“Chinese Bridge for American Principals” Successfully Held with Signing of 145 MOUs on Cooperation

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2018-11-27 17:29:28 
 

The 2018 “Chinese Bridge for American Principals” was held from November 3rd to 11th. A total of 150 education administrators and principals of major elementary and secondary schools from 27 states and Washington D.C. of the US were invited to visit China. During the week, delegates travelled to Heilongjiang, Tianjin, Shandong, Henan, Chongqing and Guangdong in six groups, visiting local elementary and secondary schools, observing multi-disciplinary courses, as well as conducting in-depth exchanges with principals, teachers and students thereof. The provincial (municipal) education departments (committees) also held lectures on comparison of the education systems in China and the US and on the introduction of local basic education, and the China-US Principals Cooperation Fair. During the American principals’ trip in Beijing, giving full play to its advantage as a platform for international Chinese language teaching research, Beijing Language and Culture University carefully arranged various activities for the delegation, such as field observation of Chinese language teaching, lectures, experiencing of traditional and modern culture and other activities.


Principals visiting the Confucius Institute Headquarters

The trip focused on actual effect and achieved fruitful results. The delegates visited 37 Chinese elementary and secondary schools and universities in different groups. A total of 162 Chinese schools participated in the China-US principals’ meeting, during which 145 memorandums of understandings (MOU) on cooperation were signed, laying a solid foundation for further cooperation and exchanges between Chinese and American schools.


Visit of principals to a Chinese school’s class

During the visit, the delegates also talked their feelings. Michael J. Lassiter, Principal of Highland Park High School, said, “This experience has strengthened my understanding of Chinese culture, history and the extent to which China lays emphasis on education. Bringing together education workers from China and the US will help us equip our students with the qualities of international citizens and create a more collaborative world through our joint efforts.”


Agreements signing between Chinese and American schools

Edith Mourtos, Principal of the Sunnyvale School District, said, “This is my first visit to China, and I am impressed by the schools, people and food here. China is a very modern country and develops rapidly. What impressed me most of the education in Tianjin is the great importance schools attached to both students’ academic achievements and the cultivation of personalities. Although Chinese courses are not offered in my school yet, they are included in extracurricular activities which students can choose out of their own accord. We will continue to accumulate experience and strive to integrate Chinese courses into our daily teaching, so as to better help our students grow into international citizens. This is a great experience.”


Principals visiting Chinese schools and having a PE class

Randall Lee Bower, Vice Principal of CY Middle School, said “This is my first time to China, before which I only knew the country through news, movies and TV. I used to think that Chinese students worked very hard and measured everything by scores. However, after coming to China, I found that Chinese students, just like American students, also have a strong sense of social responsibility. I have two daughters and I will definitely let them learn Chinese in the future for learning Chinese is learning the culture. Should I have chances to visit China again in the future, I will take my daughters with me.


Principals visiting Chinese schools and having a calligraphy class

On the basis of summing up the successful experience of previous years, a series of activities were added including four themed seminars, lectures on “teacher training, certification, specialization and professional development”, and experience sharing meeting on “how to establish and carry out China-US inter-school cooperation”, winning recognition from representatives.


Principals visiting the Chinese schools and making dumplings with students

On the afternoon of November 9th, the closing ceremony and summing-up report was held in Beijing Language and Culture university and attended by Jing Wei, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director-General of Hanban, Liu Li, Zhang Baojun, President and Vice President of Beijing Language and Culture University, and Linda Liu, Vice President of the College Board. The US representatives who visited six provinces and cities presented a comprehensive summary and report in their videos and PPT.

Ms. Jing Wei, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director-General of Hanban, said in her speech that although Chinese and American education workers come from two countries with completely different cultural backgrounds, they have a lot in common: as education facilitators, everyone strives to provide more opportunities for the next generation to make friends and know about the world, showing children cultural diversity, ethnic groups and religions, hence they should not judge others by their own opinions but learn to be more inclusive. Also, as facilitators, everyone is working hard to enable students to enhance their team spirit and cooperation skills while learning knowledge and foreign languages so that they can learn from each other’s strengths on the basis of mutual respect, and work together to discuss and deal with common challenges and problems faced by human beings. Ms. Jing Wei also said that she was very pleased to work with the College Board to build a platform on which thousands of education workers from China and the United States can enhance mutual understanding, promote exchanges and dialogues between different provinces, school districts, schools and teachers and students, thus opening many doors for future inter-school exchanges and personnel exchanges between China and the United States.


Jing Wei, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Deputy Director-General of Hanban

In his speech, Liu Li, President of Beijing Language and Culture University said that education-based people-to-people and cultural exchanges have become a profound driving force for promoting cultural exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations. In the future, Beijing Language and Culture University will join hands with the American education community to promote the cultivation of Chinese language talents and the targeted teaching for foreign students who study in China; expand communication channels, and continuously deepen China-US people-to-people and cultural exchanges; continuously deepen cooperation and establish cooperation on key educational projects in China and the United States. Beijing Language and Culture University has established a sound cooperation foundation with the American education community, upon which it will further promote cooperation in areas of Chinese language teaching, cultural exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations.


Liu Li, President of Beijing Language and Culture University

Ms. Linda Liu, Vice President of the College Board, said in her speech that the event benefited her immensely and gave her a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and history. She was very pleased that the College Board had been working hand in hand with Hanban for more than a decade. She also said that language communication and intercultural communication were very important abilities, and the College Board would continue to provide such opportunities for students in the future. She expressed sincere gratitude to the Chinese side for all the preparations for the project and said that although the trip to China was coming to an end, it was only the beginning of the friendship between both sides. In the future, China and the United States will strengthen their ties and seek more opportunities for cooperation.


Linda Liu, Vice President of the College Board

“Chinese Bridge for American Principals” was co-held by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and the College Board to further deepen American education workers’ understanding of the Chinese education system and Chinese culture, and to promote the development of Chinese language teaching in the United States. Nearly 6,000 American education workers have visited China through the project, which is one of the important projects of the dialogue mechanism of people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and the United States.

 
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