Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA CI) and the College of Education joined hands with the Gongshu School District from Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province and launched a 16-day professional training seminar for a delegation of 24 Chinese educators.
On November 2, 2011, a group of Chinese guests arrived at the University of Central Arkansas. They were 24 educators from the Gongshu District of Hangzhou City. The Assistant Superintendent, Liqun Dai and Yan Zheng, the Principal of the Teachers’ Professional Development Training school led the delegation. The other members were different school principals and teachers representing the different schools of the Gongshu School District. These teachers taught a wide range of subjects, from mathematics, sciences, English, Chinese, civics education and physical education.
University of Central Arkansas held an opening ceremony for the seminar on November 3, 2011. UCA President Tom Courtway, Provost and Vice President Lance Grahn, as well as Dean of Education Diana Pounder attended the opening ceremony. President Courtway made the opening remarks and expressed his best to the educators during their stay in the United States.
UCA CI designed the training sessions for the delegation. Training included lectures as well as tours to six different school districts throughout Arkansas.
UCA CI invited professors from the College of Education to give the lectures. The themes involved many aspects of American education, ranging from the history of the American education system to the United States’ special education programs, to school education to the classroom management. After these lectures, the Chinese teachers had a better understanding of the American education system.
The delegation visited the Conway, Cabot, Harrisburg, Beebe, North Little Rock and Maumelle school districts to get information about the American K-12 school education systems, curriculum arrangements and culture. The six school districts prepared for the arrival of the delegation by arranging special performances from the school bands, special tours, classroom observations and question and answer sessions.
The Conway School District was the last stop for the Gongshu District School delegation. Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry expressed a warm welcome to 24 Chinese educators. Dr. Greg Murry went to Shandong province of China with a group of American principals in the Chinese Bridge for American schools sponsored by Hanban. Dr. Murry had a good time in China and he hoped that the Chinese teachers will have a pleasant and fruitful journey in the United States. He believed that the exchange of educators between two countries will enhance mutual understanding and promote educational reform.
On November 18, 2011, UCA Provost, Dr. Lance R. Grahn, attended the graduation ceremony of Chinese teacher delegation. He awarded certificate of completion to every teacher who attended the seminar and congratulated the success of the tour. At the end, Dr. Grahn commented that he hopes there will be more opportunities for exchanges and cooperation with China.