October 6 2021
HighScope Indonesia Annual Conference 2021

“Highly Purposeful Life: HighScope Indonesia Inspires Teachers to Follow Their Passion and Discover Their Purpose”
Educating Future Innovators and Creative Problem Solvers

Jakarta, October 8, 2021 - The world of education once widely adopted a traditionalist view of what a school should be, what it should look like, along with what and how it should teach students. The drastic and unprecedented changes brought about by the pandemic have caused many to question this view. While schools and their teachers must adapt to the challenges presented with online or remote learning, parents across the globe worry about their children experiencing learning loss. Never has the need for change in education been this urgent. Education for the 21st century should be developed based on 2 aspects: the world and the children. As the world changes, so do the skills that are needed to be taught to navigate the future. As the children developed, becoming a generation of digital natives, how they should be taught must be changed. There should be a shift in the mindset, not just in academia, but also in the general population, the parents themselves, that is from an Academic Achievement Paradigm (exam-oriented) to a Human Development Paradigm (a balance of Academic and Life Skills). In 2018, in the World Economic Forum,Chinese Business Magnate Jack Ma was quoted as saying “If we do not change the way we teach, thirty years later, we’ll be in trouble. The things we taught our kids for the past 200 years have been knowledge-based. And we cannot teach our kids to compete with machines.”

Since 1996, HighScope Indonesia has been applying and developing an education system rooted in brain-based research and longitudinal studies. HighScope Indonesia firmly believes that education should follow changes and developments in the world, and that tomorrow's problems cannot be solved with yesterday’s mind. HighScope prepares students to succeed in the 21st century as innovators and creative problem solvers from early on. In 2020, in response to the global pandemic, HighScope Indonesia developed an alternative learning system to ensure our students learn in a conducive manner even in a remote learning environment, named Home-Based Interactive Learning (HBIL). We continuously improve this system; we prepare parents through online workshops, and also train our teachers virtually and equip them with the necessary resources.

Teachers are the catalyst of change in the education system, passionate teachers that guide their students to follow their passion, to pursue a better future for others and themselves. Our teachers do this, even amidst remote learning where they experience the stagnancy of routines that affect their motivation and drive, which in turn may affect their students. Educators everywhere are in need of support that may come in many forms: from moral support, to resources, to guidance and inspiration. Since 2011, we have held the HighScope Indonesia Annual Conference as part of the continuous professional development for our teachers and other educators. The conference is dedicated to build a community of learning consisting of the teachers, principals, school management, and other educators to discuss, share, and reflect on their experiences and practices in the past year.

This year with the theme “Highly Purposeful Life: Follow Your Passion, Discover Your Purpose,” for the 11th HighScope Indonesia Annual Conference, HighScope Indonesia hopes to inspire and guide teachers, principals, and attending educators to discover and develop what they are most passionate about in life. By living a highly purposeful life, teachers, and in turn, students will thrive and develop into self-regulated leaders who follow their passion and are purposeful in building a sustainable future. “As educators, it is our responsibility to support a self-made generation who uses their hearts and minds
to solve the world’s problems. It is our responsibility to teach our children, our students to take action to contribute to the world community. Those are our learning goals, our long-term objectives,” said Antarina S.F Amir, founder and CEO of HighScope Indonesia during the conference’s opening speech.

The 11th HighScope Indonesia Annual Conference is honored to have globally recognized education experts as our speakers, sharing their insights and experiences, opening dialogues and answering questions from our eager teachers. On Day 1, after a speech from Dr. Alejandra Barraza, Ph.D, the President of HighScope Educational Research Foundation, Tony Wagner M.A.T, Ed.D (author of Creating Innovators, The Global Achievement Gap) delivered his keynote address titled Educating for Innovation Era. Dr. Wagner spoked about 5 contradictions between the traditional methods of schooling and the ways in which teachers teach students to be creative problem solvers, as follows:

1. Celebrating and measuring the individual achievement, when in fact innovation thrives with collaboration. “Traditional schooling is all about celebrating, rewarding, and measuring individual achievements. Well that’s fine, there’s a place for that. There is no innovation without an accountable team, there is no creative problem solving, without deep collaboration.”

2. Compartmentalized knowledge, when in fact innovation demands interdisciplinary approaches. “There is not a single problem that can be understood, let alone solved, within the confines of an individual academic discipline.”

3. Culture of compliance, where schools nurture the culture of consumption and passivity instead of encouraging curiosity. “In the world of innovation, you are required to take initiatives, to question authority, to question received wisdom, to take initiatives.”

4. Focus on how many mistakes students have made, causing fear of making mistakes and failing when in fact innovation demands us to take risks, make mistakes, fail and learn from mistakes. The methodology of innovation at its heart is trial and error. “The whole idea is to measure a student's progress towards mastery over time. If they were not yet at a standard that I have defined, their work was incomplete. They have not failed.”

5. How schools tend to motivate through extrinsic motivation instead of driving student’s intrinsic motivation. “The quality of grit, perseverance, tenacity, self-discipline, self-regulation, all of these things come from the pursuit of real interest, from intrinsic motivation.”

Other speakers included international education consultants: Bena Kalick & Alison Zmuda, Matt Renwick, Kenneth Sherman, Diana Jo Johnston & Heather L. Johnson. We also had Ulla-Maria Koivula, Ph.D from ThingLink, a Finnish education and media technology company and the Doyobi team, a coding school for children from Singapore, powered by Google & IMDA.

On Day 2, the conference continued with Yong Zhao, Ph.D (author of World Class Learners) with his keynote address titled Learners without Borders: New Conditions of Learning and Teaching. Dr. Zhao reminded us that it always comes back to the students, the children. “You have to think about instructional outcomes versus educational outcomes. For example, you may force children to remember a math function, a formula, or a historical fact, but the more you force children to remember that, the more they hate the subject, the more they get disengaged from school. Why do you want to do that? You want to keep children engaged, you want to keep children curious, you want to keep children creative.” In regards to the current state of education in the world right now, Dr. Zhao commented, “Too much teaching is happening to our children. We force our children to learn things the way we want them to learn. We forget that they are natural-born learners. They want to explore, they want to change. As parents, as educators, you need to think about what engages your children, what matters in the long term.”

Other speakers newly joining us on day 2 included international education consultants: Steven Zemelman, Kirsten Haugen, and Heather Fox. The second half of Day 2 of the conference will feature our Learning Heroes, the HighScope Indonesia teacher’s sharing session. Selected teachers from Early Childhood Program, Elementary School, to Middle School and High School will host their sessions, where they will share their experiences and insights to their fellow educators.

This is the second time the conference is virtually held, making it possible for more than 500 HighScope teachers, staff and educators from different provinces, also several international guests, to join the sessions. HighScope Indonesia believes that by living a highly purposeful life, teachers, and in turn, students will thrive and develop into self-regulated leaders who follow their passion and are purposeful in building a sustainable future