4 aspiring Chinese teachers visited campus from September 30 to October 18 in order to observe American instructional practices. China is changing its education system, adopting a new curriculum and trying to reduce stress for its students.
Vanessa, who plans to become a teacher of English in her home country, said that her school in Beijing is trying to adopt methods from America, Britain, and Australia.
Vanessa noted the strictness of traditional Chinese schools, as students must sit up straight, not talk, and listen to the teacher’s lecture. The teachers “just give you the knowledge and push you to learn, and that’s really stressful,” she said.
According to Vanessa, students in China don’t have a lot of free time like American kids do, where “the time is flexible, and students can do their own schedule and their own thing.”
In China, the College Entrance Examination fosters competition between students and is extremely stressful, as it is only taken once each year. “Especially in China, students they don’t have their free time anymore because they need to study really hard. We are really stressful, we have many pressure[s], and we need to struggle for that,” said Vanessa.
Future Mandarin teacher May said that her experience at Campolindo was valuable. “I have learned a lot of things about Mandarin class here,” she said.
Natalie, who hopes to teach science, added that she will implement what she learned in her future classes. “I want to add more student activities in my class,” she said. “The most important [thing] for learning science is [for] the student to do something.”
Miley agreed that the most important part of a class is student activities. “I think there are many things we can learn, mostly about teaching method,” she said. Miley added that if the students “have more relation with their life, [it’s] maybe better.”