Adream Foundation publishes its 2019 Annual Report | Philanthropic Donations exceeded 200 million RMB, serving 4.15 million teachers and students with sophisticated Competence-based Education


On April 25th, 2020, Shanghai Adream Foundation held a press conference on “Cultivating Deep-Rooted Pubic Trust”: the 2019 Adream Foundation Annual Report Press Release in Shanghai. The press conference highlighted Adream Foundation’s field work and approaches in education charity work, and its emergency actions taken at the beginning of this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It also answered hot issues in charity work concerning “management fees”, “openness and transparency”, “usage of charitable funds” and “salaries of charity workers”, etc.  The press conference was broadcast live on multiple platforms, supported by Bilibili, Sina Weibo, Yidianzixun, the philanthropic channel of, iQIYI, Toutiao, Shanghai Gengfu Foundation, to name a few. It was viewed online by more than 200,000 people, effectively promoting the core philanthropic concept of Competency-based Education —— “helping improve children’s school experience” to much wider audiences.

Much as we cherish the public trust gained through our professional work, our educational charity cause is empowered by public trust to forge ahead.

The year 2019 witnessed trust conferred by some 26 million people to Adream Foundation, who made generous donations and supported children’s Competency-based Education. Among all the donors, some 60% made repeated donations to Adream Foundation. The Foundation registered total revenues of 219 million RMB, exceeding the 200 million RMB mark for the first time in 12 years. It’s worth noting that online users from the charity channels of Alipay and Tencent contributed significant growth in donations to Adream Foundation.


Moreover, Adream is working with more and more retailers and consumer brands to institute consumption-based donations, providing a real-life donation environment to people from all walks of life. For instance, companies like Suning, Huawei, Anta, ECCO, and World of Warcraft actively participated in online charitable activities, such as Tencent’s September 9th “99 Giving Day”, Alibaba’s “95 Philanthropic Week”, and Taobao’s “Charity APP” campaign, while at the same time promoting these activities in their brick-and-mortar stores. These efforts not only increased the amount of donations, but disseminated the philanthropic concept of Competency-based Education and Equity in Education to wider audiences, and at the same time, greatly enhanced the brand impact of these retailers and consumer goods companies.
The year 2019 also witnessed significant increase in the ratio of contribution from the government sector. Indeed, some 70% of the funds came from district and county-level education bureaus that we have worked with. This marks the initial success of Adream’s sophisticated cooperation and joint operation with local education bureaus, and the trust and recognition we have gained from local governments.
Much as we cherish the public trust gained through our professional work, our educational charity cause is empowered by public trust to forge ahead.

As remarked by Jiangxue Pan, Chairwomen of Adream Foundation: “Doing charitable work is far more complicated than simply doing good. You need to, as required by your mission, equip yourself with highly efficient social service abilities. Practicing professional philanthropy is in essence carrying out responsibilities entrusted in you in a far more responsible manner. Only when you keep thorough transparency and improve the mechanism of information disclosure, can you gain the trust from donors and beneficiaries.


#Jiangxue Pan: To be an Audacious Adream Worker in the Age of VUCA Challenges

On the one hand, Adream Foundation was given the green light in the evaluation procedure for social organizations in Shanghai in 2019, and obtained the 5A ratings for several years in a row. It also topped the List of the Most Transparent Charitable Foundations in China by Jiemian News, becoming the benchmark for professionalism and transparency in the philanthropic sector. Adream is using models such as (our charity incubation platform), earmarked funds and “United Way” to empower 209 education charity partners in fundraising, brand communication, project management and institutional governance to jointly develop and provide enhanced educational philanthropic products and services for children.


On the other hand, Adream Foundation has tenaciously worked out a PPPS cooperation model, featuring Public-Private-Philanthropic-School alliance with Chinese characteristics, which enables education bureaus, schools, teachers, donor agencies and volunteers to become “Adream’s Partners”. This inter-agency collaboration promotes restructuring of the local education system and ensures high quality Competency-based Education accessible for every child. In 2019, Adream Foundation built 501 Adream Centers, trained 12,901 personnel including teachers, school headmasters and education bureau heads, and conducted “Adream Classrooms” activities, in which 2483 Adream teachers from 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions nationwide were inspired and mobilized. “Adream Salon” and other similar activities enhanced the construction of the Competency-based Education collaborative network, which energized local educational eco-system.


At the beginning of 2020, Adream Foundation responded swiftly to the Covid-19 outbreak. Availing its advantages, it joined hands with education bureaus and schools to raise funds and contact material suppliers, logistic and warehouse providers in order to prepare Covid-19 prevention materials for schools. In just two months’ time, it raised and distributed some six million RMB worth of materials to 415 schools. It also produced and promoted an online Competency-based Education show “Adream’s Voice” to support online education for students whose classes were disrupted by the pandemic. The show worked with parents, teachers and schools to provide a good learning and growing environment for children.

Take a path less travelled by — we have seen light of hope at the end of tunnel.

Rome is not built in a day; there’s no easy path for successful education, nor any shortcut for successful education philanthropy.  Yet Adream Foundation remains optimistic and cautious, aggressive and patient. We will continue to make every effort to “strengthen public trust” and “conduct Competency-based Education earnestly”.  We share with children our pursuit of “truth, love and dreams”. We aim at building a much wider Competency-based Education Philanthropic Alliance to empower children’s all-round development, helping children — “China’s future” grow up with confidence, composure and dignity.

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Adream Foundation was awarded “Shanghai’s Outstanding Women’s Social Organization in 2019”.

Recently, Shanghai Adream Foundation was awarded “Shanghai’s Outstanding Women’s Social Organization in 2019”, according to the Decision to Award Collectives (Individuals) in Shanghai’s Urban and Rural Women’s Posts for Outstanding Contribution in 2019, jointly published by the Shanghai Women’s Leading Group for Outstanding Contribution, Shanghai Women’s Federation and Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions. Adream Foundation cherishes this honor and will continue to press ahead as the leader in philanthropic cause. We are ready to make new contribution to Shanghai’s deepening reforms and open-up efforts, and innovation-oriented development with our passion and high spirits.

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Jiemian News: Adream Foundation Topped the List of the Most Transparent Charitable Foundations in China

On December 17th, 2019, Jiemian News ( released the List of the Most Transparent Charitable Foundations in China for the fourth time. Shanghai Adream Foundation topped the List of the Most Transparent Charitable Foundations in China with full marks.、

According to Jiemian News, selection started from 300 charitable foundations with the highest philanthropic/ charitable expenditures in 2018 (in other words, the 300 most liquid foundations). Then 50 foundations were shortlisted according to their disclosure practice for basic information, fundraising information, project execution information, financial information, daily operation information, and their disclosure channels/ frequencies, etc. The availability and updating frequency of their official websites, Weibo and other self-owned platforms were also considered, to make sure the public find it easy to obtain information from their public channels.
Transparency remains a key indicator as people choose to support and understand charitable foundations mainly from their transparency practice. This List aims to show how transparent China’s charitable foundations are, and provide a path for charitable foundations to follow transparency practice and a reference for the public to make decisions of donation.

Jiemian News wrote in its news release: Adream Foundation did an outstanding job in project execution information disclosure/ daily operation information disclosure/ updating frequency. Moreover, Adream Foundation released its monthly, quarterly and yearly reports on its official website, thereby displaying transparency of the Foundation and its projects in multiple aspects. Adream Foundation also operated its Weibo and Wechat accounts with frequent and timely updates, helping the wider public to learn about the Foundation.


Since 2008, Adream Foundation has been disclosing its audit reports and financial data in great detail. Since 2009, it has been holding annual press conferences for its Annual Report releases, disclosing its detailed quarterly and annual financial data to the public. Adream is the first charitable foundation that releases its annual reports according to standards applied to public companies. Moreover, in our annual reports, in order to enhance our management expertise, we have conducted a mock self-evaluation in terms of organizational efficiency and organizing abilities, using the indicator system from Charity Navigator, the world’s largest independent charity evaluation institution.
We have gained the following awards from the society thanks to our commitment to openness and transparency, which is considered the hallmark of Adream Foundation.
  • We have been ranked the No. 1 Foundation on Forbes Magazine’s “25 most Transparent Foundations in China” List for four years in a row from 2011 to 2014.
  • We have topped the List of “the Most Transparent Charitable Foundations in China” by Jiemian News for two years in a row from 2016 to 2017.
  • In 2017, Adream Foundation became the first charitable organization in China that passed the global NGO benchmarking assessment from SGS. In the same year, we passed the UK’s Lloyd’s ISO9001 quality certification, becoming the first foundation in China’s philanthropic sector to obtain the certification of ISO9001 (2015 edition), as measured by an international organization.
  • In 2018, Adream Foundation led the formulation of the Shanghai Convention on Self-Disciplinary Measures of Community Organizations and participated in its release. These efforts played an important role in promoting self-disciplinary practice and trust-based services of various community organizations across Shanghai.
We believe that transparency comes from a transparent process. We need to be brave enough to uphold high-quality standards of openness and transparency, which not only are a fundamental requirement for charitable organizations, but a responsibility we need to fulfill for ourselves and our society. We are extremely honored to have topped several lists of the most transparent charitable foundations in China. We will continue to abide by the values of openness and transparency, professionalism and high efficiency. We are committed to upholding Competency-based Education, ensuring equitable education opportunities for all, and helping children grow up with confidence, composure and dignity!

