"I am able to speak to you because I avoided numbers in school... I am able to speak English because I was bad at math," said Yong Zhao, a world-renowned thought-leader on technology and globalization's impact on education.
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Addressing independent school business officers at the 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting's invitation-only Business Officers Breakfast, Zhao began by citing his own story to demonstrate a larger point about the importance of personalized learning. Born in China, Zhao was not gifted at math, so he chose to study English instead to get ahead. The choice launched him on his current career, as Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and author of several books in English. Had he not had the opportunity to focus on his strengths and set aside his weaknesses, he would not have found such meaningful and impactful work, he said.
Sharing the latest research on personalized learning, Zhao said that independent schools can refine their value propositions by recognizing the different individual strengths among their students. Rather than touting career and college preparation, he advised schools to think more broadly about launching students on a life of independence, prosperity and happiness, whatever that may look like to them. This can differentiate schools in a competitive 21st-century education marketplace.
All NBOA members can now watch a video of Zhao's speech and view and download all 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting materials, including recordings, slides and executive summaries of selected sessions (previously only attendees could access these materials).
Also presenting at the breakfast meeting were NBOA Board Chair Tracey Fudge, CFO at Holton-Arms School, who outlined the Board’s work in developing a new strategic plan, and Jeff Shields, NBOA’s president and CEO, who gave an update about NBOA's 2017 fiscal “year in review.”
Mark your calendar for the 2019 NBOA Annual Meeting March 3–6, 2019, at the Marriot Marquis San Diego Marina, in San Diego, California.
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