, behind, and beside their students. To walk side by side with students is to remind them to apply flexibly what they have learned into practice.
International students Tri Giao (from Princeton University) and Minh Quan (from California University, Berkeley) are encouraged to train their creative abilities at a young age, which helps enhance not only their academic performance but also their problem-solving skills in life. This is a clear example proving that creative education is not a fleeting trend, but rather an inevitable education movement in the present and the future.
Creativity nurtures emotional intelligence
Diplomat Ton Nu Thi Ninh encouraged parents and schools to create an open environment for children to pose questions.
“I usually say to young people that to answer can be difficult, but to ask is even harder. You need to approach a problem from different perspectives and think out of the box.’
Director Kathy Uyen, an expert in acting training, also has the same belief.
For Uyen, emotion is the most important factor in helping individuals have better social interaction. Creativity takes a key role in developing EQ since it allows us to “live many different lives” and thus connects us to the world better with a sense of sympathy, compassion, and sensibility.
Creativity is the focus of the new economy
How has creativity become the key driver of many leading businesses in producing a generation that’s ready for the new economy?
The VP of Marketing at Biti’s, who is also the founder and CEO of Dentsu Redder, Hung Vo, answered that creativity is an indispensable trait for children when they grow up.
“Education should not only encourage children to be proactive and independent but also help them understand the importance of meaningful and helpful relationships and know that there is a correlation between themselves and their family, friends, communities, nations, and the world.”
This also poses an urgent question for our current education system: What should we teach children if it’s not creative skills?
Facebook Vietnam’s former CEO, Christy Le added, “This should start at the early stage, since, like doing business, creativity is an investment. If creativity is invested in the right place as early as possible, it will have a higher chance to proliferate.”
Creativity is the symphony of the mind
Forth years ago, Professor Howard Gardner, Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero and the father of “Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” realized what an IQ score doesn’t measure, and more importantly, that intelligence isn’t only equivalent to logic, but rather more flexible and diverse than that. If each individual is unique, so is intelligence.
Gardner also emphasized the role of society and education organizations, “We need a lot of inspiration and a good education environment that encourages children’s curiosity to help people develop their full potentials or a specific type of intelligence. Especially, society should understand and recognize the value of that intelligence.”
“For that reason, we should care more about the development of intelligence and creativity as early as possible,” he underlined.
Creative education is the key to thriving in this new era
The sharings from these intellectuals and talented young people in “Symphony Of The Mind” shed more light on the essential role of creativity in human development as well as in shaping the future of a progressive education system.
In this event, the founder of Embassy Education, Thanh Bui, expressed his passion for creative education and desires to bring opportunities for more all-around development to children.
“I hope, through Symphony Of The Mind, parents will see how excellent their children are and what factors contribute to their talents. Children need to live in an environment that always encourages creativity and lets them live as their true self.”
"Parents could see that giving children an all-round development is necessary and that every subject is equally important. There’s no difference between arts and science. Everyone can be creative, and creativity exists in every field of our life.”
Translated by Bich Tram