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Chairman Yidan Chen Visited an Adream Center

On October 19th, Mr. Yidan Chen, Founder and Honorary Chairman of Tencent Charitable Foundation visited the Gaogeng School for Nine-year Compulsory Education at Qiong Lai City, Sichuan Province. In the brand new Adream Center, he sat with 19 Adream teachers and listened to their feelings, concerns and expectations when teaching the Adream curriculum to students.

#From right to left: Desheng Li, Director of Qiong Lai Education Bureau; Ming Lei, Director of Qiong Lai CPC Organizational Department; Yidan Chen, Founder and Honorary Chairman of Tencent Charitable Foundation; Jiangxue Pan, Founder and Chairwoman of Shanghai Adream Foundation; Liming Xiao, Vice President for PR, Tencent Group

Yidan Chen remarked: “I was deeply moved by what I saw at the Adream Center today. Adream Foundation has done things others are not willing to do, simply because they’re too tiring and difficult. Yet, Adream Foundation has fully exercised its strengths here.  The funds from Adream Foundation didn’t reach children directly. Instead, the funds reached schools, so the work at the school level is much more solid, precisely-targeted and yielded much better outcome.”

Accompanying Yidan Chen’s visit are Jiangxue Pan, Founder and Chairwoman of Shanghai Adream Foundation; Desheng Li, Director of Qiong Lai Education Bureau; Zhengkun Qiu, Pedagogist of Da Yi Education Bureau; Xudong Li, Headmaster of Gaogeng School for Nine-year Compulsory Education of Qiong Lai City; Jing He, Vice Headmaster of Yin Du Primary School of Da Yi County.

In1998, Yidan Chen founded Tencent with Huateng Ma, Zhidong Zhang, Chenye Xu and Liqing Zeng. In 2013, Yidan Chen announced his decision to step down as chief administrative officer of Tencent and instead, to lead the company to create multiple innovative philanthropic projects. He became the first Internet entrepreneur to win the “China Charity Prize” and was awarded as one of China’s top 10 philanthropists.


#Yidan Chen, Founder and Honorary Chairman of Tencent Charitable Foundation

Yidan Chen, after the afternoon’s visit, was deeply touched by Adream’s rapid development in the past decade. When Tencent first worked with Adream in 2007, Tencent donated 12 second-hand computers. Then for 11 years that followed, Tencent Charitable Foundation and “Le Juan” platform of Tencent Charity have contributed more than 122 million RMB of donation funds to Adream. Tencent has become Adream’s closest partner thanks to its highest accumulative donations to and longest cooperation with Adream among all Adream’s major donors.

According to Yidan Chen, the ability to allocate resources and support continuous operation is critical to development of an organization, as the developing society needs more investment in education resources. For the past 11 years of our operation, Adream has built more than 3600 Adream Centers in 31 provinces across the nation. Chen was deeply impressed by Adream’s “speed of growth”, rapidly enhancing operational abilities and its strong ability to learn.


#Jiangxue Pan and Yidan Chen listened to Adream teachers talking at Qiong Lai City

Yidan Chen emphasized that the big differences between philanthropy and commerce is that the latter focuses on competition, grapping resources and eliminating competitors; yet the former depends on unity and cooperation. Tencent believes that the realization of a philanthropic vision depends on effective implementation of cooperation projects on the ground one by one.

Yidan Chen remarked: “It’s only natural for charitable organizations to cooperate with each other more and deeper. Adream is an outstanding example in many aspects. The Tencent platform should take stock of Adream’s experiences and case studies, and share them with other foundations.”

Yidan Chen invited Chairwomen Jiangxue Pan to attend the award ceremony of “Yidan Prize” to be held this December.


#Yidan Chen talks about Adream Foundation

How do Adream Centers operate?

Gaogeng School for Nine-year Compulsory Education has a history of more than a hundred years, originated from the Ming Yuan College in the end of the Qing dynasty. This July, Adream built a brand new Adream classroom at Gaogeng and teachers of the school began to learn the Adream curriculum for the first time.Xudong Li, Headmaster of Gaogeng School for Nine-year Compulsory Education shared with the delegates his “story with Adream”. Although Li is building a brand new Adream Center at Gaogeng this time, he is indeed a “veteran Adream worker”.  As early as in 2013, Headmaster Li participated in the construction of the Adream Center at Baihe School for Nine-year Compulsory Education of Qiong Lai City. As there weren’t enough people to build the Center, he even asked his son who were still attending high school at the time to decorate the Adream Center with him with their own hands.In 2017, Headmaster Li moved from Baihe to Gaogeng. Since then, he has been embracing the philosophy of “Do the Education Suitable for the Future Growth of Students” to operate his school. His key words for education are “student-oriented” and “caring for students”.


#Chairwoman Jiangxue Pan took a photo with Qiuxia Zhu of Adream Teachers’ College (women on the left); Desheng Li, Director of Qiong Lai Education Bureau (man on the left); Wanbo Zhang, Vice Director of Education Bureau (taller man on the right); and Headmaster Xudong Li (man on the far right).

Adream promoted the “partnership” between Qiong Lai City with the neighboring Da Yi County in order to help teachers master the Adream curriculum as quickly as possible. The two Adream Centers worked together to map out a suitable Adream operational model for Qiong Lai City. Da Yi has implemented its first Adream Center as early as in 2011. Up until now, Da Yi has 29 Adream Centers, three Adream salons, 2,036 Adream teachers and 30,232 students benefited from those Adream Centers.Jiangxue Pan stated: “Da Yi County enjoyed an early start in exploring the Adream curriculum and is ahead of the others.”During the visit, Zhengkun Qiu, Pedagogist of Da Yi Education Bureau summarized the journey of Da Yi teachers embracing the Adream Centers from scratch for the past eight years, including efforts of attending teachers’ training, salons, conducting mentor programs and organizing Adream study tours. Qiu said: “Da Yi County has decided to cover the entire county’s schools for compulsory education with Adream Centers by the end of this year.”


#A group photo taken by attendees, Adream workers and Adream staff working at Da Yi and Qiong Lai

On October 20th, 2019, the second nationwide “WeCounty Conference” was held at Tao Ba Village, Da Tong Town, Qiong Lai City, jointly held by the CPC party committee of Qiong Lai City, Sichuan Province and Tecent Charitable Foundation. Yidan Chen pointed out the importance of unleashing organic growth power of villages to realize rural rejuvenation. The Tencent WeCounty Conference helps connect friendship with information and funds, thus playing an effective role in driving the progress of China’s grassroots governance and rural rejuvenation.

Click this title to read the full article of “Yidan Chen: Staying True to WeCounty Initiative for a Decade”.

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Kashgar Children “Collectively” Entered the Age of Competency-based Education

A surprise meeting with a Shanghai headmaster at Kashgar

In the picture below, the man carrying a red backpack, talking to Madame Jiangxue Pan is a teacher from Shanghai. His name is Guoquan Chen. Mr. Chen comes from Shanghai Xingang Middle School of Pudong New Area. He is also the assistant to the headmaster of Chache No. 2 Middle School. Xingang Middle School has been operating the Adream Center for about eight or nine years and has recently upgraded the Center’s facilities. On his trip to assist the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, having found out that the Chache No. 2 Middle School also had an Adream Center, Mr. Chen was very pleased.A group of Adream workers met Mr. Chen at Kashgar, a central city in southern Xinjiang. Despite the obvious differences of the two schools he was working with, both have Adream Centers, which serve as a bridge connecting Shanghai and Xinjiang. This convinced Mr. Chen that education opportunities can be accessed in an equitable way. Isn’t “Equity in Education” the vision Adream is striving for?

#A surprise encounter between Jiangxue Pan (second lady on the left) and Guoquan Chen, a Xinjiang-bound headmaster from Shanghai

On October 16th, Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Educational Group was established in Kashgar, with the goal of shaping a number of demonstration schools according to “Shanghai standards”, and nurturing a group of pillar teachers that can be “deeply rooted in Xinjiang”.  Jiangxue Pan, Chairwomen of Adream Foundation and Houqing Yin, National School Inspector, together with leaders of various levels from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region including Kashgar attended the founding ceremony, that marks the start of the age of Competency-based Education for children in southern Xinjiang on a “grand scale”.

In this Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Campaign, Shanghai mainly assists four counties in Kashgar, i.e., Zepu, Shache, Yecheng and Bachu. Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Educational Group was founded by the joint decision of the Kashgar Regional Administrative Office and Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Command Center and at the approval of the Kashgar Regional Committee. Its founding marks the official start of Shanghai assisting Xinjiang’s educational cause on a “grand scale”.

Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Educational Group is endeavoring to contribute Shanghai’s knowledge and experiences to China’s critical battle against poverty, which is a grand national strategy. The Group is fully tapping into Shanghai’s strengths in educational concept, management and resource availability, embracing an innovative operation model while enhancing efficiency, so as to satisfy the educational needs of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.


#Jing Lu, Director of Shanghai Education Commission, delivered a keynote speech at the founding conference of Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Educational Group

Jing Lu remarked: “We readily innovate in our way in assisting the education cause of Xinjiang to make ensure that every child in Kashgar has equal access to high-quality education, and every child becomes the seed of ethnic unity and the construction of Chinas borderland region.

Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Educational Group adopts a “1+4+N” model, meaning “one core school + four county-level education groups + radiating to entire region”. The core school refers to the Kashgar No. 6 Middle School (otherwise known as the Kashgar Middle School affiliated to Shanghai Normal University); the four county-level “education groups” are based in the four counties of Kashgar that Shanghai is assisting with. The plan is, through two rounds of construction periods (every three years), to build a strong core school with characters and strengths, which can radiate to all member schools, resulting in great overall enhancement of school quality.


