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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 1 - Blogging from China

The following is the first in a series of blogs posted by Dr.Bob Morrison, Mansfield ISD Deputy Superintendent, from his current educational tour of China.


Day One from China:

Mr. Newsom and I arrived in Beijing at 4:00 am on Tuesday morning. There are over 400 educators from all over the United States going through this week’s activity. Since we are coming from both coasts and arriving at various times throughout the day, the first day’s activities are sight seeing and trying to get you adjusted to the 13 hour difference in our time.

I think on the first days post it would be appropriate to let everyone know who is sponsoring educators from around the United States to China. The Chinese Bridge for American Schools is our host group. The College Board, who is the organization promoting college readiness courses in MISD and throughout the United States, is in partnership with our week's activities. There will be times of cultural experiences throughout the week, as well as several visits to local schools. This is especially exciting for all the educators in the group. I am interested in how other countries reach out to their students and make academics a priority to students.

For those who know me and my eating habits, I feel a blog describing my experiences with the local food would be entertaining. Let me back up for those that don’t know me that well. I am one of those people who could eat pizza (Mama’s), burgers (The General Store in Rendon), and fried chicken from just about anywhere on any day and be completely content. So it matters not what country I am visiting, finding something that I will naturally want to eat would be difficult. My mother always told me that I would grow out of it. I will be turning 45 this year and she is still waiting. Additionally, I don’t like my food to touch or remotely being mixed together. I joke with those who know me and tolerate my eating habits, that my stomach is divided into compartments so it never touches even after I eat it. So everyday, I will attempt to tell you of a dish that I tried, as well as those that there was no way I would give it a try.

I am looking forward to sharing my as well as our group’s adventures and observations. The Chinese people have been wonderful and are outstanding hosts. I believe this will not only be a tremendous learning experience, but will provide opportunities to understand how education is impacting the global world.

Dr. Bob Morrison

Photo of Tiananmen Square courtesy of Shizhao.

9 comments:

Debra Permenter said...

Dear Dr. Morrison,

I am excited about the opportunity you and Mr. Newsom have to visit China. Years ago I lived and taught in Korea. The student I met studied long hours from an early age in order to pass placement exams that determined their high school and beyond education routes. Do you find a similar situation for Chinese students? Also, is English a required subject for the students there?

I look forward to reading all of your blog postings, especially the ones about your food experiences. Have fun, and take lots of pictures.

Sincerely,

Debra Permenter
Ben Barber Career Tech Academy

minade said...

Dr. Morrison,

What is the greatest difference between our two cultures that you and Mr. Newsom have encountered, so far, during your trip? I have never had the opportunity to travel outside the US and am curious as to how difficult it must be for students to adapt to our culture that have moved to the United States from other parts of the world.

I look forward to reading your next posting. I hope you and Mr. Newsom are enjoying your experience in China!

Debbie Minardi
Wester MS

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the question Debra,
According to our interpreters, all students in China are required to attend school through the eight grade. In the eight grade the students are tested and from that point on the students will take a college or a vocational route. All students in China are required to take English. Any student who wants to be admitted in A Chinese University must pass an English test prior to their admittance.

Bob

Bob Morrison said...

Thanks for the question Debra,
According to our interpreters, all students in China are required to attend school through the eighth grade. In the eighth grade the students are tested and from that point on the students will take a college or a vocational route. All students in China are required to take English. Any student who wants to be admitted in a Chinese University must pass an English test prior to their admittance.

Bob

Bob Morrison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yvonne said...

Hi Bob,

What a great opportunity you and Mr. Newsom are having. I would like to know how they teach English in the schools. Does it begin in primary and continue through 8th grade? How much time is devoted to English as a second language?
Also, what have you eaten so far?

I'm looking forward to your next posting.

Yvonne Davault

Bob Morrison said...

Thanks for the question Debbie,
According to our interpreters, the Chinese learn about the American culture from watching TV. We tried to explain to them that is not exactly what it is like in the US. I am most impressed with the Chinese people’s willingness to learn as much as they can from our group. You can definitely see a difference between the way the younger Chinese have embraced the Western Culture.
Bob

Bob Morrison said...

Thanks for asking Yvonne,
We leave Saturday to tour the Chinese schools, so I will be able to provide much more information at my later post. English begin for the Chinese student in the first grade.
Bob

Lindsay Daniel said...

Hey Dr. Bob, thanks for the Mama's Pizza name dropping! I hope that the pizza you ate in China was at least decent, although I know they probably have nothing like Mama's there. Come and visit us when you get back!

-Lindsay from Mama's