Center in Action Spring 2008

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1 Center in Action Spring 2008 Chongqing Education Delegation Visiting Michigan On April 14, 2008, a delegation of ten education officials from Chongqing, China, arrived in East Lansing for a series of meetings that culminated in the Second Annual Internationalizing Michigan Education Conference, sponsored by The MSU College of Education s Office for K 12 Outreach and U.S. China Center for Research on Education Excellence, the Confucius Institute at Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Education. Led by Dr. Weiliang Zhao, Deputy Commissioner of the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission (CMEC), and Dr. Naiqing Song, Vice President of Southwest University, the delegation included representatives from the elementary, secondary and post secondary sectors.

2 Meetings began on April 15 th with a visit to the Utica Community Schools (UCS), Michigan s second largest school district. Located about 10 miles north of Detroit, UCS is one of two K 12 school districts participating in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the CMEC and the MSU College of Education. The other, Armada Area Schools, is a small, rural district about 20 miles northeast of Utica. The visit included a presentation from the provost of Oakland Community College and from UCS administrators. The delegation then traveled to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn to see firsthand the exhibits that trace the history of transportation in the United States. The business day concluded with a reception at Henry Ford Community College, a partner of Chongqing Industry Polytechnic College, one of the institutions represented by the delegation. The next day delegates met with Dr. Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University, presenting her with a silk painting depicting the traditional architecture of Chongqing. The delegation also met with Michigan State Board of Education member Nancy Danhof and representatives of the Michigan Department of Education for an overview of the education system in Michigan. Over lunch, the delegation met with the executive directors of the associations representing the state s public universities and secondary school principals. That evening they were guests at a welcome dinner hosted by MSU College of Education Dean Carole Ames. On April 17 the K 12 officials in the delegation toured East Lansing High School and met with its top administrators. The higher education officials met with faculty members in the Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) program in the MSU College of Education. In the afternoon the delegation attended a reception at the home of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Flanagan and his wife, followed by a dinner with College of Education, UCS and Armada officials to celebrate the Memorandum of Understanding to be signed the next day.

3 Members of the Chongqing delegation were both guests of honor at and active participants in the April 18 Second Annual Internationalizing Michigan Education Conference held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University. The conference featured the signing of the MOU, a PowerPoint presentation and remarks from Dr. Zhou and Dr. Song as heads of delegation, a panel discussion in which five high school students from Chongqing who had spent the week as guests of Armada and Utica students and families discussed their observations of education in the U.S., a musical performance featuring the Chongqing students, accompanied by Armada and Utica choir members, and a presentation on Building Bridges: From the Great Lakes to the Great Wall by Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson and Detroit television reporter and newspaper columnist Carol Cain. The conference s afternoon breakout sessions included a session by the Chongqing delegation among the 16 offerings on how Michigan educators can incorporate international perspectives into their classrooms and schools. April 19 th was departure day for the delegation, with participants from both nations already making plans to establish and expand relationships between Chongqing and Michigan educators. (Dr.Lou Anna K. Simon, President of MSU with Chongqing Education Delegation)

4 (From left: Dr. Naiqing Song, Vice President of Southwest University; Calore Ames, Dean of the College of Education, MSU; Dr. Weiliang Zhao, Deputy Commissioner of the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission; Dr. Yong Zhao, University Distinguished Professor) (Singing together)

5 Teachers From China Work In Michigan Schools Fourteen of our current 18 Chinese teachers have decided to remain in the US and work an additional year. With expansion of programs and new sites starting language programs, we are in the process of recruiting an additional 20 teachers to work online and at various school sites across Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee. The recruitment process has been ongoing. With the teacher certification program that allows our Chinese teachers to receive Michigan certification (Chinese language endorsement), the requirements and commitment upon the part of Chinese teachers have expanded. Interest has been high and we have currently interviewed 20 teachers with more interviews to be completed before the final selection process. Education for Global Citizenship Sites Our current programs continue to grow and expand. In addition, we are adding an additional site this fall in the Grand Rapids area. We have been busily support them by providing teacher training, materials acquisition, program development and seeing to individual site needs. 3E International Kindergarten Lansing School District Traverse City Area Public Schools Van Buren Public Schools Forest Hills Public Schools Lamphere Public Schools Berkley Public Schools Nursery thru First Grade Immersion Preschool thru First Grade Immersion Preschool Immersion Kindergarten thru First Grade Immersion Kindergarten Immersion Preschool thru Kindergarten Immersion Preschool Chinese Pseudo immersion

