Teacher China Trip Summer 2010

exhausting day- but interesting

Our schedule this week is very busy. We are going this afternoon to a museum here in Beijing that focuses on ethnic diversity in China. We have learned that one of the things Americans have gotten wrong about China is that we think that it is basically ethnically homogenous: all Han Chinese. I am sending a group picture of our visit Monday to the Beijing NGO Association for International Exchanges where we were most graciously received with tea, speeches, and gifts. Any foreign exchange that takes place in China, we were told, has to go through them. Xu Qiang, the Secretary General, answered some of our questions and promised to look for a compatible school for the Asian Academy. He shared with us, and echoed some of the major points of another speaker we had earlier in the week, that the Chinese recognize some qualities of American education that they wish to emulate. In fact, Xu Qiang has placed his son in a primary school that does not focus on testing, and puts major emphasis on stimulating creativity and individualism. He worries that when his son gets to middle school, however, he will have a problem with the constant testing that determines every student’s future here in China. Later that day, we met a man who is working as an educational consultant coaching Chinese students applying for college in the U.S. He says everyone has SAT scores in the 800’s but what they need to play up is ” thinking outside the box”, confidence, maturity, and extra-curricular activities.

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