Forum “Where East Meets West: Study Lab Theory Unites with A Hundred Years of Dalton Plan ” was successfully held in Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School On 5th November 2019. Roel Rohner, the President of Dalton International, Paul Bruijn, the Vice-President for Dalton International in Europe, and Agata Sowinska, the Executive Director of Dalton International and the Head of the Dalton International Research Platform, were invited to the forum. On the opening ceremony, students of Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School welcomed the guests who came from afar by performing poetry readings, Chinese martial arts, zither, English songs and traditional Dutch dances. Mr. Zheng Jianhai, the party secretary and the director of Wenzhou Education Bureau, and Mr. Zhou Yifu, the Chief Executive of Longwan District, also delivered their speech on the ceremony. Ms. Bai Lili, Principal of Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School, expressed her appreciation to all the guests who attended the forum.

The opening ceremony of the forum “Where East Meets West: Study Lab Theory Unites with A Hundred Years of Dalton Plan”

The Dalton Plan is an educational concept which was created by Helen Parkhurst in 1919. She suggested regarding schools as laboratories of society. In these laboratories, students are not victims of the complex system. They are experimenters. Same as our society, environments and conditions of schools are affecting students. Therefore, the Dalton Plan advocates practising personalized learning which is student-centered. It is led by school and supplemented by society and family so it can be a complete, systematic and diverse education. Freedom is the most foundational spirit of Dalton education. Students can make their choices on subjects, time and speed of learning under the suggestion of teachers. Their freedom will be emphasized. Moreover, cooperative learning is another core of Dalton education. Starting with concrete questions, students are encouraged to work as a team so a collaborative, open and accommodative learning environment can be created. The Study Lab Theory, which was developed by Principal Bai, is in the same vein with the Dalton education. Under the Study Lab Theory in Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School, the difference between students will be concerned. Hence, students can have more intention after the appropriate intensity of learning.

The Dalton School in New York is one of the most famous K-12 schools in the world. Students not only have outstanding academic results, but also be recognized as more independent, creative and cooperative. The Dalton School in New York has created a brilliant result that all graduates were accepted by universities of Ivy League, such as Harvard and Yale, for more than twenty consecutive years. Due to the impressive performance of the Dalton School in New York, it has been a model for basic education around the world. So, the number of schools which are practising the core value of Dalton education is increasing. The Dalton Plan fully satisfies most of the schools’ educational improvement.

Ms. Bai Lili, Principal of Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School, delivered a speech

Principal Bai expressed her sincere gratitude to President Rohner and other guests. She said, ‘in this forum, I mostly want to deliver two messages. One is paying tribute to the value of Dalton education. In the fields which have been created by Dalton education, the only centre of all educational activities of teachers is “children”. Education which is designed according to children’s developmental rules is the easiest to be accepted by children. Life of children can be enriched by learning which happens naturally. The Second message is that the Study Lab Theory need to be seamlessly integrated with Dalton education. Study Lab Theory pays attention to children’s life, happiness and future development.’

In the forum, specialists of Dalton International exchanged their opinion on Dalton education with teachers by in-depth discussion. Dalton International is a network which gathers experts and colleague of Dolton education from all over the world. By organizing regular international conferences, Dalton International supports the design of Dalton School, organizes student/teacher exchanges, shares teaching materials at Dalton Schools, etc. Dalton International aims to promote Dalton education on the international level so Dalton education can innovate and develop continuously. The visit of the delegation of Dalton International is a high degree of recognition and support for the achievement of Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School.

Student representatives of Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School guided experts of Dalton International to a campus tour

Roel Rohner, the President of Dalton International, said, Dalton International will provide training for teachers and the management team. The faculty of the school will gain an in-depth understanding of Dalton’s core competitiveness, collaborative learning and classroom management, Dalton education system, multiple intelligence theory and student evaluation and feedback modules. The basic knowledge and skills of Dalton education will be internalized in mind of all staffs. After the training program, teachers will receive a certification of “International Dalton Teacher”. Moreover, Dalton International will audit Wenzhou Dalton Elementary school for the certification of International Dalton School.

Mr. Zheng Jianhai, the party secretary and the director of Wenzhou Education Bureau, delivered his speech

Mr. Zheng Jianhai, the party secretary and the director of Wenzhou Education Bureau, expressed congratulations on the opening ceremony. He said, ‘Dalton School in New York is one of the four most famous schools in basic education globally. Its educational philosophy and methods of active learning, innovation and cooperation have always been important models for us to learn from. Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School is the first school which introduces the concept of Dalton education in Wenzhou. Under the support of Dalton International, the school has actively carried out educational experiments in both international and localized. It not only has created “Study Lab Theory”, but also has created a new module which is transnational, compatible and reciprocal. This is a precious experience of outward cooperation and exchange of Wenzhou.’ He hoped that Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School can strengthen international exchange, cultivate talents for the new age and stick to the mission of the school.

Mr. Zhou Yifu, the Chief Executive of Longwan District, delivered his speech

Mr. Zhou Yifu, the Chief Executive of Longwan District, said, ‘The development of education is related to thousands of families. It relates to people’s livelihood improvement and social development. It also is the prerequisite of modernization. Dalton education has a very wide range of influences on a global scale. Beside introduced Dalton Plan, Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School explored an innovative way of complementary of the East and the West by Study Lab Theory. Study Lab Theory is local and original. The combination of the two theory can help to cultivate teenagers loving their country as well as being open mind on global affairs. Today, Wenzhou Dalton Elementary school already is influential in China.’ He also said that this forum could further promote the exchange the advantage between Dalton Education and Study Lab Theory which benefited to the innovation of basic education in China.

Students of Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School performed traditional Dutch dances to welcome foreign guests


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