WELCOME BY SCHOOL DIRECTORS
We live in a troubled world in which national, cultural, religious, and political differences separate people sometimes to the point of disastrous wars. With all that mankind has achieved, it is amazing that such parochial differences continue to do so much harm. There is much that the leaders of the world can learn from the global success of the Ian Donald Inter-University School of Ultrasound.
This School is a living tribute to Ian Donald –the visionary physician who pioneered ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology. The School is dedicated to the improvement of all aspects of perinatal and gynecologic care. The discovery of ultrasound has enabled us to see and care for the fetus as a patient as well as visualize pelvic organs noninvasively —and has therefore brought obstetric and gynecologic diagnosis out of the dark ages. It has been suggested— with very little exaggeration-- that the three greatest contributions to modern obstetrics and gynecology have been ultrasound, ultrasound, and ultrasound.
Our School is based upon state-of-the-art science as well as a collegiality that transcends national, cultural, religious, and political differences. Teachers and students alike are united in our efforts to improve the care of women throughout the world. The international brotherhood and sisterhood that exists among physician leaders from over 100 national branches established all over the world, is a special bond that represents globalization at its best. Instructors donate their time without reimbursement as their educational efforts are truly a labor of love.
We are grateful to all national directors who have given so much of themselves to make the Ian Donald Inter-University School of Ultrasound a testament to the power of the human spirit to work collaboratively throughout the world for the betterment of mankind.
The School was born 35 years ago in Dubrovnik, a most beautiful Mediterranean city. But, „Dubrovnik“ is not a mere word, or just a name of a town. Dubrovnik connotes the spirit, the harmony, the culture and the moral integrity which is exemplary of its existence for over a millennium. Dubrovnik has long represented artistic beauty, libertarian thought, humanistic principles and, above all the dignity and freedom of the human spirit...
Where is Donald School in the Global World
At the time of fast globalization it is clear that no human endeavor is more adopted to the globalized world than science and medicine, for their very nature is global. This is an immense privilege, but equally so an immense responsibility for the development of humanity.
Globalization is both inevitable and usually desirable and contains advantageous and disadvantageous issues. It is a source of both hope and of apprehension and is an accelerating process in flow of information, technology, goods and services as well as production means. It refers to the process of increasing inter-connectedness between societies such that events in one part of the world increasingly have effects on peoples and societies far away.
Students now expect from their academic teachers help, motivation, and suitable approaches to new problems. Students enter into dialogue with their masters, and expect argumentation which facilitates their intellectual development. The authority of the masters is no longer based on titles and distinctions; just the opposite – the merits of the master are verified by a new generation of students who reject faith in masters, but instead expect to be convinced by scientific arguments. This culture requires both traditional direct contact and also indirect contact – created by virtual space. This space facilitates a system of asymmetrical education, paradoxically even from dead masters. The distance learning campaign , as elegantly introduced by Sanja Kupesic, aims to establish a distinct visual identity for Ian Donald School (IDS) and to unify all its various branches and entities into a single voice. It seeks to engage, inspire curiosity and raise awareness about IDS and supports its continued growth, giving it higher visibility and helping people everywhere to understand its work and its future goals. In general, distance learning is reflecting a universal human need to learn and understand the world around them. They will help develop strategies to establish new and enduring educational patterns, initiating actions and concrete solutions to rise to the 21st century global challenges, and acquiring the ability to anticipate the future challenges. We hope to identify opportunities to shape a global educational vision for the 21st century under the theme of Donald School distance learning. The future is built on the past. The IDS has a remarkable past. It is important that teachers and students stay as futuristically thinking scientists and teachers.
In our newly formed Fellowship program (Zagreb, Doha, Dubai, Khartoum, Moscow, Tirana, Sarajevo, Maribor, Sao Paolo), upon graduation, student laureates will earn a specialized diploma of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, with a leadership position in the work place. Indeed, IDS have to reinvent themselves in order to remain relevant to the current generation. The focus in IDS is on knowledge augmentation and not on grades. Great learners are the product of great educators.
It is hoped that IDS educators will be true, dedicated “human amplifiers”, turning education into a memorable experience.
How much of what we formally learn is ever useful in real life? Some studies show that it’s only between 8 and 12 percent.
