Disney Funds Creative Education in China

Image by ToGa Wanderings*

Disney is at it again. In 2011, The Walt Disney Company co-sponsored America’s Imagination Summit, the major education event that Lincoln Center Institute held here in New York City. Now Disney has announced that it will donate $1.6 million to support the United Nations Children’s Fund and China’s Ministry of Education, as they work to enhance the education—and creativity—of young people in China. I applaud the organization’s depth of commitment.

With Disney’s contribution, creative programs will reach 1,200 teachers and tens of thousands of third-through-fifth graders in five rural counties, China Daily reports. The programs will provide new, child-oriented teaching methods and materials, in order to make learning more playful and engaging for students. These include group games that articulate curricular concepts and, at the same time, develop cognitive and collaborative skills. (Click here to read a recent post about changes to education in East Asian countries.)

“We at Disney believe it is critical to harness the power of creativity to help children…create the future they imagine,” said Jay Rasulo, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Walt Disney Company, on a trip to Beijing. “It is our hope that Disney’s investment will help nurture the creative thinking skills necessary [for young people] to become innovators and entrepreneurs of the future.”

The initiative will be carried out, and assessed, over the next two years, after which time recommendations will be made so that more Chinese schools may replicate the model. I for one am eager to see the results of this auspicious East-West partnership.

*There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image.

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