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COVER STORY: Cultivating Global Citizens. Interview with Chuck Yang, Headmaster & Founder, Admiral Farragut Academy China
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Cultivating Global Citizens
Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Discipline and Innovation
Interview with Chuck Yang, Headmaster & Founder, Admiral Farragut Academy China

BT 202004 340x458BT 202004 QR PDFWe recently talked with the founder of Admiral Farragut Academy China, Mr. Xiaoke (Chuck) Yang who told us about his passion in life and his strong commitment to developing his career in education. His main aim is to help the young generation in China become global citizens.
 

Mr. Yang considers the most significant elements in shaping his life to be his experience in the media and later on in education. As a journalism major, his goal was to help people know the truth of what is going on in their society, and to push for social reforms and improvements. As an Investigative journalist diving into issues such as pollution and inequality, he experienced push backs which greatly shaped his value system. He believes in seeking truth, and that there is only one reality, and he wants to encourage people to push for social reforms and advancement in society.
 

Later, as a graduate student, Mr. Yang became aware of how he could have an impact on young people by working in education and showing them how knowledge and expertise could change the world.
 

Mr. Yang also believes that communication is key. Studying intercultural communication in the U.S., he became interested in cultural differences. He then personally experienced such difference, first as a Chinese student in the U.S. and then on returning to China. This made him realize that this culture shock was probably happening to a lot of young people, and motivated him to become involved in the international aspect of education.
 

以身作则
诚实、坚韧、自律、创新

专访杨晓柯博士
法拉古特学校中国区总校长

我们亲切地称呼杨晓柯博士为杨校长。杨校长曾经是天津市耀华中学实验班优秀毕业生,南京大学新闻与传播专业学士,纽约大学传播学博士。在美国纽约州政府、联合国总部任职多年之后,杨校长决定回国发展,投身于教育行业。与杨校长的对话能让我们感受到他对发展教育事业坚定的信念以及对工作和生活的激情。他相信追求真理,通过从事教育工作,能影响到更多的年轻人,用知识改变世界,为中国发展先进的教育和培养优秀的人才。他也追寻着能够帮助中国年轻一代成为全球公民的目标,像他一样,在国内接受教育,出国深造,回来报效祖国。
 

在博士学习期间,杨校长曾参与过一个健康传播项目,重点关注青少年抑郁症问题研究,帮助地方官员策划一项有效的健康运动,这段经历让他决定向教育转行,他认为与其做研究不如用实际行动为世界做些改变,帮助年轻人。
 

EXPERIENCE WITH THE AIED

COUNCIL SINCE 2011

D81 5424Back in 2011, the American International Education Development Council (AIED Council) was working in collaboration with the U.N. The AIED is a non-profit organization that promotes students and scholars to visit America, to learn at American institutions, and do long-term and short-term exchanges. Mr. Yang was the VP focusing on the Asian market, more specifically the Chinese market. He and his colleagues went into a lot of schools, colleges, universities, and K-12 institutions in the U.S. It was at this time that he first visited the Admiral Farragut Academy (AFA) in Florida. Nowadays, he is still a member of the AIED Council and maintains a close relationship with them.
 

SWITCHING CAREERS:

JOURNALISM TO EDUCATION

 MG 6671During his post-graduate studies, Mr. Yang participated in a health communication project campaign that focused on teen depression. His team went into public schools in low-income communities to interview some of the young people, their parents, their schoolmates and their school leaders to see how they could promote a health campaign to prevent more teenagers from getting depression symptoms. The aim was to use this data to help local officials design an effective health campaign.
 

This project led Mr. Yang to decide that he wanted to go into education. He wanted to help young people challenged by emotional issues, and while he appreciated the value of research, he felt that he really needed to be on the ground or in the school to accomplish that. He therefore prefers to be a man of action rather than doing research, but is nonetheless eager to get research results published so that they can quickly be beneficial.
 