#(From left to right) Yuhong Tao, Deputy Secretary of Education Working Committee of Kashgar Municipal Committee, Deputy Director & Party Secretary of Kashgar Education Bureau; Chen Su, Secretary General of Shanghai Society of Education; Houqing Yin, National School Inspector, Vice President of Chinese Society of Education, President of Shanghai Society of Education; Congchun Wang, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Shanghai-Assisting-Xinjiang Command Center; Jiangxue Pan, Founder and Chairwoman of Shanghai Adream Foundation.

Changbo Sun, Deputy Director of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Education Department remarked: “We hope by introducing Shanghai standards, we will be able to enhance the educational level across Kashgar, so that all the students can enjoy high-quality educational resources and become qualified successors that exhibit balanced moral, intellectual, physical, manners and work abilities development for socialist modernization building. Kashgar should seize this opportunity to gradually move from universalization of education to higher-quality education.”

Yunfeng Cao, Deputy Director of the Organization Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Party Committee and the Chief Leader of the Ninth Batch of Assisting-Xinjiang Cadres commented: “Through sending cadres in large batches to Xinjiang, Shanghai endeavors to shape a number of demonstration schools in Kashgar and nurture a group of Xinjiang-loyal pillar teachers, so as to provide educational experiences that can be replicated and promoted not only in Kashgar but throughout the entire Xinjiang area.”

Parhati Rouzi, Deputy Secretary of Kashgar Party Committee and Commissioner of the Administrative Department, emphasized that Shanghai’s education assistance to Xinjiang is of great significance to the people of southern Xinjiang to win the critical battle against poverty.  “We will continue to explore a new model of Shanghai’s education assistance to Xinjiang based on Shanghai’s concepts and the reality of Kashgar,” he added.

Shanghai Experiences

Jing Lu, Director of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, pointed out at the Group’s founding conference that China as a whole has reached the world’s medium and upper level in the area of education, and Shanghai, as the pacesetter and pioneer of China’s education reform, should plan the overall development of education with a panoramic view of the country and contribute to the realization of China’s education modernization goal of 2035.

As the “pacesetter”, the enrollment rate of compulsory education in Shanghai has exceeded 99%. This is almost the maximum level a city can ever achieve. Students in Shanghai scored excellently in PISA tests, impressing the world with the stellar performance of Chinese students one time after another.

However, modernization of education requires not only transfer of knowledge, but also all-round development of students, Lu said. In this sense, Shanghai still has a long way to go before it becomes a “Magnet” for young people worldwide to seek educational opportunities.

Lu emphasized that in the future, Shanghai’s basic education should work further in the following three aspects:

  1. Continue to drive equity in education and narrow the gap between urban and rural areas;
  2.  Advance from knowledge-transfer style of education to all-round-development-focused education, create a breakthrough evaluation system for education effectiveness, and endeavor to develop students’ imaginative power and creativity.
  3. Satisfy educational needs of all children and provide enabling conditions for children with special needs.

Director Lu’s idea of nurturing innovative talents is perfectly in line with Adream’s vision of enhancing students’ “imaginative power” through the Adream curriculum. Adream is extremely proud of Shanghai gradually becoming the leader of China’s education reform, as the leader itself is moving from providing “good” education to “higher-quality” education.

On the seminar on “Deepening Education Reform & Comprehensively Improving the Quality of Education” held on the same afternoon, Houqing Yin, National School Inspector and Vice President of Chinese Society of Education proposed that the current priority for Shanghai shall be championing a new era of quality-first education.


#Madame Jiangxue Pan (third person from the right) speaks at the round-table discussion.

Inspector Yin remarked: “While academic achievement is important, it’s not the only target education is striving for. Students reaching the next level of education shall have a rich spiritual world, being confident, poised and respected persons. The next step of education should equip students with dispositions and key abilities to face the future, aka core competencies.

The way to realize these core competencies, instead of simply taking or replacing relevant curriculum contents, is to reform the study method and teaching model.

Inspector Yin explained: “At the moment, we still rely heavily on the pedagogy of knowledge transfer and skills-centered training. We have placed too much emphasis on right answers. A new model of scenario-based education that stems from problems created, and new educational modalities, study unit design and subject matter activities will prompt students to study deeper. Only in this way, can we nurture core qualities of Competency-based Education in students.”

Jiangxue Pan echoed Inspector Yin that nurturing core competencies in students is exactly the central tenant of the Adream curriculum. For more than a decade, Adream has been endeavoring to bring Competency-based Education to various schools across the nation in the form of Adream curriculum. This curriculum integrates Competency-based Education in a cross-disciplinary fashion, much beyond mere transfer of knowledge.

Jiangxue Pan explained further that research and development of Adream curriculum focuses on reshaping the teacher-student relationship, promoting multi-dimensional experiences, emphasizing the integrated evaluation of teaching and studying outcomes, and promoting the concept of inter-spatial collaboration between teachers and students and among educational entities. The goal of Adream curriculum is to nurture students to be good learners so that they can adapt to the vast world outside the school.



When Jiangxue Pan first visited Kashgar in 2010, she was accompanying the then Shanghai Party Secretary Zhengsheng Yu, who visited the Adream Center donated by Adream Foundation at Bachu No. 2 Middle School in southern Xinjiang. At the time the school was still a construction site. The completion of the exuberant one-classroom Adream Center became the first classroom put into use in the entire teaching building that was still under construction at that time. This is the story of the 159th Adream Center in Adream’s history.

Nine years later, this “historic” Adream Center is still in a good shape. Teacher Yongjun Wang from this school used to teach 13 Adream curriculums all by himself. Despite this huge workload, he never wavered in his determination to provide Adream Curriculum to some 6000 students.

Teacher Wang’s efforts were bearing fruits — some students found a future career they liked in Adream’s future career class, and others worked out a travel plan in the “Dream Journey” class, courageously enough to set out an expedition in a small group to Beijing to watch the flag-raising ceremony without parents’ company.

Today, 82 Adream Centers have sprawled across Xinjiang with another 9 to be added this year according to plan. Apart from investing in hardware, Adream is training teachers, headmasters and education bureau heads in Xinjiang so that every educator will enjoy a rewarding and happy career.

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Adream Foundation was Proudly Chosen as the Opening Case in China in Transition

From the editor: on Sep.  24th, Jiangxue Pan, Founder and Chairwoman of Shanghai Adream Foundation was invited to attend the book release press conference for China in Transition. As the opening case in this compilation, jointly published by Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) and Earnshaw Books, we wonder why a local grassroots foundation can take such a prominent place in the book China in Transition: 10 Case Studies of Chinese Companies Breaking the Mould?

The press conference, held at the CKGSB’s Shanghai campus by the Huangpu River, was attended by more than 150 delegates from academia and the business world. Chaired by Professor Rui Zhu, Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Brand Research of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, Jiangxue Pan shared her views with representatives from Haier, Tujia, The Economist Corporate Network and other companies that were also included as case studies in the compilation.


“Not only being selected but being the opening case of this book is a great honor for Adream Foundation.” Jiangxue Pan remarked. “That shows people’s growing recognition of Adream’s efforts to combine business logic with philanthropy. Adream will work out a brand-new path for China’s charity sector development with its own field work and efforts.” The book details Adream’s journey from an idea to a scaled product system step by step. Introducing business logic into philanthropy is not a whimsical idea. As at the very beginning of Adream’s founding, Jiangxue Pan and the entire Adream team have been thinking how to enhance efficiency and output of Adream so that teachers and students can benefit most. From the very first day of operating the first Adream Center, Adream has encountered numerous difficulties and a lack of precedence to follow, as few were engaged in philanthropy in those days. Pan added: “By introducing the business management model, we saved expenditure and time otherwise often wasted by charity organizations.” The successful decade-long development of Adream attested to this theory.


Jiangxue Pan elaborated on the topic of “leveraging business logic to advance China’s philanthropic cause”, expounding three major principles that have been worked out by Adream, thus laying the groundwork for herself and other mission-driven charity organizations:


  1. Help people who are replying on themselves to improve their circumstances, don’t help those who do nothing but crying for help.
  2. Be ready to innovate philanthropy management with business philosophy. Formulate a philanthropic model that applies business logic and approaches to fit into your organization’s needs. Share an organization’s mission, concepts and work methods to everyone participated in philanthropic work.
  3. Create a sustainable model of philanthropic service delivery by establishing a professional philanthropic team and striving to build a sustainable service model delivered by volunteers to lower the social costs of such services.

Jiangxue Pan explained, “Our projects were designed to serve China’s education cause, especially the parts of the country that was underdeveloped. China’s future is in the hands of the people we serve. We hope they will grow up with confidence, composure and dignity.”


The book China in Transition: 10 Case Studies of Chinese Companies Breaking the Mould was jointly published by CKGSB and Earnshaw Books and written for English readers. If interested, please download this book from Kindle or purchase a paper copy from


Pan added that “we look forward to, as China’s economy transits to a new model, inspiring more charity workers with Adream’s stories, so that we can use limited resources more efficiently and assist the economic development of the nation.”

CKGSB is an expert in generating China’s local business cases. This remains its hallmark and a core competitiveness of the school. CKGSB Case Center, established in 2003, has been developing cases ranging from strategy, management, operation, leadership art, marketing, accounting, finance and information sciences, etc. Its sheer scale of cases serves as a bridge connecting the business schools of CKGSB’s MBA, finance MBA, EMBA and executive management education programs with China’s domestic enterprises and multinational companies.

