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SCSD principals Steven Kaufman and John Triska go to Shanghai.

SCSD principals Steven Kaufman and John Triska go to Shanghai.

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Shanghai Trip Shanghai Trip Presentation Transcript

  • China  Schools   Visit:     Shanghai  and   Hangzhou      May  9-­‐19,  2012  John  Triska,  Steven  Kaufman  SCSD  Principals  
  • This  May,  Steven  and  I  were  fortunate  to  visit  Shanghai  and  Hangzhou  as  part  of  a  delegaJon  of  California  public  school  principals  parJcipaJng  in  an  exchange  program  between  the  California  School  Boards  AssociaJon  and  Shanghai  Municipal  EducaJon  Commission.  The  enJre  program  is  funded  by  the  SHMEC  with  no  costs  to  parJcipaJng  districts.  
  • QuoJng  the  CSBA  webpage  that  describes  it,  “The  goal  of  this  program  is  to  foster  beSer  understanding  of  the  educaJonal  philosophies  and  structures  in  the  educaJonal  pracJces  of  both  countries.  It  also  serves  to  help  students  on  both  sides  of  the  Pacific  in  preparing  for  the  challenge  and  opportuniJes  in  the  increasingly  interconnected  world  of  the  21st  century.”  
  • You  may  remember  Shanghai  Principals  Jenny  Li  and  Lili  Xu  who  spent  6  weeks  visiJng  BA  and  CMS  this  fall,  staying  with  a  BA/CMS  family  and  being  hosted  for  meals  and  events  by  a  number  of  our  families.  (In  the  middle  picture,  BA  parent  Parker  Yan  helped  interpret.)  
  •  Our  trip  to  Shanghai  allowed  us  to  visit  the  schools  of  our  Shanghai  visitors,  and  also  schools  in  nearby  Hangzhou–  where  educators  are  interested  in  developing  sister  schools  relaJonships  with  California  schools.  
  • The  Chinese  delegaJons  were  gracious  and  generous.  Here  the  superintendent  of  the  Hangzhou  EducaJon  Bureau  presents  a  book  to  Dr.  Bruce  Carter,  Emeritus  Professor  of  Sciences  at  Pasadena  City  College  and  former  President  of  the  California  School  Boards  AssociaJon.  Our  other  leader  on  the  trip,  Professor  Jenny  Quan  of  Pasadena  City  College  serves  as  CSBA’s  China  Liaison.  
  • Before  hosJng  us  at  an  elaborate  banquet,  the  vice  superintendent  of  the  Hangzhou  EducaJon  Bureau  took  us  on  a  boat  tour  of  West  Lake,  a  well-­‐known  resort  desJnaJon  in  Hangzhou.  On  the  leb  is  Ashley  Melton,  Assistant  Principal  of  Berkeley  High  School.  
  • At  Xixing  Experimental  Primary  School  in  Hangzhou,  I  was  greeted  at  the  gate  by  a  student  council  and  staff.  Next  to  me  is  Headmaster  Zhang.  
  • I  spent  the  day  with  Mr.  Zhang  and  the  welcoming  staff  of  Xixing.  I  was  impressed  with  the  similariJes  and  differences  between  this  school  and  those  in  our  district.  As  a  primary  school,  Xixing  houses  1st  -­‐6th  grades.  Kindergartens  are  separate  schools  in  this  part  of  China.  
  • While  classrooms  looked  similar  to  ours,  in  fact,  many  things  were  different.  At  the  elementary  schools  we  visited,  children  learned  in  40-­‐minute  blocks.  Teachers  taught  just  two  of  these  a  day,  on  average.  At  the  start  of  class,  a  brief  musical  selecJon  lets  teachers  and  students  know  to  be  ready.  At  the  end  of  class,  another  piece  plays  to  remind  the  teacher  to  conclude  the  lesson.    
  • Unlike  in  our  schools,  teachers  in  elementary,  middle,  and  high  schools  have  desks  in  separate  offices  where  they  work  when  they  are  not  teaching  children.  The  offices  are  grouped  by  subject  areas.  This  is  the  cubicle  of  an  elementary  math  teacher.  Her  son  is  featured  on  her  desktop.    