ABOUT THE GREAT REPUTATION OF ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY

KN C17754 Ceremony NASA Distinguished Service Medal Astronaut Commander Alan B Shepard JrOne of the main reasons why students of AFA are accepted by the top universities of the world is the reputation of the school, which made a great impression on Mr. Yang on his first visit. AFA was a military school when first founded, so students wear navy-style uniforms, and they have a very respectful demeanor, and the Headmaster of the school is traditionally referred to as Captain, regardless of military experience.
 

Another reason for AFA’s success is that it has lots of signature programs that make the students stand out; for example, it offers a course in aviation, and students can graduate with a pilot's license.
 

It is also the students' characteristics and personality, and the fact that they are very disciplined, that makes them successful in applying to top universities. And the fact that they have varied interests and specialties, such as naval science and environmental science, makes them stand out.
 

法拉古特学校AFA—百年名校的伟大声誉

法拉古特学校成立于1933年,至今已有87年的历史。法拉古特学校在美国一直是一所非常知名的大学预备学校,每年毕业生都会被哈佛、耶鲁、斯坦福、约翰霍普金斯、康奈尔、圣母大学、伯克利、加大洛杉矶、芝加哥艺术学院等全美顶尖大学录取,这归功于这所百年名校的伟大声誉。法拉古特学校成立之初是一所军校,学生们穿着海军式校服,举止非常恭敬,严守纪律,校长们被称为上校。另外,学校有很多让学生们脱颖而出的特色项目,比如提供航空课程,部分学生们甚至可以在毕业前获得飞行员执照。
 

法拉古特学校一直以培养学生进入世界顶尖大学为主要目标,知名校友遍布全美甚至全世界。值得一提的是,人类历史上有12名登月宇航员,其中2名就是法拉古特学校的毕业生,分别是艾伦•谢帕德先生(Alan Shepard)和查尔斯•杜克先生(Charles Duke)。
 

用杨校长的话说:“法拉古特学校秉承了军事化管理传统,提倡领导能力,同时吸收现代教学理念,锻炼学生的体魄,完善学生的人格,为学生进入大学前学习做好充分准备。我想,这就是一年又一年,法拉古特学校毕业生能被全世界顶尖的学校录取的原因”。
 

FOUNDING THE ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY TIANJIN

IN JULY 2016

D81 6294After returning to Tianjin, Mr. Yang decided to expand the AFA brand into China. In 2012, after negotiation with the AFA board, the project was approved, and in June, 2013 the first Admiral Farragut Academy China program was launched in collaboration with Tianjin Yaohua High School, which Mr. Yang himself had attended.
 

AFA Tianjin started with only 18 students, all recruited from within the Yaohua School so that students would study both the American and the Chinese curriculum simultaneously.
 

This placed a huge workload on the students and drew complaints from parents that their children were overloaded, which then led to the decision to open an independent school that would run only the Farragut program. So after three years, at the end of the first high school program, Mr. Yang decided to move the program out of Yaohua and rebranded the program as Admiral Farragut Academy, Tianjin.
 

TRANSITION FROM A PUBLIC SCHOOL TO LEAD A PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL

INSTITUTION IN TIANJIN

D81 5226The transition was a very difficult process. There were some changes in personnel, but the new school didn't lose many students as most of the international department students from the Yaohua School decided to follow.
 

Currently, the school has 260 students, but it is hoped that once three buildings are in operation, the number will increase to 400, and then to 500.
 

2013年7月,和平区唯一的国际学校正式成立 ——

早在2011年杨校长曾担任美国国际教育发展协会(AIED Council)副总裁,该理事会与联合国合作,专注于亚洲市场,更具体的说是中国市场。他和同事走进美国的许多院校,正是在这个时候,他第一次访问了佛罗里达州著名的海军学校法拉古特。如今,他仍然是AIED Council理事会的成员,并与理事会保持着密切的联系。2012年,经过与法拉古特学校董事会的一番谈判,办学项目获得批准。2013年6月,法拉古特学校与耀华中学合作成立了国际部项目,即法拉古特学校天津校区作为法拉古特中国区旗舰校正式成立,也成为天津市和平区唯一的国际学校。随着生源的扩大,2016年7月,学校迁址至和平区烟台道3号。
 

CHARACTERISTICS IN POTENTIAL STUDENTS

8dff856a8bc858b2d51f1b81a46e387Students are chosen based on the school values, that is to show integrity and care for others. They should also be independent, able to solve their own problems, and responsible for their own actions.
 

