Well you can’t blog in China, it seems: Update

Apologies for the non-posting/half-posting/disconnected bits of fluff that appeared on this space over the last week and a bit. It turns out you can’t blog via WordPress in China. Someone somewhere there flicks and switch and it’s all messed up.

So here instead are some photos of the first part of my trip in Shanghai, PISA league table capital of the world. I met with colleagues at East China Normal University and the Institute for School Reform and Development. I also met up with Dr Yunqui Liu, recently doctored (congratulations!) and a co-author on an article about the Teach for All project (‘Teaching Other People’s Children, Elsewhere, for a While’).

Dr Yunqiu Liu

Dr Yunqui Liu

Ate some delicious food too with Bowen Yang from Education First (currently working on a project for aspiring air traffic controllers) and cruised through Shanghai at night. Looks a bit like Birmingham to my mind.

At the time I was in Shanghai, it started to be reported in the UK that the authorities there were considering not entering the next round of PISA. More on that in a later post but if they did stop participating, I think that would pretty much be the end of PISA. In fact, Shanghai has come up with its own measurement they are calling ‘The Green Index’. Much wider than current PISA measurements and designed to reform Shanghai schools by focusing more on ‘soft skills’ and the kinds of creativity and problem-solving necessary to become a knowledge economy and not a service one.

Here is one example of brilliant Chinese infrastructure: the Maglev train that takes you from Pudong airport in to the city in just ten minutes, travelling at 268mph (over 430kmh). The track was laid by the Chinese; the train was built in Germany. That’s the shift the Chinese want to make.

Also, more to follow from my trip to Guilin in Guangxi province and the conference on reform and social change. But first, a picture of something tasty. Shanghai-ese food is very good!

Mandarin Fish at the Bund Restaurant

Mandarin Fish at the Bund Restaurant. Mmmmmm