The existing educational system is not very useful as far as the quality of its outcome is concerned; It is not flexible in embracing the Wiki world and high technology; Education is slow in moving from bureaucracy towards entrepreneurship and creativity; Separation between learning and working should be abandoned; Instead of cramming, the students should be stimulated to analyze, reason, research, inquire and “think with their own head”; Learning is important, but so is unlearning; Teachers must be able to teach the rational stuff in a cool and inspirational way; The students should be trained for attitude, not just knowledge and skills; Education must reestablish the lost connection between art and science, wisdom and practicality; Education should go lower on theory, and higher on applicability. If we want to create a better educational system, changing culture is by far more important than changing curricula. Simply stated, only 10 percent of what our students have learned during their college education was ever useful in the real life. The schools as we know them are lacking real output quality. Imagine any other production system creating only 10 percent of useful output. Would it ever been considered good and satisfactory? We cannot solve any problem by the same thinking that created it. We must redefine the concept of learning. Educational system is not very useful as far as the quality of its outcome is concerned. The schools and universities need a shift from bureaucracy towards entrepreneurship and creativity. Instead of learning by studying, we must go back to the traditional idea of learning by doing, experiencing, creating. The “students” of the future should work and study throughout their lifetime, and not, as it is now often the case, spend decades “studying”, and then, after earning a diploma (in James Bond’s terms the license to kill), move into the practical world and spend the rest of their life “working”. The existing educational system on all levels relies on rigid structure of curricula, puts emphasis on memorizing and insists on discipline. The students should be stimulated to analyze, reason, research, inquire and “think with their own head”. We must be able to teach the students of tomorrow haw to learn and how to unlearn. The professors of the future will have to be entertainers, able to teach the rational stuff in a cool and inspirational way. The good educational system provides the students with knowledge, skills and, above all integrity and values. Simply stated, we must train for attitude, not just knowledge and skills. Metaphorically speaking, education systems must reembrace the real transdisciplinarity, the notion that everything is both art and science, wisdom and pragma. Education and training aimed at producing insensitive and professional “fach-idiots” must give way to multidisciplinary concepts aimed at producing a good, competent person with empathy and social responsibility. Finally, there is a tendency in education to be too much “scientific”, which most often means a lack of applicability. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, there is nothing more practical than good theory. Too many obsolete and old fashioned theories are still central parts of curricula. The educational systems of the future will be more successful if they manage to go low on (irrelevant) theory, and high on useful practice.
If we want to create a better educational system in the future, changing culture is by far more important than changing curricula. Thomas Edison used to say that if you cannot solve a problem, you must change it.
It is a time for the leaders who will set a vision, encourage and motivate, manage change and inspire. Leadership is, above all, a capability to influence behavior of people, including their value systems. Leadership is about commitment, and commitment is about values. Leaders create visions, and make people follow them, while administrators plan, organize and supervise their teams. Administrators are susceptible to rules and regulations, based on experience. Unlike leaders who want to experiment, innovate, explore and reinvent. Leaders expect initiative and make people fight for a vision while administrators distribute tasks and expect obedience. On the other hand a leader knows that self-control is the best control, and self-motivation is the best motivation. Leaders build innovative strategies, while administrators pedantically plan activities for attaining goals. Leaders inspire the collaborators to participate in a dream-come-true experience, while administrators deal with trouble shooting.
Leaders are susceptible to risk and infrequently engage in conflicts.
Leaders receive cooperation without even asking for it.
Leaders are needed to alter the course, to innovate and take chances. Administrators keep the system running while leaders save it from failing in times of transition. Leaders are explorers, while administrators take paths already established. Since most present day systems and organizations are fully immersed in change, we need leaders, promoters of the new set of values instead of administrators, fighters for the status quo. The goal of education and training is to provide us with better output.
Creativity is defined as ability to solve complex problems in an original way. Also it is an ability to produce ideas. Innovation can be described as applied creativity or successful implementation of ideas. We serve solutions, approaches and concepts to students to memorize, and not to challenge and reinvent. Creativity means freedom and lack of creativity equals to lack of freedom. Rigid and structured educational systems do not encourage exceptions, rule breaking, free choice and open mind. Instead, they are based on discipline, order, rules and procedures. We need to change that on all levels of education and training.
Building professional intelligence is the key goal of any education and training.