Academic excellence is important, but students' potential is also considered. Not being a top student in a class is okay, but they have to show effort, and they have to show potential.
 

中国国际学校竞争力排行榜天津市No.1

法拉古特学校天津校区位于和平区烟台道3号,紧邻泰安道3号院,距离天津市丽思卡尔顿酒店仅100米。
 

学校提供初、高中阶段纯正的美式国际化教育,是一所以培养学生进入世界一流大学为目标的可寄宿全日制国际学校。
 

学校已培养出的6届毕业生,100%被美国综合排名前100的大学录取,其中50%被美国综合排名前50的大学录取。2019年12月,京领新国际公布的中国国际学校竞争力排行榜(美国本科方向榜单)中,法拉古特学校天津校区位列天津市第1名。
 

学校不仅注重学生的学习,而且注重学生的潜能发展,同时不断寻找在体育、艺术和技术方面突出的特殊人才。如果学生家庭不能在经济上支持,但该学生有决心取得成功,学校将为他们的教育提供丰厚的奖学金作为资助。
 

THE SCHOOL ALSO LOOKS FOR SPECIAL TALENT IN ATHLETICS, IN THE ARTS, OR IN TECHNOLOGY

D81 4991Furthermore, the school gives out merit-based scholarships. This means that where families can't support a student financially but that student has the determination to be successful, the school will fund their education.
 

This year, something else is being added; if a student's parent is a medical professional who supported Hubei Province during the coronavirus epidemic, the school will give that student one year's free tuition. This is to show social responsibility and help those who helped the community in that fight.

In addition, the school's student union organized a fund drive in which they collected more than 50,000 RMB, which they used to buy supplies to send to hospitals in the Tianjin area.

积极应对新型冠状病毒危机

这次新型冠状病毒疫情已经给每个人敲响了警钟,我们应该把世界看作一个整体,相互支持,尽可能地帮助他人。法拉古特中国区的学校希望尽自己的一份力量。
 

2月10日,法拉古特天津校区准时在线上开课,保证了正常的教学。同时学校关注家长和学生的身心健康,体育教师录制健身教程带学生们打卡锻炼,心理和德育教师开展了一系列有针对性的心理防疫课程讲座,还专门开设了心理热线电话。关于线上教学,学校交出了零投诉的满意答卷,且收获了家长和学生的一致好评。
 

此外,学校的学生自愿组织了爱心募捐活动,截止2月15日共募集善款5万余元。这些善款全部用于购置护目镜、医学手套、医用酒精、一次性口罩、消毒湿巾等医护用品并捐赠给天津市疾控中心等在内的20余家物资紧缺的医院及一线防控部门。

更多地,法拉古特天津校区还特别做出针对做出天津市新冠肺炎疫情防控一线医务人员子女在同等条件下优先入学,学费最高优惠5万元等优惠政策。如果学生家长是在冠状病毒流行期间支持湖北省的医学专业人士,学校将给该学生一年的免费学费。

ADVANTAGES FOR STUDENTS

Other than the fact that they will be able to get into great universities, through studying the American curriculum that encourages critical thinking, these students will become very successful in their college studies. Graduates report that it is an advantage that they are more familiar with western classrooms.
 

MAIN COURSES PROVIDED IN ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY TIANJIN

 MG 6588 500The school follows the Florida curriculum standards. Florida doesn't follow the Common Core, but has its own standard, called the CPALMS, which has six main categories: English, mathematics, natural science, social science, art, athletics, as well as electives.
 

The school further adds the Chinese language and culture because they want students to be fluent Chinese speakers. Not all classes are taught in English because it's important that students don't lose their mother tongue.
 

AP classes are also offered because some students want to take more advanced courses that would also count towards college credit.
 