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Horsemanship Fund debuts at “The Asian Horse Week”

On February 14th, the 2nd “Asian Horse Week” opened at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong, where nearly 50 representatives from the world’s leading equestrian associations, regional equestrian clubs and the equestrian industry gathered to exchange views on development strategies for Asian equestrian sports. During this event, Tian Hua, sponsor of the Special Fund of Horsemanship Movement of Shanghai Adream Foundation (aka “Horsemanship Movement”), introduced the Fund to the audience and received a fervent response. With two years’ efforts, Tian Hua’s team, through combining British Horse Society’s rich experiences in operating “Horsemanship Changes Lives” program with China’s actual situation, designed and rolled out the locally-fitting “Horsemanship Movement” charity program.
Horsemanship is more than elite sports. To change this stereotypical understanding, this program is designed to enrich young people’s character education and promote the core values of equestrian sports in the wider society. The program enables young people to enhance skills of leadership, team coordination, problem solving and senses of empathy, respect and responsibility by creating chances for young people to build partnership with horses and manage stables. The team will extend the “Horsemanship Movement” from Shanghai to more cities across China in the next three years, so that more young people will have a chance to learn about equestrian sports and “horsemanship” spirit. This program will also revitalize in this new era, the thousands-year tradition of equestrian culture in China.2



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YAMAHA and JD Giving Platform Presented New-Year Gifts to an Orphan School

On January 15th, a JD logistical truck loaded with musical instruments pulled into an orphan school in Jilin province. This charitable activity “Lingering Music Brings Love”, co-sponsored by JD Giving Platform, Yamaha Music & Electronics (China) Co., Ltd., Yiyuan Musical Instrument Distribution Co., Ltd. of Jilin Province and Shanghai Adream Foundation brought one electric piano and fifteen sets of electronic organ to Jilin Province Orphan School, where faculty and students were overjoyed with these special new year gifts.

#A truck loaded with new-year gifts arrives at the orphan school

Shanghai Adream Foundation, whose mandate is to develop Competency-based Education and Equity in Education and to help children grow up with confidence,

and dignity; and Jilin Province Orphan School, a welfare school that provides children with family-like care, school education and social education to help them reach their development goals in life, academics, psychology and Competency-based Education — share a common educational philosophy: providing children with Competency-based Education to prepare them with all necessary characters and core abilities for whole-life development and the benefit of the society. Since cooperation began in 2016, and with the establishment of the Adream Center, Adream teachers have developed rapidly and children have grown to be more optimistic, confident, active and assertive thinkers. In 2018, in an effort to imbue Adream characteristics into Jilin Province Orphan School and consolidate resources for its integrated development, Shanghai Adream Foundation established the “Adream Youth Center of Jilin Province” and registered it at the Jilin Provincial Civil Affairs Department.


According to Headmaster Jie Zhang of Jilin Province Orphan School, the musical instruments contributed by JD Giving Platform and YAMAHA warmed children’s hearts and inspired them with beautiful dreams of music in this harsh winter.  All the musical instruments donated would be used in music classes of the school and a lot more children could use them for their personal practice as well.


The giving ceremony was witnessed by Shanghai Adream Foundation, Yamaha Music & Electronics (China) Co., Ltd., Yiyuan Musical Instrument Distribution Co., Ltd. of Jilin Province and the PR Department of Northeast Region, Logistics-JD Group.


As commented by Yu Shen, a director of Shanghai Adream Foundation: music literacy was an important part of people quality. In this new era, education in China still faced the grave challenge of insufficient supply of high-quality education contents and inter-regional disparity. In particular, there was a widespread shortage of professional musical instruments, music teachers and quality music education, especially in orphan schools. The music classroom donated by Yamaha, Yiyuan and JD was, therefore, a timely help. We believed it would greatly help children explore the rich world of humanities, arts and culture.


Yuki Fujita, head of Yamaha CSR China commented: we hoped the electric piano and fifteen sets of electronic organ contributed by Yamaha to the orphan school would bring joy of music to students and enhance their music abilities. Huan Xia, Head of PR, JD Jilin province remarked, since its inception in 2018, the “JD Charity Program”, replying on its core strengths of JD e-commerce, JD logistics, JD’s users and supply chains, has been working with the government, suppliers, users and other charitable organizations, etc., to help people in need in very remote places. The “Children’s Competency-based Education Enhancement Program” initiated by Shanghai Adream Foundation was a project in our first batch of charity project roll-out. In less than half a year’s time, the “JD Charity Program” has worked with some 100,000 brand owners.


On the same day, Yamaha invited a music teacher to perform music in front of students, who could not help but clap their hands with the familiar rhythms and sounds. As soon as the performance was over, enthusiastic students rushed to the podium to ask the teacher questions.


The world is changing and moving forward rapidly. But the pursuit of truth, kindness and aesthetics never fades with time. It’s these quests and traits that power children to overcome all kinds of challenges. It’s our solemn responsibility to pass on these traits to children. We hope in the future, Adream will work more closely with Yamaha and JD Giving Platform to bring more quality education resources and the joy of music to children. We believe with our concerted efforts, children will see a more beautiful and brighter future. When they grow up, they will pass on this love and sense of responsibility as positive contributors to the wider society.

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The Learning Community: A Ten-Year Review and an Outlook Into the Future


Learning Community is Home to Courageous Reformers of Education

The year 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of the founding of the learning community and Adream Foundation. For the past decade, I and my fellow educators and partners have been committing our time to studying the sheer volume of research and implementation results of the learning community. This “grassroots” revolution is now full of vigor and vitality thanks to our 10 years’ perseverance to change the status quo and always try to do better in our local communities. We have never complained about the challenges we faced in education or classrooms. Instead, we decided to think hard and make changes happen on the ground. Though each step was small, we have ultimately blazed a trail of true reform. Along this journey, we have met an increasing number of like-minded co-workers. Together we uphold the true principle of the learning community with mutual respect, trust, care and learning from each other, making new discoveries and constantly expanding our horizon. From December 7th to 9th, 2018, more than 700 partners gathered in Shanghai, which just welcomed the first snow of the year. Together we strived to reach the goal of creating a classroom with genuine and deep learning. We valued each other’s voice and listened to each other earnestly. By doing this, we gave each other warmth and strength. In an effort to enact true class reform, we decided to follow the roadmap of listening and accepting children as who they were, while critically reviewing ourselves and the development vision of a school! Now let me share with you Dr. Jingjing Chen’s review on the 10-year development of the learning community in China. We will share with you discussion excerpts among other partners as well.


#The all-united chorus at the closing ceremony of the learning community summit


Tokyo University:

Where the Seed of Class Revolution was Planted

When I was studying under Prof. Qiquan Zhong for my post-doctoral degree at East China Normal University, I spent a year doing research at Prof. Manabu Sato’s studio at Tokyo University, Japan with the funding from the CSC (China Scholarship Council). This ushered in a new research direction in my academic career. I have studied Prof. Sato’s Curriculum and Teachers and Pleasures of Learning Toward Dialogic Practice earlier. With theories well expounded in these two books, I was struck by Prof. Sato’s sharp insight into the multitude of contradictions and possibilities in education. But it was not until I came to Tokyo University that I began to understand that the strong clinical science approach used in Prof. Sato’s “highly professionalized school education”, as he mainly used “case study” and “on-site research” in his teaching.

1) The Beautiful Classroom of the Learning Community

Prof. Sato took us to visit schools mostly in the learning community. In sharp contrast to a well-disciplined and rigid classroom, where dozens of hands would rise to “compete” answering a question, these classrooms and schools were calm and relaxed. Teachers and students in the learning community were gentle and modest. They paid mutual respect and trust by calmly listening, waiting, safeguarding and understanding each other. Instead of rushing to reach certain outcomes, teachers simplified learning contents and focused on student-centered study design. This allowed students to think independently, discuss between them, express their opinions in sequence, while teachers could listen patiently to each of the students and take time to document and connect their ideas. All children were encouraged to express their opinions. There were no wrong ideas. Only views that were unique and worth respecting and ruminating. Isn’t this the ideal environment for studying, where you feel secure, relaxed and happy, and naturally enter into study with inner peace?


2) How Research is Conducted

Prof. Sato taught three courses to PhD candidates: cases study, on-site research, and thesis writing. On cases study, Prof. Sato first played a video of a live class, then organized discussion and ended up with comments and a summary. Prof. Sato focused on how well students could learn in a classroom and even went to great length to analyze each of the students in the video. He also cited internationally trending schools of education and phenomena. I was deeply impressed by his multi-angled focus on students’ learning on the individual level, empathy and care for teachers and classroom settings, and the international comparative vision and approach to education research.


For our on-site research, Prof. Sato took us to schools in the learning community, and allowed us to observe throughout the schools. In a typical school-open day, on-site research was conducted in a well-organized manner. The four morning classes were open to all visitors, with front and back doors all open, welcoming teachers who were not teaching on that particular day, researchers of universities and teachers of other schools to enter classrooms as observers. Each observer was given a school schedule and a class roster, etc., and was free to choose an interested classroom. In the afternoon, all of us would gather in a focal class, taught by one teacher and conducted in the school’s sports stadium that could accommodate more than 200 observers. I found teachers’ observation skills improved significantly in this exercise. Instead of sitting in the back looking at the teacher, they now rotated their positions to observe each student’s learning process in detail. In the after-class discussion, teachers were grouped in four per table to exchange their findings of student’s learning, nuances in their observation and opinions. Every opinion counted. Then, speakers of each group would report their findings in the meeting to uncover the secrets of effective learning.

