Tell Us What You Think!

A case study in trading opinions

We live in a communications era with information in ever increasing abundance, much of it available anytime and anywhere. Now we have launched Kidsnschools we will be adding to this information mountain, so before we get into this blog, let’s explore! 


Often, our first response to any new venture or experience is to say “No,” unless we are strongly convinced otherwise. If you are not a curious person you might think, “This isn’t interesting to me.” 

So here are three good questions to start us off:


1 ) What information are you going to be interested in?

2 ) What is the intrinsic value of that information?

3 ) How do we determine the integrity of that information?


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It’s natural to be curious, but as with all characteristics it’s likely we each possess differing amounts. Curious people are able to parse experience and recognise the reality behind the 'reality' of what’s truly going. They are able to ask great questions, and are willing to trade them in for better ones when they’re not satisfied with the answers they get. 


The community we plan on growing wouldn’t be possible if people weren't curious, so we hope that you will be willing to embrace uncertainty, and bold enough to come on board as we fearlessly make up the rules as we go along - and then stick with us until we eventually get it right.


We invite you to join in and listen to the voice of our community, be inspired to say something and advocate for your point of view. Ask questions and if required give your opinions, after all we all have opinions! It is important however, to understand that our opinions are based on our own limitations and limiting beliefs. Our opinions are affected by hearsay, prejudice, lack of (or wealth of) knowledge, our ability to empathise, plus any number of preceding life events.


Frequently, we find ourselves seeking other people’s opinions when making up our mind about something. That matters, because one of the worst things we can do is to base our decisions on other people’s opinions. There are plenty of people who would like to tell us what to think or what’s best for us, but we know what we really need is help, the kind of help that guides us to discovering for ourselves what feels right and best, and most advantageous for our unique set of circumstances.  


Ultimately our decisions are based on self-interest, which means decision-making isn’t logical, it’s emotional. Many of us come from a place of fear, we hesitate to make a decision and we allow this fear to spiral into an endless game of “what if?” If you have a particular goal in mind, consult with experts or others who have accomplished similar goals. While you should never allow anyone else’s opinion to cloud your judgment, it’s important to gain all the insight and knowledge you need to help you make right choices. Finally, make sure you have a good filter in place, because you are going to need it!


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I’d like to take you on a brief tour of a recent online conversation amongst Expats here in Ho Chi Minh City, maybe you! Think of it as a case study in trading opinions - which we are all entitled to do. After reading (see original) ask yourself “What message did I come away with?” “What was useful to me?” “Were the opinions expressed in a subjective or objective manner?” “How much was bias affecting what people were saying, and what were those biases?”


The whole conversation consisted of many threads, and it sparked quite a bit of interest. To me, it seemed to be hanging out there, not particularly anchored or contained within a purposeful environment. Yet there was evidently a need to know, to express concerns and  to lend each other support; but how are schools to be aware of, and respond to these mostly baseless accusations?


This spitfire post concludes that the mediocre education on offer isn’t worth yours, or your employer's money. So what exactly is mediocre about “So called International schools in HCMC” and why?


Other readers of this forum appear to have been easily convinced, and worse still the effect was to place the reputations of international schools in HCMC in immediate peril. My point is that while these contributing parents appear to have given up on international schools, their opinions will have effectively sown seeds of doubt in the minds of newcomers. In that post, international schools in HCMC were treated to a 'right royal' pasting.


The discussion does move on positively in terms of how to access home-schooling and this is perceived as helpful for some, who as I see it, just can’t afford the school fees. That’s fair enough because there are lots of things I can’t afford, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong for other people.


I confess, I do share some of the concerns expressed on that forum, and feel that there are hugely varying standards within the International schools sector in Vietnam (or anywhere come to that). My take-away from this post is that in order to be a discerning consumer, you must first understand the market. It is important to be clear about what you are being offered educationally, why it is priced at a premium, and whether your child’s educational objectives are being met.


We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

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