Monday, September 14, 2015

Experiencing China: Bringing Global Ideas to Local Classrooms

by Dr. Ye (Jane) He and Dr. Kristine Lundgren

Making dumplings at Dong Li Feng Mei 
special education school
 Sponsored by the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program, Dr. Ye (Jane) He, Associate Professor, School of Education, and Dr. Kristine Lundgren, Associate Professor, School of Health and Human Sciences, led a group of 12 local teachers and education specialists to China this past summer.

Participating teachers included elementary, middle grades and high school content area teachers, special educators, English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) from 11 schools in North Carolina. Through this project, teacher participants not only explored many cultural sites in Shanghai, Su Zhou and Beijing, but also broadened their understanding of internationalization in local K-12 settings.

Learning about Chinese paper cutting and 
knot tying at Shi Er Middle School
Shanghai Normal University and Shanghai Xuhui Education Bureau hosted the group in China and offered opportunities for participants to learn the Chinese language and culture, observe Chinese K-16 classrooms and share teaching ideas with Chinese students and teachers. During their visit at the Shi Er Middle School, for example, teachers learned Chinese paper cutting, making Chinese knots and enjoyed the performance from the students in the dance club.

In Dong Li Feng Mei special education school, teachers learned how to make dumplings together with students in their life skills class. At Nan Yang High School, teachers visited the new campus and had opportunities to learn from one another ways to integrate technology in instruction. In addition to observing and participating in class activities, teachers were also invited to co-plan a science lesson as a group and co-taught the lesson to a group of 5th graders in Guang Qi Elementary School as a demonstration for teachers and administrators at the school.

Teacher participants co-teaching a 
lesson for Chinese students
Each participant was also paired with a Chinese teacher partner to exchange teaching ideas and discuss future collaboration opportunities. Many participants have brought back great ideas to include in their own classrooms and some have been keeping in contact with their Chinese partners to extend their instructional collaboration using web 2.0 tools.

While working with the teacher participants to carry out their ideas in their classrooms, Dr. He and Dr. Lundgren are busy planning for next summer’s study abroad opportunity to China. In Summer 2016, they plan to lead 
a group of UNCG students to explore and experience Shanghai, China.

For more information about the Experiencing China program, please contact Dr. He at

To learn more about Fulbright opportunities, visit or contact Steve Flynn, Coordinator of Prestigious International/National Fellowships at