3) My Journey of Writing my PhD Dissertation and Interviews with Teachers From China and Japan

My PhD dissertation Practical Knowledge of Teachers and its Development — A Comparative Perspective Between China and Japan, focused on how teachers in China and Japan taught literary giant Lu Xun’s “Gu Xiang” (Hometown) with different methodologies. I invited two teachers from Shizuoka prefecture and Shanghai respectively to teach Gu Xiang to students, then invited 14 teachers from each place to discuss their class observation with multiple angles. Next, I extracted key information from the opinions of the 28 teachers and my own teaching experiences from the perspective of “practical knowledge”. Through analysis from six aspects, I did surprisingly find multiple differences. With constant extraction and processing, I felt I was closer to the ultimate answer I was looking for. I was driven to write enthusiastically my new findings. Yet, as I deepened my research, I became more concerned about China’s education. I have studied Gu Xiang as a student 20 years ago. To my surprise, despite all the multi-media approaches used in teaching Gu Xiang, the pedagogy, how the tenet was summarized and the way students received the lesson remained unchanged for 20 years. Despite a decade’s class reform, there has been little substantial change in our primary and middle school teaching methodologies.


When Japanese teachers watched the class case video of Chinese teachers teaching Gu Xiang, they expressed different opinions: “Now things have changed. Students and parents are different from before. If we still use the old method, students and parents will have objections.” The so-called “old method” is bombarding style of knowledge transfer, disregarding students’ characters, dispositions and acceptance levels. In this mode, the teacher’s job is to go through all the knowledge points from the beginning to the end. While this was the situation in Japan some decades ago, we in China are still repeating the same style. In this kind of classrooms, I observed fatigue and boredom on students, and frustration and concern on teachers. As all of us are confined in one educational system, how can we be entirely different from the majority?


During this quest I read many books about Japan’s educational reform, including Prof. Sato’s original publications in Japanese, such as Teachers’ Dilemma, Designing Educational Reform, Educational Methodology and Teachers in the New Era, from which I learned about the dilemma teachers were facing. Prof. Sato is deeply empathetic of teachers, as reflected in all his publications. He understands how difficult the job is, as teaching is full of “uncertainties” and “non-linearity”. He goes further to propose that teachers should become experts and professionals, and teaching is by no means an “easy job”. The strong “emphatic sentiments” imbued in Prof. Sato’s research are resulted from his long-term work and research alongside headmasters and teachers, and his deep understanding of the situation faced by teachers and students. He views everyone in education, teachers and students alike, with sympathy and understanding. Inspired by Prof. Sato, I refrained myself from a mere critic of the status quo, and chose to face up to challenges and build a new horizon. I have never compromised my own approach or given up my efforts. Things would always turn better, I told myself time and time again. With moments of confusion, I moved ahead.


Breakthrough in Class Reform as a Result of Deepening Case Research

1) Understanding the Class Reality Through Massive Observation and Analysis

In May 2009, I successfully completed and defended my PhD dissertation. In July 2009, I began to work at Shanghai Pudong Institute of Education Development. It was required at that time that every researcher should study and observe in schools for three years. Accordingly, I went to Zhangjiang Middle School affiliated to the No. 2 Middle School of East China Normal University, Jianping Middle School, Shanghai Fushan Foreign Language Primary School, etc., for my long-term study. As my research focused on classroom education, I spent almost every day observing classes and discussing with teachers once they had time. In the three years, I committed myself fully to observing students, making an effort to analyzing and solving teachers’ problems. Instead of having a specific research agenda or fulfilling any externally imposed purpose, I simply applied my eyes, ears and mind openly to observe and understand every person and matter inside and outside classrooms. I was fascinated by secrets of effective learning and things that were happening truly inside the classroom. As I became more familiar with schools, classrooms and teachers, I would imagine myself as a student trying to grasp, with the help of teachers, the situation in a classroom. I was passionate to find answers to all sorts of problems faced by teachers and schools by checking books or doing my own analysis and research. My research was able to make great headway thanks to the problems and dilemmas I have encountered.


In solving problems from classes, I found a common logic threading through all the seemingly complicated problems. I would name it the “logic of real practice”, meaning no matter how “disappointing” the “logic of real practice” is, reality is reality. If it exists, it must hold water. The path to incrementally enhance real practice is thus to understand and explain such rationale of existence, while at the same time deconstructing it and adding in new elements. Research results can only be obtained through sufficient negotiation with real practice. Those who can truly transform classes and educational ecology are teachers themselves. Researchers of education cannot, even if they are strongly practice-oriented. This highlights the importance of understanding teachers’ positions and the logic of real practice.

2) Initiating Class Revolution From Observing Students’ Class Learning Process

I revisited Prof. Sato’s publications as I was deepening my class research. I also translated Prof. Sato’s famous books including Challenges Faced by Teachers, Teachers in the New Era and Gestures of Flowers: From Craftsmanship to Expertism in Teachers. I was able to gain a deeper understanding of his books thanks to my own field work. Moreover, I have been earnestly taking notes, pictures and videos in each of the classes I have observed and participated, and conducted massive discussion with teachers after class. I would name this process “Chatting About Classes” or “Studying the Classes”. Indeed, when I first started my case research at Zhangjiang Experimental Middle School affiliated to East China Normal University, Jianping Middle School, Shanghai Fushan Foreign Language Primary School, Gaodong Middle School, Huxin Middle School, Nanhui No. 4 Middle School, Guang Ming School and Shibo Home Experimental Primary School, etc., I observed for at least four class sessions and spent another 2 class sessions to deliberate observation and comments with teachers. This highly-intense research pattern allowed me to understand the true picture of teaching, and the interests, concerns, confusions and expectations of frontline teachers.


As Prof. Sato rightly remarked, “No class is disappointing.” The sheer amount of class cases filled up my hard drives and computers. I believe class teaching cannot be simply judged by success or failure. What I have observed is genuine education, which inspires me to research and reflect deeper. I also befriended with numerous teachers. Together we, as partners, laid the foundation for class transformation. Our field practice and summarization bore fruit: we championed the case study method of “class observation and key events documentation based on a focal student’s complete learning journey”, deepened after-class deliberation and improvement cycle, and explored the strategies and methodologies to train teachers’ class observation and discussion skills. With these approaches, we could ensure every teacher can participate and learn from students in a genuine way, and find clues to reflect and sharpen their observational skills. With our efforts, we could ensure that cases study truly becomes a routine research activity for teachers and acts as a catalyst for class reform.


Now after three years of intense research, we began to work with teachers on how to improve class effectiveness. As empirical research constitutes the foundation of all our cases study and improvement cycles, “never simply judging teaching by labelling good or bad” became our guiding principle. With the consent of teachers and students, we documented students’ learning in great detail, even taking pictures or filming them. Then we analyzed their learning with a microscopic approach. Never have teachers studied their students’ learning in such detail, and they approached it with great curiosity. When we showed these findings to teachers and discussed with them, it always dawned on them as to how to improve their teaching. If a teacher was serious in improving his or her skills, we would work with the teacher to map out an improvement cycle, and prepare follow-up lessons together. We shifted our observation focus from time to time, so that we could discuss different topics. With three and four rounds of case discussion, teachers could think and reflect deeper, gain new insights and come to a refreshed understanding of a classroom that “safeguards study right of every student”.


3) Achieve Breakthrough Research Results With Teachers

We would follow one volunteer teacher for quite some time and conduct comprehensive research on that particular teacher; or we could work with a group of teachers, soliciting diversified views from different schools, disciplines and school levels. Yet all in all, it’s important to help teachers formulate certain basic consensus. While it’s important to understand classes per se, it’s equally important to build a team atmosphere for mutual learning, encouragement and support. With a whole team’s efforts, we were moving progressively toward success. I have witnessed teachers’ progress in the team, which reinforced my conviction that a learning community could not only spark classroom transformation, but create a mutually helping team. Yes, this is how teachers grow and classes change!


With deepening research came fruitful results. The increasing number of journal articles and reports about us culminated in Educating with Manabu Sato: Vision and Action of the Learning Community, published by the East China Normal University Press, as a book in Daxia series (the original name of East China Normal University). It was widely received across China and was awarded the “100 Most Popular Books for Chinese Teachers” in 2015. My translation of Prof. Sato’s books also proved to be enormously popular among headmasters and teachers, and all of them were listed in the “100 Most Popular Books for Chinese Teachers”.

We published high-quality articles —— the Dilemma and Breakthrough: From Superficial Learning to Deep Learning, What is Wrong about Students’ Innovative Quality Education and its Solutions, Manabu Sato’s Learning Community Reform Plan and its Inspirations, etc., in influential academic journals such as Research in Educational Development, Global Education, Shanghai Research on Education, and Teacher’s Journal. These articles were reprinted in Xinhua Digest and Selected Articles of Remin University in full length.  With widening influence of our research and field practice, more and more people joined our learning community and allowed us to learn from each other and deepen our understanding of the learning community.

We began to explore the “shifting of roles between teachers and students” (students’ self-initiated learning as the core and teachers as facilitators) and “how to enable high-quality learning in students” in all academic subjects, an interest long-held by the academia. Yet, applying it to real classes, especially in fundamental subjects like Chinese language, mathematics, English language, history, politics, physics and chemistry, is extremely innovative and has no precedence to follow. As multiple headmasters remarked: “Despite many years of class reform and different methods attempted by schools, nobody could change the status quo of the teaching of fundamental subjects and everybody still adopts a wait and see attitude.” However, we have blazed a trail of initial success, thanks to our systematic study of all subjects and school levels, especially on how to establish an equal and mutually beneficial relationship based on mutual listening, how to design high-quality learning for students, how to guide students’ learning, and how teachers should listen, connect and digest ideas to support students’ self-initiated learning.


