Chinese symbol means “Learning” in MandarinI am choosing the word Connect as an defining metaphor for the talk today. Basing it on George Seiman’s theory of connectivism, which is an evolving learning theory for the digital age. In this context, we are connecting with Chinese teachers in multiple ways, but because of geography digital connectivism is central to the evolving collaborations and partnerships.
What comes to mind when you think of China?
China's territory is about the same size as that of the US.4th largest (land size) country in the world next to Russia, Canada and US.Sixty percent of the population lives in only 22% of the territory, most of them concentrated in a band of about 600 miles wide along the coast.
310 million living in the U.SChina is the worlds most populous county with 1.3 billion people and 20% of the earths population President of China: Xi Jinping since march 2013.National Geographic that by 2030 60% of citizens will live in urban areas.China has achieved economic growth over the past 30 years to become the worlds second largest single country economy.
Here are top level activities since 2007.
Chinese cultures of learning are changing so radically that stereotyped descriptions of teaching and learning practices by Chinese students and teachers are increasingly out of date.
Many scholars suggest that the teachings of Confucius are pervasive in every aspect of society, and often misinterpreted.
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“ Generations from now, when historians write about these times, they might note that, in the early decades of the twentieth century, the United States succeeded in its great and historic mission – it globalized the world. But along the way, they might write, it forgot to globalize itself.” – FareedZakaria (2011) The Post-American World, Release 2.0, p 61.
Global Competence:Investigatethe worldWeigh perspectivesCommunicate ideasApply disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertiseTake action
Connecting with Teachers in China: New Literacies, New Opportunities 10.2.2013
Connecting with Teachers in China:
New Literacies, New Opportunities
Dr. Hiller A. Spires
Friday Institute Seminar Series
1.3 billion people
Imbalance of wealth
Migration to cities
CED Delegation to Beijing 2007
US Asia Conference Board 2008
NC/China Summit 2008, 2010, 2012
Chinese Scholar Junzheng Zhang 2009
New Literacies Institutes Beijing 2010, 2013
Student Summer/Winter Camps 2011-2013
Beijing Inst. for Science & Technology 2011
Chinese Scholar Professor Dan Li 2013
Involvement Since 2007
Dr. Hiller A. Spires
Dr. Jennifer Mangrum
Dr. Lodge McCammon
Dr. Dave Frye
Dr. Kim Turner
NC/China Summit Partners:
NCSU CED , FI, & Confucius Institute
Center for Intern. Understanding
NC State Board of Education
NC Department of Public Instruction
NC Business Committee for Education
NLI Collaborators w/ BRS:
Dr. Jayne Fleener
Dr. Hiller Spires
Dr. Grant Holly
Dr. John Lee
Dr. Carl Young
Dr. Meixun Zheng
Dr. Erin Krupa
Dr. Jonathan List
Educational Reform Policy in China
Chinese Basic Education Curriculum Reform:
Focus on innovation & creativity
Centralization to decentralization in
Teacher-directed to student-centered
Transmission-centered to inquiry-centered
Toward quality-oriented education
Ministry of Education, 2001
“The superior man thinks
always of virtue; the
common man thinks of
Transcending binary descriptions of Chinese and western
education (Chan, 2009).
The paradox of the Chinese learner (Watkins & Biggs,
Bridging cultural divides is a daily negotiation process
that occurs in “humble spaces” of the classroom
(Slethaug, 2007, p. 64).
Good teaching and learning are the common
treasures of humanity (Ryan, 2010).
What are teachers
perceptions of new literacies
in the US and China?
Having Our Say: US & Chinese Teacher’s Perceptions
Spires, Morris & Zhang, 2012
A Project Based Inquiry
Approach to Learning.
Adapted from Spires, Lee, Young,
Leu, Coiro, & Castek, 2009
Fourth year of teaching
English for 10th grade
Tenth year of
teaching 10th grade
English to Chinese
Sixth year of
Physics to Chinese
She was comfortable having students create products
using technology; she enjoyed being a facilitator in the
classroom. She said students enjoyed talking with each
other and collaborating on products during class.
