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Montana teachers see what Chinese education has to offer

November 26, 2011

Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 7:30 pm

By HILARY MATHESON/Daily Inter Lake

Besides seeing such popular sites as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, three administrators on a visit from the Flathead Valley saw another part of China less well known — its schools.

West Valley Superintendent Todd Fiske, Helena Flats Superintendent Ann Minckler and Bigfork K-8 principal Matt Jensen were among 400 U.S. administrators who were part of the College Board Chinese Bridge Delegation. The delegation works with the Confucius Institute, an organization under China’s Ministry of Education that helps U.S. educators network with Chinese educators, observe China’s classrooms and learn about Chinese language and culture.

During their week-long visit Fiske, Minckler and Jensen visited Beijing and Jilin Province.

Fiske has traveled internationally and so has Minckler, but observing a foreign classroom was new.

“I was really excited to get into a foreign school see what classrooms look like, what kinds of activities students engage in and how teachers teach,” Minckler said.

The emphasis of the trip was helping U.S. educators develop Chinese language immersion classes. Chinese schools Fiske and Minckler visited had English immersion classes for students as young as third grade.

Read more here.

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