On May 31, 2010, 13 Texas middle and high school social studies teachers boarded a plane in Houston. When they landed in Beijing nearly 19 hours later hours later, they had crossed not only the boundaries of time and space, but also the borders of culture, history, personality, education and terrain. The experience transformed them as teachers, learners and people. Five weeks on the other side of the world, as participants in the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad China Seminar, had given them a new appreciation of both home and host countries, new tools and techniques to bring to the classroom, and knowledge of themselves and others as cultural beings. The China Seminar, as organized by the National Academy of Educational Administration in Beijing, consisted of classroom and field experiences, cultural tours, observation of teaching processes, presentations by experts in some aspect of Chinese life, and small group discussions comparing schools and curricula in Texas and China. The itinerary took the 13 American teachers and their two leaders from Texas A&M University to cities across China: Beijing, Kunming, Nanjing, Shanghai, Lijiang , Shangri-la and Huhehot. They came in contact with dominant and minority ethnic groups, many of whom are largely unknown in the U.S.
According to Boud (2001), journals provide an account of what has occurred. Reflection on events leads to re-evaluation of experience; seeking relationships, finding patterns and meaning and relating new ideas to prior knowledge.
While all the digital stories have inviting titles and tell about experiences in China, many of them are descriptive and only reveal one point of view. Three digital stories showed a high level of insight about Chinese culture and revealed clear manifestations of questioning, comparing, and reflecting on experience. Two of these digital stories are derived directly from events and reflections recorded in the journals.
There were descriptions of memorable meals such as a Peking Duck feast in Beijing and a Hot Pot dinner in Huhehot. Many participants mentioned the incredible traffic jam on a highway in Inner Mongolia and the night we spent in tourist style yurts. Most participants reacted to the horrors of the Nanjing Massacre Museum and the extravagance of Expo. They enjoyed ethnic musical performances in Lijiang and shopping at the Pearl Market in Beijing.
Ppt for post process paper
Fulbright–Hays Group Projects Abroad 2010 China: The Place and the People
Fulbright–Hays Group Projects Abroad <ul><li>13 Texas middle and high school teachers + 2 leaders </li></ul><ul><li>31 days in China </li></ul><ul><li>8 cities -- Beijing, Hohhot, Nanjing, Suzhou, Nanjing, Kunming, Lijiang & Shangri-la </li></ul><ul><li>Traversed by planes, trains, automobiles, buses, camels, horses & YAKS </li></ul>This program was developed by the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, in conjunction with the Institute for Pacific Asia and the Office of International Outreach at Texas A&M University, the Texas Educational Agency, the Texas Council for the Social Studies, and in China, the National Association of Educational & Administration.
To develop educators’ intercultural competence and enhance social studies curriculum and instruction on China in middle and high school classrooms in the Texas. Overarching goal of the project
International experience helps teachers by increasing … <ul><li>Competence, confidence and flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to observe, ask questions, and listen </li></ul><ul><li>Skills needed to navigate through unfamiliar cultural barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Global mindedness </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching from “real world” experience </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to “go sensitively and gracefully” into a new culture </li></ul><ul><li>Perception consciousness --- we know our views, beliefs and experiences of the world are not universally shared Decreased ethnocentricism Reduction of ethnic and cultural stereotypes </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy with students from other backgrounds and abilities, having been “the other” in a foreign country </li></ul>
<ul><li>Activities in China: </li></ul><ul><li>Design and present US educational pedagogy units to teachers in Chinese schoo ls </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in research projects associated with the Seminar, including </li></ul><ul><li>The Intercultural Development Inventory </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a daily personal journal </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to questions in a group journal </li></ul><ul><li>Individual interviews at the end of the trip </li></ul><ul><li>Design a digital story based on a meaningful experience during the China trip </li></ul><ul><li>Post- seminar activities: </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a China curricular unit & participate in a teachers workshop on China </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate accurate and relevant information about China to peers through a series of through conferences and multi-media products </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in a China workshop for teachers from throughout the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Design/implement an action research project in your classroom during the 2010-11 school year </li></ul>Project requirements:
What We Did <ul><li>Toured major historic and cultural sites </li></ul>
What We Did Visited schools (all #1) and observed classrooms
Met with teachers and administrators and shared lessons about content, pedagogy, assessments, classroom management, assignments used in U.S. & Chinese social studies middle & high school courses
Attended lectures given by experts in some aspect of Chinese life --- focus on the role of minority cultures
Group discussion sessions Questions, conflicts, impressions
Experience, reflection, learning What is the impact of an international immersion experience? Seeing Culture With New Eyes The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust A Remembrance of Things Past, 1913-1927
Participants in the study Philosophers Garden at the National Academy for Education and Administration, Beijing China Participants included thirteen middle school and high school social studies and Mandarin language teachers who voluntarily applied and were accepted into a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad seminar in China in summer 2010. All participants were Caucasian (male=4, female = 9) with an age range between 28 and 68.