  • Twice  a  day,  gentle  music  accompanies  eye  exercises.  We  were  asked  if  many  children  in  California  are  near-­‐sighted.  The  teachers  and  principals  we  spoke  with  believe  eye  exercises  help  to  eliminate  vision  problems.  Without  a  doubt,  they  are  resjul.    
  • A  calligraphy  teacher  asks  children  which  of  the  two  featured  arJsts’  wriJng  relates  most  to  the  photo  of  the  ocean,  and  which  to  the  photo  of  the  mountain  stream.  Children  stood  to  share  their  thoughts,  and  she  wrote  them  on  the  blackboard.  
  • The  students  are  told  to  turn  and  talk  to  their  neighbor  to  share  their  reasoning.  Of  course,  I  was  a  big  distracJon–  the  first  non-­‐Asian  principal  to  visit  their  school.  
  • The  kids  wave  as  the  headmaster  and  I  walk  by  their  class.  That’s  right,  no  teacher  in  the  room!  They  are  taking  a  break  between  periods.  
  • This  is  the  teachers’  lounge  and  reading  room,  another  place  to  be  when  out  of  the  classroom  
  • In  the  teachers’  presentaJon  hall,  staff  aSend  meeJngs  and  professional  learning  gatherings.  Oben  teachers  from  other  schools  join  them  here,  or  this  schools’  staff  may  travel  to  join  another  school  at  their  site.  CollaboraJon  and  sharing  of  lesson  plans,  as  the  teachers  told  us,  “is  the  standard.”  We  saw  these  rooms  at  every  school  we  visited.  
  • The  cafeteria  is  big.  Student  calligraphy  is  framed  on  the  uprights.  It’s  noisy,  but  the  children  contain  their  energy  well.  Teachers  take  turns  eaJng  meals  at  the  tables  with  the  children.  The  food  is  simple  but  plenJful.  This  is  a  happy  place.    
  • In  the  staff  dining  room,  Mr.  Zhang  and  I  take  Jme  to  eat  a  real  meal–  exactly  what  the  children  eat.  Each  of  us  has  four  dishes:  rice  with  a  fried  egg,  mushroom  soup,  BBQ  pork  ribs,  and  cooked  greens.  We  finish  with  enormous,  delicious  apples.    
  • Aber  lunch  and  a  walk,  I’m  treated  to  a  tea  ceremony  by  the  music  teacher  and  these  girls,  part  of  a  tea  acJvity  class.  All  1st  –  6th  grade  students  take  elecJve  acJviJes  like  dance,  vocal  music,  calligraphy,  fine  art,  table  tennis,  and  instrumental  music,  to  name  a  few.    
  • This  boys’  dance  acJvity  group  performed  a  dance  about  a  well  known,  comical,  misfit  Buddhist  monk.  
  • I  enjoyed  performances  by  a  variety  of  acJviJes  groups.  
  • I  was  glad  to  be  visiJng  on  good  terms.  .  .    
  • The  choir  acJvity  group  performed  their  first  ever  song  in  English  for  me.  
  • In  the  art  studio,  Mr.  Zhang  pointed  out  the  recycled  boSle  art,  and  shared  the  school’s  philosophy  around  reducing,  reusing,  and  recycling.  I  shared  our  BA  PRIDE  Club,  and  gave  him  our  neoprene  blue  and  gold  bracelet.  
  • This  very  compeJJve  third  grade  boy  easily  beat  me  in  an  impromptu  game  of  table  tennis.  I  take  solace  in  knowing  the  Chinese  are  famous  for  their  Ping-­‐Pong  skill;  six  of  the  top  eight  players  in  the  world  are  Chinese.    
  • Back  in  Shanghai,  Headmistress  Jenny  Li  (at  my  side)  shared  Ma  Lu  Cai  Joint  Middle  School  for  7th  -­‐9th  grades–  established  1957,  and  rebuilt  in  1999.  Pictured  are  some  teachers  and  a  number  of  “directors.”  Schools  are  staffed  with  many  posiJons  we  are  not  familiar  with,  including  communist  party  representaJves  and  a  “Director  of  Moral  EducaJon.”  
