LN hosts educators from China

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LN hosts educators from China

Elizabeth Coats and Matthew Kretler

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On October 15 and 16, Lawrence North hosted international visitors from Hong Kong, China. These delegates are educators at Chaioiao high school. They are a part of a program called the Chinese Education Connection. It is used to promote international understanding between Chinese and American education systems. This program allows Chinese teachers to visit America and to learn about extracurricular classes and American teachers to visit China to learn about STEM classes. It provides a service for the professional development for Chinese educators and American educators.

”The Chinese Government pays their way to come over, and the objective is for them to learn about US education, how we teach. We do a lot more student involvement and project-based learning. They’ve not seen that before and want to learn about that,” Vice President of the Chinese Education Connection Phil Boley said.

The Chinese Education Connection program is not limited to high school teachers. Students from elementary to high school and teachers from preschool to high school are given the opportunity to experience the differences in the education systems. 

“We have student groups come. We have a high school group that is with Fishers high school and some several elementaries we have partnerships either up north in Warsaw, Indiana or we’ve got some partners with some other HSE schools,” Boley said.

These Chinese schools mainly focus on the core classes: math, science, social studies and language arts. The teachers stand at the front of the room and provide the information needed while the students have little participation in class and don’t ask questions. This program is an opportunity for these teachers to experience a culturally different way of teaching and potentially apply these differences in their own classrooms. 

“You find greater buildings, so many classes and subjects and the teachers respect your individuality very much. All these impress us very much. We can apply some of your ideas and actions into our classrooms, however they are two different countries. We also have our own advantages compared with yours. We want to learn some from you,” teacher Cai Mei Fen said.

Their main interest for visiting is to learn about the career planning in American schools. In a 2014 study, Chinese students were the most likely to not think about plans after their high school graduation in comparison to Japan, Korea and the US. When these students were asked what kind of guidance they wished their schools would provide, the majority of the Chinese students wanted help to discover their own interests, while the majority of the American students wanted materials that they could immediately use for jobs.

“We want to learn something about how you students to choose your career when you are studying in high school from 9-12 and chose different categories for different careers,” said teacher Gu Hui Liang.

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