2018 Chinese Bridge Enable Californian Educators to Better Understand China

[Source]    Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University [Time]    2018-07-12 09:14:15 

The SF State Confucius Institute’s 2018 Chinese Bridge Tour for American Educators enabled educators to start and strengthen their institution's Chinese programs and partnerships over a 10-day-long program in China. School and district leaders were invited to apply for this unique, educational trip to China as guests of Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban). The activities and itinerary of this program were tailored especially to meet the needs of schools and districts that are planning to start new Chinese programs and/or expanding Chinese language and culture programs. The trip is to help all participants better understand Chinese culture, society, and education system as well as build up partnerships with schools in China through visiting activities and educational exchanges. Participants learned how to start, strengthen and expand their programs, make connections with other educators, and gather valuable resources.

Educators visiting Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban)

During the tour, the delegates visited Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and had a meeting with representatives and program coordinators from different divisions. They discussed the possibility of inviting guest teachers to K-12 schools, the logistics of the local teacher training, and the requirements of the standardized Chinese Proficiency test. The group also visited the College of Chinese Language and Culture at Beijing Normal University to learn about the program for graduate students in International Chinese Education and Chinese curriculum for foreign students at BNU. Also, Professor Jiayong Li from Faculty of Education at BNU gave the delegates a lecture about the facts, changes, development, and challenges in Education field in China from past to future.

Educators visiting College of Chinese Language and Culture (BNU)

Also, to let the delegates feel and get to know Chinese basic education in first hand, the Confucius Institute at SF State organized the delegates to visit total four schools in Beijing and Guangzhou. In the Experimental Primary School attached to Beijing Normal University, the delegates visited a music class and met with Vice Principal Jun Ma. In the Third High School attached to Beijing Normal University, the tour group observed the after school programs. Then in Guangzhou, the delegates visited a physic class in Guangzhou Science City Secondary School. The teacher’s humorous teaching and hands-on opportunities for students to engage with the subject matter surprised them. In Tianhe Wushan Elementary School, the principal introduced what they had done to meet the demands of students with special needs.

Delegates visiting Tianhe Wushan Elementary School

What’s more, the delegates also made several sightseeing excursions in Beijing and Guangzhou. In Beijing, experience and understand the long history of China, the tour group visited the Forbidden City, Tian’an Men Square, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace as well as enjoyed the Peking Opera. In Guangzhou, the participants visited Wuyang Sculpture Park, Canton Tower and a historical site to get to know the development of last 40 years in China and efforts behind it.

Educators Climbing the Great Wall

Through visiting various sites in Beijing and Guangzhou, the participants received insightful information about current and historical cultural aspects of China including K-12 education, higher education, and society development. The introduction of basic education in China gave the delegates a brief picture of what has happened in China over the past 40 years, including the great development and its reason. It inspired thoughtful comparisons and discussions among the delegates regarding Sino-US schools. During the tour, the school administrators gained a stronger understanding of the practices and processes in China compared to their own work. They also found common internal and external challenges that demonstrated the universality of education and its changing needs. By visiting school, the delegates had a chance to make in-person professional connections as well as to visually grasp the comparison between US local public schools and Chinese public schools in class style, class size, teacher training, school facilities, curriculum development, academic standards, etc.

Also, meetings with Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and BNU expanded the future opportunities for cooperation in volunteer teacher, teacher training, Chinese test, and other aspects. The similar goal made the cooperation better able to happen. During the trip, delegates and represents from CI Headquarters and BNU shared their current situation in Chinese education development. The participants said that they got more information about what they could work together in the future. And, they expressed that they would push these intentions into reality and made some changes in both US and China.

In total, the 2018 “Chinese Bridge” Tour for US Educators to Visit China was a great success in giving opportunities for local K-12 schools and school districts to build up connection and cooperation between China and US. The tour is like a bridge between the East and the West for participants on both sides to know each other better. The delegates showed their gratitude for seeing the various things that were similar and different in both educational systems.


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