在和平区,上纯正的美式国际学校

首先,学生们在入学就可以获得美国的中学学籍,以美国毕业生的身份申请海外大学,与此同时,学校使用美国进口的原版教材,为学生提供原汁原味的美国中学课程,为他们未来海外大学的申请和学习打下坚实的基础,做好良好的衔接。
 

学校提供的学段为初、高中,可接受的最小学生年龄为12岁。初中的课程安排是在2年内完成的,之后在3年内完成高中学业,比同龄人提前1年毕业。高中的学制是3年。五年制的学生和三年制的学生会被分成不同的班级。
 

遵循美国佛罗里达州的课程标准,学校设有六大类课程:英语、数学、自然科学、社会科学、艺术与体育和选修及兴趣类课程。
 

除此之外,学校希望培养具有中国文化底蕴的学生,也非常重视每一个学生中国身份的认同和中国文化的培养,因此在美国中学的课程体系的基础上进一步增加了大量的中文和中国历史等文化课程。
 

最后,学校还增设AP课程、标准化考试相关培训课程和学习能力培养课程等,实现学生们的个性化学习需求,并施以定制化教学。
 

小班制精品化定制教育

每个班级20个人的精品小班设置,让每个学生得以充分表现自我。1:3的超高师生比,让每个学生得以被老师充分关注。
 

每学期举办2次的全天8小时三方家长会,家长孩子将与全体教师进行三方面对面的交流。而升学指导中心为每个学生配有1位专属的升学指导老师,也会在每学期为学生量身定做升学指导成长报告。
 

RATIO OF STUDENTS PER TEACHER AND

NUMBER OF FOREIGN TEACHERS

D81 6395The school currently has 16 foreign teachers and 30 bilingual teachers, so the student/teacher ratio is about 1:4. The ratio of bilingual teachers, those who can teach in Chinese, is about 1:2. The foreign teachers are mostly from America, but there are also some from Canada and the U.K. They are all very experienced; the average teaching experience is about 10 years.
 

The Chinese teachers are a bit younger because they are recruited from American universities. They are graduates with advanced degrees who have studied education, and because they've had a western education, when they come back they can not only teach the subject matter but can also share their experience of learning in another country. Younger teachers are also really good with technology, which is useful for teaching online, especially in the recent crisis.
 

The majority of the students are Chinese, while about 10% are foreigners or foreign passport holders from Chinese families. Students come from Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, and also from Korea. There are also some come from the U.S. and Canada, but they do speak Chinese.
 

优质的师资是优质教学的保障

每个孩子都是一种无限的可能,而这里的老师深信自己将受益于尊重每一个孩子的核心价值。正如杨校长采访时所说的那样“我们拒绝只用一把标尺去衡量所有的学生,我们希望教育因我们而更加美好。
 

法拉古特学校天津校区现有72位教学老师,其中34位具有硕士及以上学历,25位拥有海外留学/工作背景。
 

学校的全部外籍教师均来自英语母语国家,其中大多数为美国教师,同时也有部分来自加拿大和英国。所有外籍教师均在其出生地国家拥有教师职业资格,而且曾任职于当地学校教授相应学科,平均教龄10年。学校50%的核心课程为外教教授,50%的中国教师在课堂上使用双语进行教学。
 

CHOOSING EDUCATORS

 MG 6585 500Foreign teachers are expected to have at least 5 years of teaching experience, a bachelor's degree in the subject that they teach, and a teacher's certificate or license from their home country.
 

Mr. Yang says that above all, passion for education is the most important thing; teachers must really love their job because it can be difficult, and if they don't have that passion, they can burn out very easily. They should also really be thinking of teaching as a career instead of just a job. A teacher should also be a problem solver, able to solve classroom problems independently. Another important quality is caring for the students and being willing to give help to students whenever they have time.
 

Some AFA Tianjin teachers have advanced doctorates or master's degrees. For the Chinese bilingual teachers, the requirement is higher because there are more applications than openings, so 90% have a master's degree in their field.
 

TEAM LEADERSHIP AND

EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT

Mr. Yang says that he believes in leading by example. If managers want teachers to do well, they have to show them.
 