At the same time, we apply the methodology of the learning community to teachers’ training and research, where every participating teacher gets a chance to share his or her mind and be heard. This deepens teachers’ understanding of the learning community. I believe “the learning community approach can be applied in all human activities”, just as the saying goes, “he that pours in, pours out” —— only by allowing ideas to overflow, can we enjoy free learning and thinking. We have never been so resolute in moving ahead as one learning community, reinforced by teachers’ growth.


A Series of Rewarding Workshops Leading to Class Transformation

1)The Summer Workshops 2016-2018

In the seventh year of our cases study, our team has become much stronger with new members and schools joining us. Members who walked through this journey with us have become true experts of practice and research in the learning community. As we exchanged ideas and learned from each other more, we all looked forward to further guidance and development. When we heard the news of Prof. Sato’s upcoming visit in June 2016 to Dong Fang Primary School of Shanghai Pudong New area, all educators in Pudong learning community were excited to join his research class.  On that day, Prof. Sato first observed a theatrical class and an art class, then made an impromptu speech about the importance of art education and how it could nurture students’ creativity. This marked the first speech on art education in China and the audience were deeply inspired. When Prof. Sato returned to Japan, our Pudong research members proposed a Summer Workshop to take stock and analyze all the cases we have documented and to identify the direction for follow-up work. We decided to run a small workshop with only 20 core members and no experts would be invited to make reports. Instead, every one shall participate fully on an equitable basis in the workshop for four days. When we set the dates, all of us went on to prepare for it. The initiators of the first summer workshop were Dr. Na Zhang, Dr. Liqin Wang, Teacher Jianchu Huang, Teacher Haiyan Yang, Teacher Ming Cao, Director Rong Xu and Dr. Meiling Jiang of Shanghai Pudong Institute of Education Development.


To our surprise, in less than a week since the decision to run the workshop was made, people who registered for our Summer Workshop have exceeded 100, much beyond the 20-person estimate. To secure a larger venue, we contacted Dong Fang Primary School, Pudong Middle School, Shibo Home Experimental Primary School and Nanhui Middle School. Our initiative was warmly supported by all four headmasters of the schools: Wanhong Wang, Ruiming Ni, Zhengzheng Feng and Haiping Wang. Considering travel distance and venue size, we decided to hold it at Pudong Middle School and Shibo Home Experimental Primary School, and the workshop would be operated by Dong Fang Primary School and Shibo Home Experimental Primary School. We would execute our ideas thoroughly: running the workshop in the genuine learning community way! Prof. Qiquan Zhong, among a number of experts and scholars, headmasters and teachers all participated in our workshop. They sat down in four per table and each of them had a name plate. Every table was equipped with posters, color pens, stickers for discussion and poster writing. As there was no lecture by any expert, we played class case video in the morning, selected key scenes from the video, whose background would be introduced by a host. Then every table engaged in discussion and made posters. In the afternoon, we read and exchanged our views about the books of Prof. Sato: Challenges Faced by Teachers and Challenges Faced by Schools.


#The First Summer Workshop of the Learning Community

In the morning case study, we watched a video from Japan and China respectively, followed by a discussion. As everyone could freely express his or her opinions, disagreements and debates were inevitable. I remember on the very first day, I had a heated debate with Dr. Chongfeng Li. As we were truly concerned about China’s education, it’s natural that we were deeply invested in our discussion. In the afternoon, we reviewed the morning cases and referred to Prof. Sato’s books for inspiration and a clear solution. In sharp contrast to the morning debates, the room was quiet as all of us engaged in reading for 20 minutes any chapter we chose. This was a time we talked to education gurus and our souls. This was how the vision and methods of the learning community began to take shape in our minds. Instead of finishing on time at 4:30pm, the workshop usually ran into 5:00pm or even 6:00pm, as we allowed time for everyone to express what they have learned and thought.  I was not a good public speaker. But the frankness of exchange, sincerity and care promoted me to open my heart. I was moved to tears and spoke at great length in the workshop. From then on, I was able to freely express myself. It was a wonderful feeling. Moreover, it’s sincerity and mutual trust that power us forward. Many trailblazing teachers were inspired by the workshop, such as Teacher Xiaoye Wang, Chunyu Cheng and Ying Rui, who often recalled the inaugural Summer Workshop with fondness. It was entirely mutual listening on an equal footing, which was conducive to self-expression and emotional arousal. This kind of discussion reinforced our self-identities of “me” and “we”. Even if “I” am a commoner, “I” am being loved and respected in “we”. Every individual in “we” is empowered. This is the magic effect of the learning community!


Research is the beacon tower that guides our sail. The second and third Summer Workshops of the learning community, participated by some 500 teachers all over the nation, naturally turned into “Workshops for Trailblazing Teachers”. While three years ago, participants were just over 100 from Shanghai. Unfortunately, we cannot invite all the applicants as the conference room was already packed. We used instead livestreaming for many more teachers to join. In the wake of the 2016 Summer Workshop, Shibo Home Experimental Primary School, with the ardent support of Headmaster Zhengzheng Feng, began to implement the learning community approach by studying class cases routinely in school. These sessions were joined by teachers of other schools. Shibo also opened its classrooms to observers and supported discussion among teachers, which proved to be widely popular in the teaching community. During the three years that Shibo hosted the Summer Workshop, teachers were able to delve deep into practice and learn from each other. Thanks to the second and third Summer Workshops, the seeds of learning community have spread far and wide in excellent teachers across the nation.


The four-day workshop was carried out exactly as frontline teachers required: centering on constructing a listening-based relationship, lectures delivered by experts of various fields, joint class preparation, auditing a research class, mock classes and joint reading. Many teachers were able to teach in the learning community way once they returned to their schools, after attending one workshop. We also supported them in an all-round way by building We-chat group chats and providing online training. Teacher Qin Guo attended the second Workshop for Trailblazing Teachers, then took the initiative to teach a research class. As a result, she was able to teach in this style once she went back to school and was welcomed by her students. She quickly grew to be one of trailblazing teachers in Shanghai.

Teacher Jianzhen Guo of Jiangyan District, Taizhou City attended the second Summer Workshop of the learning community. In less than three months’ time after the workshop, she was able to formulate a healthy and deepening listening-based relationship with her students. Her class culture was transformed, and more and more teachers followed her footsteps. With her efforts endorsed by Zhongling Lin, Director General of Jiangyan Education Bureau, Teacher Guo initiated a class reform of learning community across Jiangyan district. Then many more excellent education administrators and teachers came to the “Trailblazing” Summer Workshop. They came and were deeply touched by the learning community. When they returned, they became agents of change in their own communities.

Section Chief Xuemin Liu of Chifeng Education Bureau is a persistent explorer of class reform. With the help of Xiaoya Zhao, editor-in-chief of China Education Daily, he reached us and attended our workshop and summit. Then he led educators in Chifeng to explore and apply this methodology in his city. Chifeng became a cooperation region of the Institute of Learning Community. Until now, primary, middle and high schools in Chifeng have all been implementing reforms of the learning community. Great results have been achieved in some key high schools in Chifeng City.


We hope the workshop will provide a platform of idea exchange and mutual support for nationwide experts and teachers, and in particular, guide teachers to enact innovation and change in our education system. Indeed, the three workshops have nurtured multiple excellent teachers and attracted more experts from various fields to join our research team. Teacher is like a seed, where the seed takes root, a tree will grow. Teacher is like a white sail. Where many sails gather, a harbor will take shape. We are confident that our vision of “safeguarding high-quality study right of every student” will be realized as long as every innovation effort of a teacher is recognized, every effort made by school is respected, and all of us interact, discuss, learn and exchanges ideas from each other on a larger platform to help enhance more schools and teachers, and joint efforts are made inside and outside the education system.


Founding of the Adream Learning Community:

Multiplying Class Transformation Across the Nation

1)From Shanghai to Yunan to Barkam —— Adream Takes us Forward

As cases study and workshop gained more popularity, we began to work with more people, whose key concern was education quality. By the end of 2016, Chairwoman of Adream Foundation, Jiangxue Pan contacted me and sent four executives of the Foundation to talk to me. In March 2017, Yang Tan, Adream’s Yunnan regional manager invited me to jumpstart class transformation in Gejiu City, Yunan Province and I accepted. Gejiu is so far away from Shanghai. It took me almost a whole day to reach the city: leaving home at 6:30am to catch the metro bound for Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, followed by three hours’ flight to Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province and another six hours’ bus journey to Gejiu. When we finally arrived at Gejiu Station, it has past 7:00pm. The teacher who picked us up was Yang Tan, a university student-like slim figure in his T-shirt. Later in our conversation, we found Teacher Tan was from Changhzou near Shanghai and graduated from the School of Journalism & Communication of Nanjing University. After graduation, he volunteered to teach in Yunnan. He was extremely worried about education quality in Yunan. When he joined Adream and became its Yunan manager, Teacher Tan has regarded Yunnan as his second hometown. He was trying his best to provide more resources and methods to Yunnan students and teachers.


