In April 2018, Ms Bai Lili, the principal of Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School, received an invitation from UNESCO for participating in the round-table conference of “Best Practices in Mobile Learning”. In May, Principal Bai and her colleagues had started the trip in Europe.

The first stop was Waltham St Lawrence Primary School in the UK, which was visited twice by British Prime Minister Theresa Mary May. The school founded in 1910. They focus on the development of each child and promote Five Values (truth, love, peace, right conduct, non-violence) in the school. In the morning of 18th May 2018 (time in London), Principal Bai and her colleagues visited this century-old school. Principal Bai had a deep discussion about philosophy of education, curriculum and evaluation system with Ms Li-Juan Ellerton who was the Head teacher of Waltham St Lawrence Primary School. After the discussion, both principals were showing their willingness to be sister schools.

Ms Ellerton introduced that Waltham St Lawrence Primary School emphasized the concept of cooperation and freedom. They also had launched courses of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. The school had developed activities in various themes to encourage students to practise their knowledge in the activities. Moreover, each class will also have activities on different themes every week. So students’ ability could be enhanced during free discussions in the activities. Teachers also would record the progress of each child’s growth.

Principal Bai as agreed with Ms Ellerton. Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School localized the Dalton Plan with Study Lab Theory which emphasizes freedom and cooperation. The school always pays attention to the method of cultivating students’ core literacy efficiently. For instance, Study Lab provides time and space for students to build up own learning strategy. The core of the Dalton Plan is to help children to be self-discipline in a free and relaxed atmosphere. Therefore, students can go further on the way of learning and achieve their own goals.

After Principal Bai had introduced Study Lab Theory, Ms Ellerton expressed her interest in it. Ms Ellerton hoped that she could visit Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School and learn from it. Due to the coincidence on the philosophy of education of the two schools, they immediately agreed to conclude to be sister schools. According to the preliminary schedule, the two schools will hold a sister school signing ceremony in Wenzhou in October 2018. In the future exchanges and cooperation, the two schools will organize exchanges regularly. So students can experience global education more intuitively. Their international perspective also will be opened up.

At 9:00 am on May 22 (time in Paris), Principal Bai and her colleagues attended the round-table conference of “Best Practices in Mobile Learning” at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters.

Representatives from educational organizations from Finland, South Korea, the United States, Rwanda, Croatia and other countries and regions presented their views and research findings. Finland had implemented curriculum reforms from pre-school education to higher education and adult education, which formed a national core curriculum. The cultivation of students’ knowledge, skills, values and concepts have been a top priority in teaching. Besides, the effective ways to utilize information and media technology for learning and implement protection and management of information had become the heated topic for managers and policymakers. China has established an alliance for mobile learning in future projects. These projects involve 20 experimental districts, 10 model schools and more than 100 excellent schools in Beijing. Eschool (an online school) in Croatia was a project supported by the Ministry of Science and Education. It set up information technology facilities in each school. So students can use electronic devices for learning. At the same time, more than 1,000 teachers had received online training.

During the conference, Principal Bai had friendly exchanges and discussions with representatives from various countries and regions. She not only introduced Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School and the curriculum reform in China, but also concerned about issues of other countries and regions.

Besides reducing the burden on students, Finnish education also advocates the combination of learning in both inside and outside classrooms to achieve high-quality educational goals. Similar to the concept of Finnish education, Wenzhou Dalton Elementary School adheres to Dalton Plan which promotes freedom and cooperation. Hence, students can learn effectively because they are more self-discipline under the environment of the Dalton Plan. The Croatian representative was interested in the educational issue of China which was a populous country. The representative also hoped to have an opportunity for educational study trips in China.