  • This  is  the  master  who  wrote  the  calligraphy  hanging  in  the  BA  office.  Here  he  teaches  bamboo  carving–  important  to  the  school’s  “bamboo  culture.”  
  • I  had  no  idea  what  a  beast  Steven  is–  he  showed  off  his  physicality  in  the  staff  gym,  on  the  volleyball  court  at  PE,  and  at  Ping-­‐Pong–  and  while  he  insists  the  PE  teacher  was  “just  being  nice,”  Steven  beat  him  on  his  home  table.  
  • Just  before  lunch,  Steven  and  I  met  with  the  student  council.  They  had  many  quesJons  for  us  about  our  schools  and  students.  What  do  our  students  like  to  do  in  their  free  Jme?  What  are  our  school  rules?  How  do  we  like  their  school?  What  are  some  differences  we  see  between  our  schools  and  students?  Then,  the  obligatory  photo  shoot.  
  • The  school  is  modern  and  well  equipped.  Here,  students  worked  individually  at  science  tasks–  preparing  for  the  9th  grade  exam.  At  9th  grade,  students  are  sorted  into  two  tracks:  academic  high  school  preparaJon  for  university,  or  vocaJonal  high  school  preparaJon  for  work.  There  are  also  vocaJonal  colleges,  but  we  were  told  most  placements  in  vocaJonal  college  are  obtained  by  lower  performing  academic  track  students.    The  biggest  difference  between  the  Chinese  and  American  educaJonal  system?  In  China,  one’s  career  opJons  are  virtually  decided  by  an  exam  in  9th  grade.  
  • Aber  visiJng  Ma  Lu,  an  excursion  to  the  800  year-­‐old  Confucius  Temple  at  Jiading  in  Shanghai  was  eye-­‐opening.  There  we  learned  about  the  origin  of  the  examinaJon  system  in  China,  which  began  in  the  Han  dynasty  in  206  BCE,  when  open  examinaJons  were  first  used  to  fill  posts  of  high  government  officials.  At  the  base  of  the  system  was  Confucian  philosophy  advocaJng  strict,  conforming  behavior  for  an  ordered  society.  While  the  exam  system  is  no  longer  used  to  fill  specific  government  posts,  it  is  clearly  sJll  fundamental  in  the  educaJon  system.  
  • Next,  we  spent  a  day  in  Shanghai  at  the  1st-­‐9th  grade  school  of  our  visiJng  principal  Lili  Xu,  here  at  my  side.  Two  intern  English  teachers  interpreted  for  us.  They  also  lead  Young  Pioneers  at  the  school  (a  communist  party  version  of  Girl  and  Boy  Scouts).  
  • The  schools  we  visited  did  not  have  front  desks  with  school  secretaries  checking  people  in  and  out.  We  saw  no  one  who  would  answer  parent  phone  calls.  On  the  other  hand,  each  school  had  guard  shacks  at  the  gates,  with  at  least  two  uniformed  guards  keeping  track  of  who  arrived  and  leb.    
  • During  our  visit,  the  school  held  an  earthquake  drill.  Again,  many  similariJes  and  differences.  The  students  covered  their  mouths  with  handkerchiefs,  ducked  down,  and  ran  to  their  evacuaJon  site.  The  children  on  the  ground  floor  covered  their  heads  against  dropping  materials.  The  evacuaJon  itself  took  just  2  minutes.  Amazing.  
  • The  earthquake  drill  lasted  over  an  hour–  with  many  speeches,  awards  for  students  who  had  shared  ideas  to  improve  preparedness,  and  a  poetry  recital  by  students  and  their  Young  Pioneers  advisor.  Note  the  many  teachers  in  the  background.  In  the  schools  we  visited,  school  staff  numbered  at  least  4x  ours  here  in  California.  
  • Again  at  this  school,  there  is  a  10  minute  break  between  periods,  during  which  the  teacher  departs  and  the  children  are  free  to  amuse  themselves,  use  the  bathrooms,  etc.  unJl  the  next  class  begins.  Despite  the  apparent  lack  of  supervision  at  these  Jmes,  we  witnessed  no  behavior  problems.  Children  of  all  grade  levels  and  teachers  interacted  happily.    