What is emotional intelligence? It is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. It describes abilities distinct from, but complementary to, academic intelligence, the cognitive capacities measured by professional standards. Basic emotional and social competences are self-awareness (confidence), self-regulation (control), (self)-motivation, empathy, various social skills (communication, networking…) and optimism. As we have already mentioned, the new approach to education and training of “professionals” should put much more emphasis on emotional attitude. The knowledge on paper is very often worth next to nothing but the bureaucrats are always impressed by formal and not by the essential attributes of employees, the ones that produce real results. In times of rapid technological change the problem is how to get new, innovative thoughts into our mind, but also how to get the old ones out! The professors and teachers of the future will have to be entertainers, able to teach the rational stuff in a cool and inspirational way. Every education and training experience has its content, and its form. Instead of organizations based on fear, we should build organizations based on love. Instead of hierarchies, cubicles, SOP’s we need self-organized teams, based on friendship, partnership, common vision, and mutually agreed values. Instead of bosses and teams appointed by senior management, we need a system in which the leader is a person who calls the meeting and people show up, and teams are self-selected. Instead of goal attainment being based on command and control, we need organizational environment in which everybody is responsible, and all control is based on self-control. Traditional corporations (as well as universities and schools) have been developed in times of hard work, today most employees are knowledge workers.
New organizations need new educational value system based on passion, enthusiasm, appetite for life, engagement, commitment, great causes, determination to make a difference. The students and workers of the future will have to be trained for shared adventures, bizarre failures, appetite for change. Traditional schools and universities are rigid hierarchies, resembling corporations. We need new, internet-like environments supporting new values, creativity, innovation, and change. In traditional hierarchies, for one thing, the boss is there to catch an employee in what he does wrong. We need schools and universities in which professors and teachers will be able to catch students in what they do right! Also, the education of the future will have to put more emphasis on Win-Win attitude. We must train for the win-win attitude. Whenever you disagree on something, stop and try to resolve the situation with a help of simple question: Are you ready to give up on your proposal, and I’ll give up on mine, in order to search for a proposal which is better than both starting ones? One of the problems is a growing number of years people study and learn, being separated from everyday practice and isolated from work and real life. Instead of learning by studying, we must go back to the traditional idea of learning by doing, experiencing, creating. We keep talking about life-long learning, but in practice the concept is far from being fully operational. First of all, a separation between learning and working is not natural. The “students” of the future should work and study throughout their lifetime, and not, as it is now often the case, spend decades “studying”, and then, after earning a diploma, move into the practical world and spend the rest of their life “working”. The new paradigm requires that we reintegrate the separated approaches. Metaphorically speaking, education systems must reembrace the real transdisciplinarity, the notion that everything is both art and science, theory and practice, wisdom and pragma. Education and training aimed at producing insensitive and professional “fach-idiots” must give way to multidisciplinary concepts aimed at producing a good, competent person with empathy and social responsibility.
One of the important features of the educational system of the future must be the search for building integrity. Imagine a world in which all the students, teachers, employees, bosses and workers are educated and trained to tell the truth, keep the promise, take responsibility, admit the mistakes, abide by the rules, win the right way, enjoy life with humor, joy and humility. Nothing has conceptually changed in the USA, the leading world power since Ronald Reagan who, three years into his first term as President, appointed a commission that wrote a remarkably critical analysis of public education. Called "A Nation at Risk," this document charged that the US risked losing the economic competition among nations due to a "rising tide of (educational) mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people”. ” In 2009. EU has come up with a new framework called “Education and Training 2020” (ET 2020). The document points out four strategic objectives:
1. Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality – progress is needed in the implementation of lifelong learning strategies;
2. Improving the quality and efficiency of education and training –all levels of education and training need to be made more attractive and efficient;
3. Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship – education and training should enable all citizens to acquire and develop skills and competencies needed for their employability and foster further learning;
4. Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training – the acquisition of transversal competences by all citizens should be promoted and the functioning of the knowledge triangle (education-research-innovation) should be ensured.
The point is that we cannot see better, if we keep looking in the same direction. The education of the future will have to deal more successfully with “cultural dilemmas” mentioned in this article. I am all for change, but don’t change me, change everybody else! Education and training are at the crossroads, as they have always been. The existing school and university concepts are both, old-fashioned renaissance ideas, in desperate search of a paradigm shift.
Long time ago Immanuel Kant made a statement about education: «It is the education of a personal character, of a free being, who is able to maintain himself, and to take his proper place in society, keeping at the same time a proper sense of his own individuality.»
While we are living in a very different society from that of Immanuel Kant, his wisdom remains so true today.
In a knowledge society, where competitive edge is directly tied to innovation, Ian Donald School with over 100 branches over the World, together with our partner University of Rijeka, have to move forward. The slumber is over. The renaissance has been long overdue.
Kant was right – now more than ever.