6 EGC Textbooks and Teaching Materials Textbooks and teaching materials for EGC kindergarten levels are complete for publication, including lesson plans, stories, songs, and so and so forth. For example, about 130 EGC stories are being illustrated by two groups of Chinese illustrators. There are two types of stories: one focuses on 10 main Chinese values with 50 stories in total ranging from the first grade to the fifth grade; the other is aligned with EGC Chinese curriculum, focusing on story telling and language acquisition. All stories are bilingual Chinese and English.

7 Chinese Teacher Certification Program Demand for teachers of the Chinese language and culture is surging in the United State. In 2004 the College Board conducted a survey and found that 2,190 schools across the country were interested in offering AP Chinese. However, the supply of teachers who are highly qualified to teach the Chinese language and culture is very limited in the United States. As of 2007, there were only four undergraduate programs at American colleges and five graduate programs at American colleges that credential teachers of Mandarin Chinese. In the last five years, those programs turned out zero undergraduates and 7 to 8 graduate students (source: College Board Certification Survey Data). This disjuncture between supply and demand has led to creative solutions to the teacher shortage. As a result, many schools are resorting to hiring un or under qualified teachers to teach their students Mandarin or using volunteers to teach Mandarin. The award wining CI MSU has partnered with the highly regarded MSU College of Education to create an innovative program to credential Mandarin speaking teachers. The specialized, three semester program provides a high quality education to prepare teachers for certification and endorsement in Chinese as a world language. The College of Education is currently accepting applications for the first cohort in the new Chinese experimental post baccalaureate teacher certification program. For more information on the program, please visit the programs website ( web3.educ.msu.edu/te/postba/chinese/). Confucius Institute at Michigan State University (CIMSU) In the past three months, Confucius Institute at Michigan State University (CIMSU) has been continuing working on its development and instructional projects. For its development work: Chinese Your Way o Five Units of Volume II have been finished so far and the rest of the units are going to be finished in summer. Volume I has been piloted in online high school course for one year and potential issues have been identified that would be incorporated into the development of student exercise book and teacher handbook this summer.

8 International Baccalaureate Organization Diploma Program: Online Mandarin Chinese Curriculum Ab Initio o The development of the curriculum for the IB online mandarin Chinese Ab Initio course has already finished. They are going to be migrated into the course management system this summer. The Ab Initio course is going to be piloted among the IB schools in February Second Life Chinese School o A lot of language and culture oriented quests have been built into Second Life Chinese School to make it a rich learning environment. Learners embark on interesting journeys through conquering those quests collaboratively, through which they assist each other in learning Chinese language and culture. Chinese Culture Appreciation Material o 12 more units of Chinese culture appreciation material are under development. The current 20 units of Chinese culture appreciation material have been used in more and more schools and have been much liked among the teachers and students. Online Chinese Courses o Online high school courses are expanding its scale and have served around 350 students from 133 schools in Michigan and 10 other states in the spring semester. The two pilot online college level courses in Second Life Chinese School have also served students from Michigan and 2 other states. Publications o The three textbook series that are developed by CIMSU are going to be published in China. These three series include Chinese Your Way, Chinese Culture Appreciation Material, and One Character a Day.

9 New Book Publication The US enjoys the largest and most highly regarded higher education system. What is the supporting force to such system? What are the characteristics of the management, administration and effectiveness of American basic education system? How do elementary and secondary teachers work in the US? What is a typical school day for American elementary and secondary school students? questions like are of great interests not only of the teachers, experts and publishers who are going to dedicated in Chinese language education, but also those of educational administrators, teachers and students in elementary and secondary schools in China. Based on these concerns, US China center compiled and published the Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the US, which is edited by Dr. Yong Zhao, Dr. Anlin Wang and Dr. Wengzhong Yang, and published by Beijing Normal University Press. This book provides a comprehensive as well as detailed picture of the characteristics of elementary and secondary school teachers in the US, their daily teaching and educational activities. The Center in Action is the quarterly newsletter of the US China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. The newsletter is designed to document and disseminate information on the Center s activities.

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