Shanghai to boost students' interpersonal skills

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 By ZHENG ZHENG in Shanghai China Daily Print
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Shanghai recently unveiled an updated plan for evaluating the quality of compulsory education in the city, known as Green Indicators 3.0, which aims to provide a more comprehensive assessment of students' overall growth, going beyond purely academic achievements.

The city's education commission said the plan seeks to instill a scientific educational philosophy, foster a healthy educational environment, and drive the development of high-quality compulsory education through reforms in evaluation orientation, methods and result utilization.

Green Indicators 3.0 introduces fresh criteria, including personal character, legal awareness, life skills and innovation, to offer a more holistic view of student development.

It places increased emphasis on monitoring mental well-being by refining existing health indicators and incorporating additional metrics for mental competency.

In a bid to enhance students' social skills, the new evaluation system has introduced a dedicated metric for assessing interpersonal relationships.

It also amplifies assessments related to social-emotional competencies, encompassing communication abilities, collaboration skills and emotional regulation capabilities.

According to the China Education Modernization 2035 Framework, social-emotional competencies are crucial noncognitive abilities that interact with cognitive abilities to comprehensively nurture adolescent development. Nurturing these skills is pivotal for the well-being and lifelong growth of young people.

Mei Bing, Party secretary of East China Normal University, noted the increasing global focus on emotional education in the past two decades.

Mei stressed the need for educational institutions to prioritize the cultivation of social and emotional skills, citing assessment results that highlight the significant impact of schools and teachers on the social-emotional development of young people.

Mei proposed integrating socialemotional skill development into national education policies, plans and curriculum standards, and advocated leveraging schools as the primary arena for that purpose, along with enhancing teacher training to develop socioemotional expertise for nurturing students' growth.

Beyond these initiatives, Green Indicators 3.0 will also establish a data-sharing mechanism and intelligent analysis platform to improve the utilization of evaluation results. Schools must consider evaluation findings as crucial inputs for instructional improvements, with districts and schools demonstrating weaker performance indicators to receive enhanced guidance and support.

Professional institutions will spearhead implementation, while district education bureaus will collaborate with local teaching and research institutions. Schools will take on primary responsibilities by forming quality assurance task forces led by principals.

To build a pool of evaluation experts, Shanghai aims to strengthen district-level agencies that monitor education quality and train specialized assessment personnel through regular programs. The city will also welcome contributions from professional evaluation bodies in researching new indicators.

To avoid increasing academic burdens, the city's education commission said the evaluation results will not be tied to student graduation or advancement criteria. Instead, Shanghai aims to address societal concerns through in-depth research and publicly share relevant reports to create an environment conducive to educational development.

Shanghai introduced the green indicators in 2011 for evaluation of the quality of compulsory education. They have since played an important role in diagnosing problems in school education and promoting the comprehensive development of students.

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