#Dr. Jingjing Chen conducted a research class in Gejiu City in 2017

Our demo class opened on the second day in Gejiu’s Adream Center. Before we entered, it was already packed by headmasters, teachers and offyunicials of local education bureau. I first explained the vision and method of the learning community to them, then taught a reading class to third-year junior middle-schoolers. When students first came in, they were confused as they had to cope for a major exam soon. I could see nothing but boredom in their eyes. In the one-hour reading class, I assigned two tasks for them, then invited them to reflect on their reading and express their minds. Magic ensured. Students, who were timid and quiet an hour ago became fervent speakers and competed to write their ideas on the blackboard. If I were not the witness, I would not believe it. When the class was over, instead of leaving, they stayed and applauded to me. They even lined up to take my contact information. They loved this class —— much beyond my expectation, and beyond the wildest imagination of headmasters and teachers present in the room. They have never imagined a class to be so peaceful and beautiful, yet so invested by students who didn’t want to leave even it’s ended. The flame of reform sparked in Gejiu soon swept over other regions of Yunan, with participating schools and scale of activities ever expanding. We also took part in Adream’s Headmasters’ Forum and Education Bureau Heads’ Forum, where the training offered by the learning community received support from many more school administrators. Next, we pressed ahead to Barkam. Together with Jiangxue Pan, Chairwomen of Adream Foundation, we ignited passions in teachers and students when we jointly explored the secret of successful learning in class. Barkam, meaning “strong flames”, is the prefectural capital of Aba Tibetan & Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. In Barkam, we were convinced more than ever that people, even in far-flung border regions like Barkam—far beyond economically advanced cities, need to be empowered by the trailblazing force of change. As people are searching for this power, we have the responsibility to shine the light on their quest and help them succeed.

2)Epoch-Making Events: Opening of the Learning Community Summit and Founding of the Institute of Learning Community

In 2017, various forums and research activities of the learning community began to merge with the Adream system, thanks to the vision of Yang Tan, Adream’s Yunan manager, who is committed to advancing education exchanges and cooperation between Yunnan and Shanghai. These activities were well funded thanks to all the donors to Adream Foundation. In December 2017, after a year’s cooperation and preparation, the first Learning Community Summit was open and the Institute of Learning Community was founded. The learning community, for the first time, was supported by institutional safeguards and a real entity under the flag of Adream Foundation. This marked a new milestone in the learning community’s local research and practice. This “grassroots” revolution, ignited by researchers, determined headmasters and teachers who loved to conduct cases study and forums, now offered a home-base for all who joined the learning community reform. The institutionalized learning community allows us to better set the direction and plan systematically for its development. It serves as a platform to organize experts, headmasters and teachers of all levels to analyze and solve real problems in China’s education and improve China’s educational ecology.


In this Summit, more than 500 educators nationwide gathered to discuss core issues of common concern in our research and practice, while our cases study, as usual, looked into the research classes of various disciplines produced in the learning community. It’s the tradition of the learning community that everyone stands a chance to speak. Everyone is included in our class observation and after-class discussion. No one is an outsider. Every opinion is heard and valued. Everyone is living up to the community’s tenets through his or her actions. As everyone contributes his or her voices on an equal footing, a symphony is created!


In this Summit, Jiangyan, Chifeng, Xinghua, Dalian, Chizhou, Bingai and Gexiu, etc., were established as cooperation regions, and multiple schools received funding, paving the way for nationwide development of our learning community. The Institute of Learning Community also sent experts to various regions to provide systematic support, and the experiences and practice of various regions can be absorbed into our common learning community archive once they were peer reviewed. We are literally creating our local research achievements with more and more members joining our community and enriching our theories and strategies. It’s our guiding principle to stay close to teaching on the frontline with teachers and students. We use diversified methods to support individual teacher’s self-initiated improvement, assist learning community reforms at the whole school level and even in the wider regional education ecology, where every teacher, school and region contributes to the deepening and expansion of the learning community. Thanks to this healthy cycle of development, the learning community is bursting with vigor and vitality, and contributes to faster growth and greater prosperity of China’s education cause.

3) Forum on Students’ Innovative Quality: A Student-Led Class Reform

I met Teacher Yanhong Zheng of the middle school affiliated to Shanghai University at the “International Conference of School as Learning Community” held in Beijing in October 2016. She is the host of Zheng Yanhong’s Studio for Headteachers and an outstanding teacher of Chinese language and literature. She has been exploring class transformation and learned about the learning community from reading Prof. Sato. When we returned to Shanghai, she invited me to talk to her studio researchers and even went to Pudong to join our cases study. She was happy to sit in classrooms of primary and junior middle schoolers and share her observation with fellow teachers. She wrote her observation insights into one article after another. As a teacher of action, she began to apply her learning community insights into classrooms for first-year senior high students. Only in half a year, I was amazed at the level of students’ learning competence when I was invited to her class. It shows if students are set free to think and express themselves, encouraged to listen and read extensively, they can achieve amazing levels of learning in senior high school, commensurate with first-class experts in depth of understanding and maturity of expression.


The class of Teacher Zheng presented research classes in large-scale research and forums of the learning community multiple times. When she took the class to Shanghai Pinghe School to demonstrate teaching of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, students had a heated debate on “why author Kafka turned Gregor into a monstrous insect-like creature”. Students analyzed Gregor’s character as a person, insect and non-human. They not only interpreted the texts, but launched a laser sharp analysis into the complexity and uncertainty of human nature, considering the social, economic and cultural contexts of Kafka’s time and his life experience. After class, students joined teacher researchers to study their own “case”. It surprised us that students exhibited deeper understanding of class than teachers. Students presented spectacular answers to questions posed by teachers— “what are the differences between learning community and cooperative group learning?”, “how to allocate right of voices in a learning community”, “what’s the impact of learning community class on academic performance” and more! The sharp insights of students won applauds from teachers from time to time.


These insights were then translated into a huge body of students’ writing —— literally hundreds of articles as collected by Teacher Zheng, among which, several were published by China Teacher Paper. Student Longhao Cai’s research paper “Path-Finding for High Schoolers Raising Questions” won the first prize in Shanghai’s Youth Innovation Competition. Students plunged themselves into learning community and exhibited amazing learning and research competence in a short period of time, much to the surprise of teachers, parents and researchers alike. Why not turn students of this class into trainers of the learning community? Yes, let’s do it! In early 2018, we began to think how to facilitate these “Trailblazing” high-school academics to play a bigger role. With the strong support of the Institute of Learning Community, the 40 plus students in this class began to plan the “Forum on Student-led Class Reform: From Innovation to Transformation” and invited students from Pinghe Bilingual School, Jianping Middle School, Jianping Experimental Middle School and No. 2 Middle School Affiliated to East China Normal University to attend the forum. During the forum, they presented lectures, debates, open classes, press conferences, exhibition of inventions and performances to participating teachers.

In the forum, teachers were not only stunned, but taken away! Students’ liberal and rational analysis of education and its issues in class, their passionate discussion about the predicaments and solutions of education reform, all impressed us. We felt sorry that we used to know so little about students. They are actually great! As a result, teachers went to propose “A Deeper Class Reform That Shall Leave No Student Behind”. In this forum, we established the “Learning Community Leading Scholars’ Federation” and instituted students’ keynote speeches as a regular session in all major research activities. We did this because we have faith in the agency of students in class. Thus, we have every responsibility to listen to them. And the strongest testimony of the effectiveness of learning community approach comes from student’s development.

4) The Learning Community: Spreading the Seeds of Class Reform All Over China!  

The research and practice of the learning community caught the attention of education media nationwide. Experts, like President Zhenhai Lei, Editor-in-chief Qingyuan Zhu & Lan Lin, Director Xiaoyun Cheng, Dr. Min Ma, Dr. Shiqiang Xu and Editor-in-chief Xiao Chen, from major education journals and magazines, i.e., China Teacher Paper, China Education Daily, Exploring Education Development, Teacher’s Journal, Teachers’ Monthly, First Educator, Shanghai Research on Education and Shanghai Education, attended the Summer Workshops and end-of-year Summits of the learning community many times. Our research and practice were published by journals and media outlets such as Exploring Education Development, Shanghai Research on Education, Teacher’s Journal and First Educator. China Teacher Paper and Teachers’ Monthly even opened a special column for our learning community, where teachers could regularly publish their research and practice. As the learning community requires every teacher in a constructive classroom to become both a subject-matter expert researcher and a skillful practitioner in frontline research and implementation, our work has acquired both theoretical and empirical significance. What’s more, theories and practice move ahead hand-in-hand, as classroom problems are pushing forward the development of theories through analysis and solution-finding, which in turn, empowers practice. As theory thus generated is verified in practice, it exerts a genuine implication on practice and is forward-looking and scientific.


Qingyuan Zhu, Director of China Teacher Paper and a long-time supporter of class reform, has been leading headmasters and teachers to enact changes in class. Thus, he proposed a special campaign at China Teacher Paper named “Class Reform All Over China”. When Director Zhu joined a learning community class, he directly proposed that the learning community should address challenges in effective cooperation so as to allow students to learn effectively. Director Zhu participated in all our forums and summits. Then at the initiative of President Zhenhai Lei of China Education Daily and Director Qingyuan Zhu of China Teacher Paper, the former “Class Reform All Over China” was renamed into “Learning Community Reform All Over China”. As this initiative became effective in 2018, China Teacher Paper took researchers and Trailblazing teachers to disseminate concepts and methods of the learning community to places like Shanxi, Yunnan, Hainan, Shanghai, Inner-Mongolia, Zhejiang and Ningxia, hence making a great contribution to class reform and equitable education across the nation.


Where We are Heading to?

