2017 “Chinese Bridge for American Principals” Successfully Held with Signing of Hundreds of Memorandums of Understanding on Cooperation

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2017-11-16 08:57:56 

2017 “Chinese Bridge for American Principals” was successfully held from November 3rd to 11th. A total of 187 educational administrators and principals of some major elementary and secondary schools from 28 states and Washington D.C. of the US were invited to visit China. During that week, delegates not only visited some elementary and secondary schools in Beijing, experienced traditional Chinese culture and went to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, but also traveled to Tianjin, Henan, Shandong, Shaanxi, Sichuan and Fujian in six groups to experience distinctive local culture, visit local elementary and secondary schools, observe class activities, and interact immensely with principles and students of local elementary and secondary schools. The trip focused on actual effect and made fruitful achievements. The delegation visited 60 universities, elementary and secondary schools. And 121 schools of China participated in the China-US Principals Forum and Cooperation Fair, during which 158 memorandums of understanding on interschool cooperation and exchanges of teachers and students were signed.

Delegation visiting Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban)

During their stay in China, the US delegates highly praised China’s great progress in education, and emphasized from various perspectives the significance and high demand of strengthening educational cooperation and exchanges between the two countries. Director of Academic Affairs from International Leadership of Texas said: “The visit to schools in Shandong Province has really broadened my vision, and I have learned many things. I hope I could provide more information about China for my students and teachers. I wish I could have the opportunity to further promote programs about China at our school when I go back home, so more American students would have access to learn Chinese and know about modern China and Chinese students. I want my students to know that there are many opportunities and miracles ahead, and the world is much bigger than we used to think. We need to make joint efforts and step forward hand-in-hand.” Principal Douglas Parker from H. B. Emery Jr. Memorial School expressed that, “We cannot move forward if we are stuck in the office and stick with our outdated ideas. We must create an open and sincere China-US dialogue mechanism, and share our best practical experiences in order to progress continuously, benefit students and create a brighter future.”

American principals riding Mobike

American principals playing with kids from Taishan Middle School Affiliated Kindergarten

In the afternoon of November 10th, Jing Wei, Deputy Director-General of Hanban and Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters, attended the closing ceremony and summing-up report meeting of the delegation of American principals at Beijing National Day School. She expressed that, “Although China and the US are far from each other and have many differences, the two countries shall become cooperative partners rather than competitors, or even rivals. Both countries emphasize the significance of education and are willing to provide more opportunities for the next generation to learn each other’s language and culture, which help them to better understand and trust each other. I have heard from principals present here that they recognized the meaningfulness of holding such event, because through this program, we have seen that students, their parents, and even their communities are undergoing some positive changes. We both hope that the next generation can be open-minded and tolerant individuals who are capable of learning and accepting different ways of thinking and living, and are capable of respecting cultural diversity in order to make the world safer, more beautiful, cleaner, and more prosperous for all. I hope that every delegate could continue strengthening exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and offering better learning opportunities.” Linda Liu, Vice Chair of the College Board expressed her gratitude to the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), and mentioned that though the visit to China was short, it was indeed life-changing, and cultivating students with global view is an extremely important task for everyone.

Jing Wei, Deputy Director-General of Hanban and Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters delivering a speech

On the closing ceremony and summing-up report meeting, six groups of American representatives reported their visits to China through PPT, videos, playlets and other mediums. They said that they had a deeper understanding about China’s preliminary educational system, the advanced pedagogy for all-around development of students’ moral, intellectual, physical, aesthetics, and labor education, as well as the emphasis on education and focus on cultural traditions. They witnessed Chinese teachers’ love towards their students and dedication to being teachers, and students were also hard-working. They were willing to work collaboratively with Chinese schools.

Experiencing a pottery class

Observing class activities

Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and the College Board of the US launched “Chinese Bridge for American Principals” since 2006. Hundreds of American principals and educational administrators were invited to visit China every year. So far, more than 5,000 principals have visited China via this program and they experienced in person about China’s historical culture and a Chinese society that is undergoing reform and development, as well as established closer partnership with schools in China.