The Camden Conference presents Kyle Tong at the Vose Library, 392 Common Road, Union, Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m. His talk will be “Chinese Education: 20 Years of Evolution from Catch-up to Leadership.” This event is free and open to all. The talk was rescheduled from Jan. 9.

The past 20 years of education in China has been a period of constant change. There are forces internally and externally that drive these changes. Curriculum serves several masters, so some aspects of the educational system are quite progressive, while others remain virtually unchanged.

Having worked closely with the 1-million-student school system of Hefei for two decades has allowed Tong to have a fairly unusual window into the soul of China through the education of its young. Tong will talk about the traditional systems, how they have been jerked into the 20th and 21st centuries, and how simple demographics drive so much in education, as well as societal thinking. He will attempt to get beyond the stereotypes and delve deeper into the mind of the Middle Kingdom.

Tong has been an educator for 35 years. Since graduating from Bowdoin in 1983 with a degree concentration in East Asian history, he has been a teacher and administrator at independent schools in Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, Ohio and Maine, where he is currently the assistant to the head for special programs at Lincoln Academy.

While at Columbus Academy in Ohio, he started the East Asia Institute, which involved teacher and student exchanges in East Asia and teacher training in Hefei, China. An author of two textbooks on American language and culture for Chinese students and teachers, Tong received the Columbus Council for World Affairs Award for Outstanding International Educator in 2007. In 2013, he was bestowed with the title of Honorary Citizen of Hefei, China, for his work with the city schools.

For more information, visit camdenconference.org or call 236-1034.