During the thirty-one day tour of China, participants recorded daily events in individual journals. Upon return, researchers scanned the journals and returned the journals to participants. Teachers were asked to constructed individual digital stories based on a meaningful personal experience over the next four months. Teachers did not receive any training on digital story design beyond a one page instruction sheet. At a post trip conference teachers shared their digital stories and responded to reflection questions related to change in perception of self as a cultural being and what it meant to tell a digital story. Procedures, Data Sources, Analysis Methods Researchers used emergent coding and the causal comparative method to analyze the journal entries, the reflection responses, and the digital stories to look for patterns and evolving theme that related to an increased level of intercultural competence. To triangulate data, the digital stories are also being assessed using Bradley's criteria for assessing levels of reflection (Bradley, 1995). The researchers wanted to evaluate the impact of cultural immersion through analysis of journals and compare them to themes in the reflection responses and the digital stories to assess the impact of reflection on experience and determine if the digital stories actually became reflection artifacts that provided a window into the level of individual change.
<ul><li>Emergent coding of the journal transcripts resulted in identification of seven broad conceptual categories and related sub-categories related to understanding of China and impact on teachers: </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese culture: attitude toward life, food, housing, crowding, bargaining </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic diversity and collectivism </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy and religion </li></ul><ul><li>Socialist market economy: government control, huco system, land control, censorship </li></ul><ul><li>Education: schools, discrimination, test pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Social welfare: retirement age, health care, disability </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution, sanitation, progress and the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Urban/rural disconnect: agriculture and lack of technology </li></ul>Analysis of Journals
Analysis of the Reflection Statements Ten out of thirteen teachers who responded to the survey felt that the China experience changed their view of self as a cultural being. The China experience greatly broadened my mind and allowed me to realize that I thought about everything from a purely Western perspective. Taking my knowledge of China out of the realm of facts and figures and making contact with Chinese people reminded me of how very tiny I am in the grand scheme of things. I have found that perhaps I do have more of my own culture than perhaps I thought. I haven't had much experience with cultures other than my own, so being around a different culture for four weeks make me take a closer look at both what unites and divides us for "others." Three participants indicated that the China experience did not change their view of self as a cultural being. One said I know who I am. Another stated I can now describe the vast physical and cultural diversity better than I could before I want on the trip.
Responses to what it meant to tell a digital story indicated that eight out of twelve participants indicated that designing a digital story served as a medium for reflection on a meaningful experience My digital story has become a way to preserve and re-visit the strong sense of connection I felt as I met and observed people on our trip. It was an incredible way of putting so many of my thoughts and feelings on paper. I relive my experience every time I see it. The digital story allowed me to look back at my fear and see how it was overcome to make me a stronger person. Analysis of Reflection Statements
Analysis of the Digital Stories Bradley (1995) developed a three level framework for evaluating levels of reflection. The researchers modified this model to better reflect the evaluation of an intercultural learning experience and used the framework to rank the digital stories into three levels of reflection. Level 1: Descriptive, observations without insight Level 2: Interpretive and emotive, single perspective Level 3: Active approach, multiple perspectives, understands actions are dependent on context Three raters ranked the digital stories focusing particularly on the evidence of insights about China and Chinese culture, indications of multiple perspectives, and suggestions of new meaning derived from the reflective process. Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Another Path The Pecking Order To China with Love Rice Chopsticks and Brotherhood Lost in China My Unexpected China Paparazzi The Squatty Potty Story What China is Like Now China's Walls Friend or Foe Music of the People
<ul><li>Evaluation of the journals provided some insight into what the China Seminar participants experienced on a daily basis and allowed us to derive some categories of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Memorable meals such as a Peking Duck feast in Beijing and a Hot Pot dinner in Huhehot. </li></ul><ul><li>The incredible traffic jam on a highway in Inner Mongolia </li></ul><ul><li>The night we spent in tourist style yurts </li></ul><ul><li>The horrors of the Nanjing Massacre Museum </li></ul><ul><li>The extravagance of Expo </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic musical performances in Lijiang </li></ul><ul><li>Shopping at the Pearl Market in Beijing. </li></ul><ul><li>None of these things were mentioned in the digital stories. The journals were for the most part catalogues of daily events while the digital stories focused on participants interactions with Chinese people and Chinese culture. </li></ul><ul><li>One participant ended her journal by saying …… </li></ul><ul><li>Now the real work begins. Somehow I must find the connections that can change this from an ocean of facts, events, and impressions into some sort or coherent, cohesive unit of instruction. Hopefully as I catalog the pictures and sort out notes the right pattern will emerge. </li></ul>Discussion
Conclusion Journals provided an account of what happened. The digital stories at all levels of reflection were more indicative of the impact of an international immersion experience on teachers’ level of intercultural competence than the journals. While the journals recorded a catalogue of events, the digital stories told about participants interactions with Chinese people and Chinese culture. The digital stories provide a window into individual change and cultural experiences and visually illustrate border crossings. The digital stories stand as permanent artifacts available for further reflection and for sharing with an audience. Reflection on events leads to re-evaluation of experience; seeking relationships, finding patterns and meaning, relating new ideas to prior knowledge (Boud, 2001, p. 14).
I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. ~ Mary Anne Radmacher
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