USCPF and Sidwell Friends School:
“Considering China,” a Pilot Program for Teachers
Written by Lucia Pierce, Program Coordinator
As educators, we are dedicated to helping our students become global citizens. This means not only connecting our curriculum to current issues but also exploring how the past shapes the present and impacts the future.
The goal of the program is to provide a professional development opportunity to teachers who do not teach Chinese studies but do teach courses in which China can and should be integrated To address these issues and in celebration of its 10th anniversary, the US-China Policy Foundation and Sidwell Friends School are co-sponsoring “Considering China,” a pilot program for teachers. The pilot program, open to independent school teachers grades 7-12 in the Washington Metropolitan Area, runs for two summers: 2005 in Washington, DC and 2006 in China.
To this end, nine teachers from five independent schools participated in a two week workshop this summer from July 5 – 15 and will travel to China in the summer of 2006.
The two-week workshop has two main components: 1) exploration of China’s rich and diverse culture; and 2) discussion, strategies, and materials for teaching about China in the classroom. Through discussion, lectures, films, guest speakers, and field trips, focused on literature, art, history, economics, and contemporary politics, participants looked at China’s rich cultural heritage as well as new developments in China’s dynamic present.
During the 2005-2006 academic year participants will meet monthly to continue their study and to refine a research focus for their trip to China in the summer of 2006. They will spend at least two weeks in China during which time they will work on projects defined during the preceding academic year. Based in Beijing the teachers will interview and meet with specialists in their areas of research. In addition to their period of research, there will be meetings with educators, public policy specialists, government officials, and artists and arts administrators. After their research in Beijing the group will travel more widely in China.
The teachers taught a variety of disciplines: World History, World Art, World Geography, English, Japanese language, History of Film, History and Theory of Non-Violence, American Government, and Journalism. The academic coordinator of the program and teacher of the course is Lucia Pierce, Director of International Studies Programs at Sidwell Friends School. Participants were: Jacqueline Grazette and Taeko Wu from St. Albans School; Elizabeth Angney, Diane Marimow, and Michael Woodring from The Bullis School; Carol Hillman and Maggie Kozicharow from Holton-Arms School; Leonard King from Maret School; and Kenneth Okoth from The Potomac School.