  • We  were  invited  to  rest  in  the  “Cave  Bar,”  a  staff-­‐only  café  where  teas  and  coffees  are  served  by  a  school  employee  barista.  Steven  and  I  considered  keeping  this  place  a  secret  from  our  staffs,  since  they  will  otherwise  certainly  demand  one  from  us!  (I  asked  what  they  watch  on  the  big  screen  TV–  and  they  said  it  was  broken.)  
  • We  visited  a  first  grade  English  class.  Our  visiJng  principal  Lily’s  daughter  is  at  front  row,  center.  The  lessons  were  a  mixture  of  carefully  prepared,  interacJve  PowerPoint  slides  and  cartoon  videos,  singing,  clapping,  and  conversaJons  with  each  other  and  teacher.    
  • We  learned  that  many  of  the  acJviJes  school  children  parJcipate  in  are  compeJJve–  including  the  morning  exercises  with  which  each  school  begins  the  day.  This  is  the  school’s  team,  with  members  from  each  grade  level,  preparing  for  a  meet.  To  our  minds,  they  were  perfect-­‐-­‐  but  their  coaches  sJll  shared  criJcal  feedback.    
  • Three  acJvity  classes:  In  the  arts  class  above,  students  used  lighters  (!)  to  heat  glue  sJcks,  and  worked  together.  At  the  boSom,  a  group  of  older  boys  sorted  through  metal  and  plasJc  pieces  in  their  roboJcs  class.  The  instructor  showed  us  trophies  won  in  local  and  regional  compeJJons.    
  • Three  more  acJviJes  classes:  tea  ceremony,  at  which  we  saw  three  boys  parJcipaJng  among  the  girls;  strategic  games  class;  and  a  matchbook/stamp  collecJng  acJvity.  
  • In  the  dance  studio,  these  girls  in  a  dance  acJvity  class  rehearsed  a  piece  about  the  daily  life  of  school  children  in  China.  The  opening  music  was  Flight  of  the  Bumblebee–  but  midway  through  the  number,  the  music  changed  to  tradiJonal  Chinese.  Steven  and  I  were  moved  by  the  beauty  of  the  choreography.  
  • Dr.  Carter  and  his  wife  stand  in  the  gate  of  the  Songjiang  No.  2  Senior  High  School,  established  in  1904.  The  gate  has  a  history  of  its  own  daJng  back  to  220  AD.  This  school  is  about  40  km.  southwest  of  downtown  Shanghai.  All  senior  high  schools,  vocaJonal  and  academic,  are  private.  CompeJJon  to  aSend  the  “best”  high  schools  is  fierce–  since  performance  there  will  determine  university  entrance  opJons–  and  is  based  enJrely  on  the  exam  taken  at  the  end  of  9th  grade.  
  • Songjiang  high  school  juniors  cram  for  the  test  that  will  determine  their  placement  in  university.  Our  guide  told  us  about  half  aSend  “very  fine”  universiJes.  Below,  a  poster  announces  interviews  by  U.S.  universiJes  including  Cornell  and  Stanford  (center).  It  is  not  uncommon  for  Chinese  university  students  to  receive  visas  to  study  abroad.  
  • The  delegaJon  with  the  headmaster  (center)  of  the  Shanghai  Jonjiang  No.  2  Senior  High  School.  In  addiJon  to  the  school’s  long  reputaJon  for  academic  excellence,  it  is  also  known  as  a  “garden  school”  due  to  it’s  beauJful  campus.  Most  of  its  students  are  boarders.  
  • Steven  and  I  feel  fortunate  to  have  been  allowed  this  glimpse  into  Shanghai’s  and  Hangzhou’s  elementary  and  secondary  schools.  We  hope  to  keep  in  contact  with  the  new  friends  we’ve  made,  and  will  look  for  ways  to  exchange  ideas  that  can  benefit  our  students  and  theirs.  We  thank  the  many  San  Carlos  families  and  staff  who  helped  make  this  exchange  possible.  非常感谢 (Extreme  graJtude.)