“Before I was skeptical about technology’s place
in the classroom. Now I see how it can be used.
Technology tools are great because they are fun
and engaging for students. They also provide
students with experience and practice in new
The class was structured with the teacher at the front of
the room and the students sitting in rows of desks. She
engaged the class in a discussion. She asked questions
and had students compare what they had written with
“In China, most teachers equipped with good knowledge
of their own subject and education theory, and yes, many
have technology, but just PowerPoint. There is no blog, no
Moodle, no modeling for how to make class interactive
and fun. The relationship of technology, pedagogy and
content is really interesting. It is different from teacher to
Used the NLI physics content lessons we had made
available on websites, since it was difficult to find
appropriate content for physics classes.
Most important idea he learned in the NLI: Design
instruction so students interact & collaborate with each
other rather than listening to him lecture.
“We need to make sure students know how to
research, find answers and valuable resources,
and to know which resources are worthy and
which are fake.”
Dr. Meixun Zheng
Former PhD. Student in Curriculum &
Adjunct Faculty at University of the
Ongoing Interactions with Beijing Royal
Professional learning communities among teachers by
subject areas to support implementing the New
Video conferencing sessions to support inquiry instruction
as part of the New Learning Ecology.
Connections between BRS and NC teachers to
collaborate and share best practices, conducting joint
inquiry projects & sharing results.
CED student internships at BRS.
Host teachers from BRS in our master's degree programs
and students for day camps at the FI.
Chinese teachers enact instructional change
along a continuum of pedagogical shifts.
Interested in creative & innovative methods of
Opportunities to share educational best practices
as we strive to provide students with a 21st century
Ultimate goal is to be good stewards of an
interconnected, global community.
What is the value proposition for
connecting with educators in
Type your comments.
Global competence: the capacity and
disposition to understand and act on issues of
global significance (CCSSO & Asia Society, 2011)
“This is the moment—this is the most
important moment right now. We
are about making a contribution.
That’s what our job is. It’s about
Images prepared by Ethos3: http://www.ethos3.com/
Li, J. (2012). Cultural Foundations of Learning: East and West. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Mansilla, V.B. & Jackson, A. (2011). Educating for global competence: Preparing our youth to engage the world.
CCSSO & The Asia Society.
Ministry of Education (PRC). 2001. Guidelines for curriculum reform of basic education (Experimental Draft). BMoE
Document No.  17. Beijing Ministry of Education, The People's Republic of China (PRC).
NC Department of Public Instruction. (2013). Preparing Students for the World: Final Report of the State Board of
Education’s Task Force on Global Education.
Ryan, J., & Slethaug, G. (2010). International Education and the Chinese Learner. Hong Kong: Hong Kong
Spires, H., Morris, G., & Zhang, J. (2012). New literacies and emerging technologies: Perspectives from middle
grade teachers in the US and China. Research in Middle Level Education, 35(10), 1-11.
Spires, H. & Zheng, M. (2012, December). New literacies, new complexities: A model of professional development
with Chinese teachers. Paper presented at the Literacy Research Association Conference, San Diego, CA.
Spires, H. (2011, October). New literacies and global learning: Implications for higher education in the US and
China. Invited keynote for the Beijing Institute for Science and Technology. Beijing, China.
Spires, H. A., Wiebe, E., Young, C. A., Hollebrands, K., & Lee, J. K. (2012). Toward a new learning
ecology:Professional development for teachers in 1:1 learning environments. Contemporary Issues in Technology
and Teacher Education, 12(2). Retrieved from
http://www.citejournal.org/vol12/iss2/currentpractice/article1.cfm (Reprint of the Friday Institute White Paper.
NC State University: Raleigh, NC.)
Stewart, V (2012) A World-Class Education: Learning from International Models of Excellence and
Zakaria, F (2011) The Post-American World: Release 2.0, (Norton Books).
Zhoa, Y. (2012). World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students. Thousand Oaks,
Zhoa, Y. (2011). Handbook of Asian Education: A Cultural Perspective. New York, NY: Routledge
Hiller A. Spires