Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
It is a ligature "囍" composed of two Chinese characters 喜 (xǐ, 'joy'), compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and often modified in various ways.
The shuāngxǐ motif often appears on decorative items associated with Chinese New Year celebrations and weddings, the latter of the two is often found all over the wedding ceremony, as well as on gift items given to the bride and groom. The color of the character is usually red, occasionally black. (wikipedia)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Redesigning a Culture of Learning featuring Alan November
Monday, January 31, 2011, 6:30 - 8:00 PM @ Oakland Schools
2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford, MI, 48328
Alan November, recognized internationally as a leader in education technology, has guided schools, government organizations and industry leaders as they plan to improve quality with technology.
In this special presentation, Alan will explore what essential questions and planning processes are needed to prepare our students to have a global work ethic, and how to turn our classrooms into global communication centers.
He will share his work on redesigning the culture of teaching and learning with concrete tools, websites and ideas that educators, parents and community members can take and use with students to create a more empowered authentic model
Great to be back in the US where I can access my blog. Don't take anything for granted!
I will post a few reflections in the next week or so along with video and pictures.
December 6, 2010
I visited three schools today and each visit was amazing! The teachers and administrators were so kind and every school made sure our visit was memorable. China is very proud of their progress in education over the past thirty years and after today I can see why. I have learned many things over the course of the past two days and look forward to visiting other schools tomorrow. Each visit begins with a welcome session and ends with exchanging gifts. The sessions with their staff provides us with a brief history of the school and an opportunity to ask questions. The questions however are asked in the presence of administrators and are carefully answered. It is the conversations I have had with the students and the teachers outside the supervision of the administration i find intriguing.
Creativity is, I believe, one of the non-negotiable characteristics of a quality education. Teachers and students must have the freedom, the knowhow, and the expectation to be creative. I firmly believe that when given the chance, all of us have a creative side that is essential in our learning. When the keynote speaker at our welcome banquet last night spoke of China’s efforts to reform education and stated that creativity is pivotal, it caught my attention. According to her, the slogan for educational reform for the next decade is, “Escape Chinese Education.” She strongly stated that in order for China to compete in the global arena, they must be more creative. Sound familiar?
My “covert” conversations revealed an environment very similar to ours here in the Untied States. Teachers feel they do not have time to be creative since they have loads of content to cover. They feel the pressure of assessments and take on the burden of preparing their students for very high stake tests given during the university application process. The students I talked to feel “powered down” at school, not having many technology tools to use within their classrooms. One student told me, “I do not like Chinese schools, we have 13 lessons a day and that is too much time to sit and listen.” He then went on to ask me if I facebook and wanted my cell number. I responded by asking how he is able to access facebook since the government does not allow it. He just smiled like many 16 year olds I know and said, “I’m creative!”
As different as China and the United States are, today showed me that we have something in common. We have children that need our support, need our care, and most of all, need the opportunity to be creative. Escaping Chinese Education, from what I have learned, means to escape the same environment we have been trying to escape in education for years. No matter what country, state, or district we work and live in, we MUST advocate for creativity among our teachers and our students. China is pushing ahead to transition into a movement that the United States has already started. Both countries have a long way to go but as long as it continues to be a priorty and the teachers themselves are motivated to make it happen, creativity can not be denied for long!
G.E.E.K.ed in Chionqing,
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I am equipped with questions sent to me by parents, students, and teachers.
Thank you for sending these- it has helped frame a vision for what I hope to learn from this trip.
I am told that blogger is available in Beijing, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Look for updates