Educators’ Preview has continued to present opportunities to learn more about Chinese history, culture, society and education through dynamic lectures presented by Dr. Du Ruiqing and Dawei Yang, partners of Arcadia at Xi’an International University.
Discussions about Confucianism and its impact on Chinese student values and ideas compared to that of American students challenged the educators to consider their interactions with their own students. China’s large population—and education system—has also presented fascinating dialogue between the American educators and Chinese educators and students.
On Monday, the group had the privilege of hearing from an accomplished Chinese student, Tobey, and his mother, who told the story of his experience of 11 years in the Chinese education system and one year in the U.S. education system. Hearing about his firsthand experiences and comparison of the two cultures and systems provided much food for thought for the group.
After each morning’s lecture, discussion continued during a bountiful traditional lunch on campus with a number of Xi’an International faculty, staff and students. More casual conversation about differences and similarities between cultures satisfied everyone’s appetite.
“The highlight of the entire trip for me was visiting the students at Xi’an Foreign Language School,” sadi Marybeth Competelli, referring to the afternoon visit to the boarding school in Xi’an on June 25. Educators had the opportunity to take a tour of the school and speak with Chinese students during an English class.
Rounding out the visit to Xi’an were sightseeing opportunities at the City Wall, the Big Wild-Goose Pagoda, the Terra Cotta Warriors and informal tours of the city with Chinese university students.
Summing up the Preview experience thus far, Jean DiSalvio, guidance counselor at Voorhees High School said, “This has been a life-changing experience for me; it embodies the potential for us [the participants on this trip] to go home and act upon the things we’ve seen and learned. I’m looking forward to sharing this experience with my students and interacting more with the foreign exchange students at my school—contributing and gathering information from them, along the lines of the global mission that Arcadia articulates.”
The group departs this morning for Qingdao, where they will visit Jiaozhou High School and continue this empowering and eye-opening journey.