For more than a decade, our research and practice were able to make continuous progress with all the encouragement, support, participation and trust by academics, headmasters and teachers. Let me highlight a few important names in this list: Manabu Sato, Professor Emeritus of University of Tokyo, Prof. Qiquan Zhong of East China Normal University, President Houqing Yin of Shanghai Society of Education, Prof. Huixian Xia of Shanghai Normal University College of Education, Prof. Hua Zhang of Hangzhou Normal University Institute of Education Science and his team, Prof. Xuexin Zhang of Fudan University, Prof. Xiao Yang of Liaoning Normal University, President Liangen Zhao of Pudong Education Society, Deputy Headmaster Zhaohui Zheng of Jianping Middle School, Deputy Headmaster Weiyi Lou of the No. 2 Middle School of East China Normal University, Headmaster Wei Wan of Pinghe Bilingual School and his team,  former and incumbent Headmasters Zhengzheng Feng and Yi Lin of Shibo Home Experimental Primary School and their teams, Headmaster Xin Lin of No. 4 Primary School Affiliated to Fuzhou Institute of Education, Headmaster Haiying Wang of Gold Apple School and her team, Headmaster Li Li of Pudong Experimental High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, Dr. Wensheng Lin and Dr. Huilin Wu from Taiwan, Chairwoman Jiangxue Pan and her Adream team, Director Jianchu Huang, Director Rong Xu, Teacher Ming Cao, Haiyan Yang and Jianjun Ye of Shanghai Pudong Institute of Education Development, and other officials, headmasters, teachers who have been voluntarily promoting the learning community reform as well as media experts from journals and newspapers who have always supported our cause. We should not forget to mention our excellent Trailblazing teachers: Yanhong Zheng, Chunyu Cheng, Ying Rui, Xiaoye Wang, Xin Guo, Jianzhen Guo. This list is far from being exhaustive but we all share a common name: local researchers and promotors of the learning community!


Let me summarize our seven aspects of achievements. First, a deeper understanding of the predicaments of Chinese classrooms and education reform, and the scope of research. We have understood the complex ecology of Chinese classrooms through our all-out efforts of investigation and observation of China’s education. Second, a basic home-grown classroom observation methodology is established. This methodology, achieved through frequent class observation and cases study of all disciplines and school levels across multiple regions, focuses on classroom observation of a focal student’s complete learning journey, which serves as the foundational method and paradigm for localized cases study. Third, we have managed to enter the core area of class research based on a large number of student-centered class observation and cases study. We also set the tone for localized classes in the learning community thanks to the mutually enhancing cycle between class research and practice. We have produced a series of high-quality research paper and monographs, some of which began to lead the discourse of class research.

Fourth, a path for teacher’s professional development that is research and creativity oriented has been set. As more and more educators and professional teachers join the learning community, they lead frontline teachers to conduct joint research and learn from each other. They have trained a large number of high-quality, competent and highly-promising young teachers. They have witnessed in person the great progress made by these young teachers. The path thus set for teacher’s professional development has proven to be universal and scientific. Fifth, the effectiveness of localized research and practice for learning community is proven by true development of students across schools and school levels. Students are able to engage in true and in-depth learning through class reforms as research on study psychology and cognition on students of all school levels deepens. Sixth, expanding influence of the systematic not-for-profit summit forums. Led by the non-for-profit goals, all experts, scholars and educators have enhanced their research focus and level, and the summit forums are playing a guiding role in China’s education sector.

Seventh, preparation for next-stage development has been made. As our 100+Plan supports more regions to join our learning community, we began to move from pilots to large-scale incubation. As our practice and experience continue to accumulate, the inherent problems in education system became more pronounced. To solve these problems, the entire education and social system need to reflect and renew itself, and most importantly, the learning community research team need to shoulder our due responsibilities. As China’s education reform stood at crossroads, many are still confused and no action is taken. However, we, led by our unwavering vision of ensuring high-quality learning opportunities for every student, have the responsibility to prepare for next-stage of education development, thanks to our knowledge of the blind spots and issues we have uncovered in Chinese classrooms.


What’s more, we are leading development iteration of the learning community with our forward-looking and systematic research. We plan to organize China’s top experts to lead multiple systematic studies on subject-matter learning qualities and knowledge map, student’s study psychology and cognitive styles, professional standards for teachers and teachers’ professional judgement in teaching, evaluation for teaching and alternatives, digital resources and alternatives, etc., and lead on the process of turning these findings into high-quality study designs, so as to address the root cause of the predicaments and problems in current education and classrooms proactively. Led by the learning community’s firm faith in “Research First”, we center all our research on how learning happens and how to support students’ whole-life development. This angle inspires our research and practice, and also serves as the goal we are moving towards. Moreover, we are constantly improving our common community classrooms through ample dialogues with our colleagues across the nation, across sectors and across disciplines, combing the reality of local classrooms with local research findings. Led by our belief in education equality and quality, we are making every effort to meet students’ learning demands, explore their potentials with frontline teachers and enable every student to grow to be excellent and happy life-long learners.


The Institute of Learning Community is formulating a nationwide research and practice network with its regional sub-institutes. Its Summer Workshops and Learning Community Summits are conducted regularly, with Shanghai as its nationwide headquarters. In the future, the Institute of Learning Community will strengthen visits and interaction at the regional level, and promote the development of learning communities at the regional level. Since the end of 2018, we began to establish a number of sub-institutes in Jiangsu province (headed by Deputy Director General Zhongling Lin, Director Boliang Kong, Deputy Director General Yan Teng and Teacher Jianzhen Guo, etc), Inner-Mongolia (headed by Deputy Director General Lansheng Zhao, Section Chief Xuemin Liu and Director Zhifang Cong), Zhejiang province (headed by Teacher Guofu Mo, Headmaster Dongxian Ma and Headmaster Yi Zhou), Xiamen city (headed by Teacher Yanxia Duan and Teacher Pinying Pan, etc.) and Jilin province (headed by Teacher Liang Qin), while the headquarters will support all regional sub-institutes to conduct forums and cases study so as to benefit localized research and practice in more cities and provinces.


Education is central to everyone. Families have faith in education as they believe a child will grow to be a better citizen with good education. But education is not easy! Those at the frontline of education know how difficult it can be. We are constantly confronted with world-class conundrums like what kinds of citizen we want our students to become, what kind of courses we shall design for them and what kind of teaching method we shall employ to enable their better development. What’s more, how can today’s education equip children to cope with the unknown future? We could have kept the old way by turning a blind eye to these issues. But we choose not. We constantly pursue truth upfront out of our responsibility for children and the future.


Given China’s complex situation and intertwining problems, and the centrality of education to all, challenges facing China’s education are enormous. That is why everybody should work together to tackle issues in education through mutual trust and support. The vision of the learning community can be summarized as three concentric circles: the inner core circle represents students’ mutual support so that everyone can engage in confident learning; the middle circle represents teachers’ open and mutual learning as a professional alliance; the third circle represents continuous cases study conducted by schools to safeguard the learning right of students and professional teachers alike, with the participation of families and the whole society who makes a joint effort for students’ development. Only by following this path can issues in education be elucidated and resolved, and everyone in the education system enjoy a mutually supportive and trusting atmosphere. We believe the learning community represents a systematic effort to transform education, and everyone of us is both an agent and beneficiary of change. We’re not bystanders, instead, we belong to the common community with a shared future, as everyone in the society shoulders the responsibility to make education successful. As students earnestly pursue good education, we share the same dream with them, powered by our unwavering faith in the learning community!



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Adream Children Presenting Fantastically Designed Birthday Cards to Mickey

Mickey is the childhood idol and friend for countless kids. Dressed in red shorts, big yellow shoes and white gloves, Mickey is whistling and bouncing all the time. Children dream of coming face to face with Mickey. If I can meet Mickey, how wonderful it will be!


On November 18th, their dreams came true. Nine children from Adream Center schools came to Shanghai Disneyland with their fantastically designed birthday cards and joined a birthday party for Mickey!


These nine children stood out with their creative designs in “Making Birthday Cards for Mickey” campaign, jointly organized by Shanghai Adream Foundation, Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney Company (China) Limited and China Eastern Airlines. Organizers hope to stimulate children’s artistic imagination and creativity and nurture their love for art and life by encouraging them to freely create birthday cards for Mickey.



#Adream families take pictures with Mickey

For more than a month since October 26th, Adream Foundation invited children from Adream Centers all across China to contribute creative birthday cards designed for Mickey in “”. Among nearly 8000 works, nine individual works were chosen to present to Mickey and their authors were awarded “the Most Active Creative Designers”. Another 90 won “the Most Active Dreamer” Award and each was given a Disney gift box as prize. This activity is aimed at encouraging children to accomplish their own creative works for Mickey’s birthday celebration.

5#hildren present birthday cards to Mickey

Shujin Li from Inner-Mongolia was rejoiced: “Can you imagine how happy I am when I present the birthday card I have carefully designed for Mickey, with my parents and teachers surrounding me!”


#A gift from Inner-Mongolia for Mickey

An Adream worker responsible for this activity commented: “We’re very grateful to Shanghai Disney Resort, Walt Disney Company (China) Limited and China Eastern Airlines for providing Adream children with such a wonderful opportunity. As early as in 2017, Adream Foundation has been working with Disney to develop ‘the Art of Life’ curriculum to promote Competency-based art education for Chinese children.”


In that evening, Mickey and Minnie, dressed in their brand-new tailor-made birthday outfits, appeared in their birthday celebrations in front of the Enchanted Storybook Castle. They were joined by Goofy, Pluto and Donald duck. These cheerful Disney characters invited tens of thousands of tourists in the park to sing “Happy Birthday to You” together. A truly unforgettable moment!


Before “Ignite the Dream — a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light” unveiled, a projected show about Mickey’s adventure unfolded on the Enchanted Storybook Castle, pushing the celebration to a climax. Then the nighttime sky was lid by Mickey-shaped fireworks. The celebration concluded in a sea of joy and happiness.

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