by Chen Kee Ng
“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.”
Hodding Carter II
‘Roots’ and ‘wings’ seem like just two innocuous words. Yet, when applied in the context of education, they conjure an imagery of our role as educators that is both powerful and poignant. As a teacher in Singapore for 9 years, and an educational policy maker for the 2 years following, these words have been the bedrock of all my endeavours in education - to provide our students with roots to anchor them to society and to fundamentals in life, and to provide them with knowledge, skills, dispositions, experience - wings, with which they can soar in life. In September 2008, as the tables were turned, and I became the student, I found myself in Stanford searching for these very things that I had sought to impart, albeit on a different dimension. Welcome to my journey ... in search of roots, and in pursuit of wings. Enjoy!