8/30/2006

Learning Dialogue: International Education

Recently there was a posting to this Weblog promoting email exchanges between our students and students in China. This prompted a comment from a faculty member questioning the value of our faculty and student exchange programs, particularly with China. This prompted a number of comments from other faculty. Therefore, I am setting this seperate topic posting. Please review the comments associated with this topic and add your thoughts.

8 Comments:

At 9/03/2006, Blogger Sheldon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9/03/2006, Blogger Sheldon said...

I realize that this section deals with email exchanges, but I'd like to comment on the larger picture.

Besides emotional growth and other intangible and unmeasureable aspects, I'm still not sure of the purpose of this exchange we're engaging in with Taizhou.

A dozen or so Faculty and students have made the trip, using many thousands of dollars during a fiscally difficult time, and I haven't seen anything showing how this is actually contributing to our college or to the education of our students.

Is there a purpose for the connection of our school to a "sister school" in a remote area of China?

The choice of concentrating so much on China confuses me, too. We could get just as much of the intangible benefits from a connection with schools in any of the European countries, schools in Africa, or even a University somewhere in our own state, the latter of which might actually increase the likelihood that students will continue in their education. I can't imagine any of our students moving to China to get their degrees.

Several Faculty, Staff, and a few Administrators have privately expressed the same questions I do above, but few have chosen to address them to the people making these decisions. Hopefully someone can clear this up here in the blog, because we need to speak up if the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

 
At 9/05/2006, Blogger Mikelyn said...

While I have not taken students to China, I have taken them to Europe, and I find this to be the most rewarding educational experience for the students. We may think that students know about the world, but most of them think that every place is like America. They are overwhelmed to find out that hamburgers and pizza are not everyday food in other places of the world. They are surprised that pizza in Florence is not like the pizza at Round Table.
If we want our students to really understand the world and what is happening in it, they need to experience it first hand, and if email helps students to truly understand what other areas of the world are like--what an inexpensive way for them to learn and grow as individuals and productive members of society.
My most recent trip abroad was to Sydney, and even though this is an English speaking country, settled by some of the same peoples that first came to the East Coast of the United States, there are so many cultural difference. The students going to Sydney this semester will return different--in a positive way. They will mature and grow that only experience can teach. E-exchanges can only broaden student experiences that the classroom cannot do.

 
At 9/05/2006, Blogger Vicki said...

I can understand what you are saying Sheldon, snd to be honest, I have had similar thoughts at times. However, perhaps we should ask, to borrow from a well respected president, not what China can do for us, but rather what we can do for China. It is in this act of offering service and assistance to others that we also gain. We are a global society, and I do believe we have a responsibility to each other. It is often in the most unselfish actions that we benefit the most. We owe it to our students to expand their horizons, broaden their thinking, and instill a global responsibility, so as they become fully contributing citizens they know the right questions to ask, and the appropriate direction to take to keep our world functioning in a healthy and positive way. This is not to say that much of this could not be accomplished by study in other countries, but fate brought China to us, so this seems like the logical place to start. I apologize if this is sounding a little too idealistic or philosophical, but it comes from my heart after my personal experience in Taizhou. Had you been there, I doubt you could respond any other way. Are these exchanges valuable? I must answer with a resounding YES! Did you hear the presentation of our students who visited China last summer at flex? Ask them if they see value to these visits. Yes, perhaps we need to get down to the defining of what these collaborations might look like. Would anyone like to explore this?

 
At 9/07/2006, Anonymous Pilar Lewis said...

China, the sleeping giant has awakened.

1.Don’t underestimate China. This country is growing very rapidly, and it is amazing to see it happening. To cite some examples: it is amazing to see how they are constantly building very modern structures that we don’t even see here in the US. They have 9-story shopping malls with lots of customers. They’ve hired architects around the world to complete their state-of-the-art stadiums for the Olympics.
China has money to spend and invest.

2. Although Thaizhou is not as cosmopolitan as Shanghai and Beijing, it is a city that has been experiencing great growth in the last 7 years, so don’t think of it as a rural place and it’s not too far from Shanghai.

3. Spending money and time in China is an investment that would benefit both Ohlone and China. In my case, I would like the Multimedia Department to start a Contract Ed program with the Shanghai Arts & Crafts Vocational College. This college has very successful graduates who get jobs within China and other places around the world. Although they are doing well, they want to learn the American way and offer better opportunities to their graduates. Having a faculty from Ohlone teaching there would also bring them prestige. So they are willing to pay all of the expenses to hire a teacher from Ohlone, and they may even pay extra money to buy necessary equipment for my department. They are also interested in having their Chinese students come to Ohlone to take our classes, and their ties with Ohlone would make it easier for them to get their student visas.

4. Like you, I also don’t imagine our students moving to China to get their degrees. However, student exchange is totally possible; actually it is already happening. This semester a dance troupe of 26 students will come to Ohlone from the Shanghai Theater and Dance Academy, and next semester, Ohlone students will perform in that school. What a great learning experience for students of both countries!

This student and faculty exchange follows Goal # 1:

 
At 2/01/2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently discussing about how we as human beings are so hooked onto electronics. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as memory gets less expensive, the possibility of copying our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could encounter in my lifetime.


(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://kwstar88.insanejournal.com/397.html]R4i[/url] DS SPPost)

 
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