CHOOSING ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY AS A PARTNER

It's not only about the brand and reputation of the school, but it's also about the people that one works with that really show support. There is a supporting team from the Florida campus in US to help AFA Tianjin with academic issues and college counselling, and there is also a representative from Florida that will visit almost every month to make sure the school in Tianjin is doing fine with teaching.

In 2018, the decision was made to expand to the south of China where there are more demands, and the city of Dongguan was chosen. In September 2019, AFA China opened their Dongguan campus, the second campus to be 100% owned and operated by AFA China. This is a bigger campus than the campus in Tianjin, with a full capacity of about 700 students.
 

VISION FOR ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY GREATER CHINA

Top Website Image Admiral Farragut Academy 0011 afa drone pic far 1500x430 副本In five years, AFAC hopes to have its own independent campus in the Shanghai area, and they would also like to explore the possibility of opening a school in Beijing.
 

Although there is a lot of competition, AFA China has a special character in competing with other schools. It brands itself as bilingual rather than as a full-on international school because the student body is made up mostly of Chinese students. Chinese parents have more demand for international education, so that's the market that AFA China is focusing on.
 

On the other hand, AFA China really wants to expand a sense of community across the country and deliver their education to people of different regions. Each region will have its own character but will have to follow a consistent system of educational philosophy, namely to cultivate young students to become independent individuals with pride in the Chinese culture but also with global vison and the ability to become global citizens.
 

法拉古特学校大中华区愿景

2019年9月,法拉古特中国在东莞开设了校区,这是法拉古特中国第二个完全拥有和运营的校区,是一个比天津校园更大的校区,全校可容纳约700名学生。目前法拉古特中国还有上海校区(成立于2016年),苏州校区(成立于2018年)和南京校区(成立于2018年)。
 

五年后,法拉古特中国希望在上海开设独立校区,也探索在北京建校的可能性。虽然有很多竞争,但法拉古特的定位是双语学校,而不是完全的国际学校,学生群体主要由中国学生组成,中国家长对国际教育的需求更大,这是法拉古特中国关注的市场。
 

GRADUATES OF ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY TIANJIN ROLE

2019 2020学生会合影AFA Tianjin wants students to be leaders in their area of expertise, and to consider coming back and using their talent to lead small teams and fix small things as a start. They should become experts in their own country, and then help the world. They should have a mentality of always thinking about their hometown and motherland, no matter where they are.
 

天津法拉古特学校毕业生的角色

法拉古特中国希望毕业生们能够成为他们专业领域的领导者,利用他们的才能从解决小问题、领导小团队开始,成为自己国家的专家,无论身在何处,都应该有一种时刻心系着祖国和家乡的感恩之心,在未来报效祖国。
 

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Mr. Yang also touched on the coronavirus crisis and how it has shaped the community.
 

He said that he always tells students that they shouldn't think that the problems of others around the world are not their own, and he feels that the coronavirus has been a wake-up call for everybody to realize that people cannot just be selfish, caring for their own benefits; they have to look at the world as a whole and support each other, and help as much as they can.
 

He feels that the younger generation is starting to care only about their own prosperity, and they need a broader view of the world. He explained how he communicated with students to show them that the coronavirus crisis was really happening, and that it was important to engage in global collaboration and think of those who needed help.
 

As Mr. Yang emphasizes, AFA China wants to educate global citizens who care for other people and show compassion, and his school wants to do its part, even if that is very minimal compared to what the rest of the world is doing.
 

ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY MOTTO

 MG 6610 500Mr. Yang explained that there are four words in AFA Tianjin's motto:
 

The first word is integrity. AFA Tianjin believes that every student should be honest with themselves and in doing their academic work.
 

The second word is perseverance. This is important in difficult situations and in getting through all kinds of adversity.
 

The third word is self-discipline, which is partially related to the military discipline of the school. Students are expected to self-govern and conduct themselves appropriately.
 

The last word is innovation. Students who graduate from AFA Tianjin should all have the innovative ability, no matter what job or industry they go into, to come back and help their country.

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