Keystone Magazine - Page 9

O pening a new school, and a new concept in education, requires many special qualities. One of these is fearlessness. The ambitious undertaking that Malcolm McKenzie, our Head of School, and the rest of the leadership team have launched themselves into most certainly requires unusual courage. They hope to change the educational landscape in China through the dynamic Keystone model. Malcolm is courageous to venture into this unchartered territory. And the secret to his courage is his humility, humor, unique calmness and uninhibited approach to failure. Malcolm is so not afraid to fail that Keystone’s mission states “to learn from failures bravely” as an ambition. As a deeply philosophical soul, Malcolm has naturally taken to Chinese wisdom with great respect and ardor. A bold and dedicated cosmopolitan educator, he has two decades of experience in teaching and leading schools across three continents. In this conversation, Malcolm talks about what makes Keystone Academy a world school, what traditions it will build and carry on and about the challenges and milestones ahead. Q: Keystone Academy is claiming to be a world school that will blend together the best of the Chinese, American and international education traditions. But to carry on and develop any one of these traditions is a very difficult task. How can you be so confident that Keystone will be able to blend these traditions successfully? A: I think any one of these traditions is very solid and substantial on its own. So imagine doing what we are setting out to do - taking the best as we see it of the three and bringing them together in a fusion. I do not think that it has been done before. We will take the best of the three traditions, bring them together, plait them together like you would plait hair and create something that is new, stylish and different. I am confident that it will work because it is a very compelling idea, we have very good people to do it, the timing is right to do it and the place is right. And we have the resources and the interest to make sure that it works. 7