By Nick Chignall, Kindergarten Vice Principal
This year, Macao had the privilege to host the 2019 World Forum on Early Care and Education. This event brought together 700 delegates from 71 countries to discuss, celebrate and connect on early childhood education. TIS was approached in the early stages of the planning of the event, to discuss Macao as a possible site. As a prominent community partner, we knew it had great potential to bring global leaders together.
As a strong advocate for early childhood education, TIS was represented by showcasing our facilities and program, as well as contributing at the forum. I had an opportunity to moderate a panel on “Gender Issues of Men in Early Childhood Education”, and further explore opportunities to improving gender balance in ECE. Through these discussions and those throughout the conference, I have now created relationships with a global network that can support the continued improvement of early childhood on a global scale. It is through these connections that education as a whole can be nurtured to benefit as many children as possible.
TIS was also a site tour for delegates to see different learning environments in Macao. We had 150 delegates come to TIS and tour our facilities and learn about the high quality education we provide. As we toured, there was continuous feedback about the impressive depth of learning that students achieve, the drive to support the arts throughout our inquiry and how rich the learning environments were. The lasting impression TIS had on delegates quickly spread throughout the conference and I found myself providing additional tours throughout the week to showcase how truly remarkable our school is.
As the forum ended and we all headed back to work, it was a time to celebrate the successes that we have all accomplished in our respective dimensions of early childhood development, but at the same time, a chance for reflection. We can never be content with where we stand when there is inspiring work being done across the globe. TIS has a globally recognized early childhood program, with passionate teachers, yet we can always make it stronger to support our youngest learners. When the next World Forum occurs in Vancouver in 2021, I look forward to sharing the next stage of early childhood education at TIS with everyone.