From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chinese School

Jamie and I went yesterday afternoon to Bai'on district of Shenzhen to meet some people at a traditional Chinese public school. We took about a 30 - 40 minute bus ride with a co-worker who worked at the school last year. Just a reminder for those who have are just joining reading the blog... We teach at an international school, so very few of the students are actually Chinese. Most of our students are Korean or from North America. So, seeing the Chinese schools yesterday afternoon was a new experience for us.

We went so I could do some preliminary research concerning my dissertation topic. Although I did not meet with any social studies teachers, the Chinese teachers I did meet provided me with some excellent information about general education in China and their school. When we arrived, the secondary students were out of the field in nice little rows performing exercises. We then went to eat at a REAL Chinese restaurant where we share 8 or so dishes ranging from pig toes (delicious!) to some quite spicy lamb. The entire meal for 7 adults was 150 RMB or about $22. Amazing!

A little bit about Chinese cuisine. Americans will find it quite intimidating and perhaps strange. We begin by "washing" our prepackaged dishes in hot tea. Apparently, you do so if the dishes weren't prepacked, but we did it anyway to cleanse them. There is a custom where you serve others before you serve yourself initially. Also, it is more family style dining. Several large dishes are brought out individually, and everyone sits around a rotating turn table and picks out their choice of food. We tried a little bit of everything. Of course, everything is eaten with chopsticks and in China, silverware in not really an option.

Afterwards, we were able to sit and discuss with the Chinese teachers (2 of which actually taught English) concerning the educational system in China and their teaching strategies and curriculum. It was enlightening, and I learned more in 2 hours talking with them than I would have 5 hours reading about this stuff. We were able to go into a classroom where the students where having evening classes. I could go on and on concerning the comparisons of Chinese and U.S. schools, but I'll save that for my dissertation.

In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions. Comment below or email me. Thanks for reading!

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