Education, Society, and Globalization in China: A Collaborative Teacher Training Program

Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Travel Seminar, June 2019

This program will provide educators a unique opportunity to learn about education and social structure in China in an immersive cultural and linguistic experience. Engaging in guided collaborative activity with their peers in the US at varying stages of their careers, participants will also work telecollaboratively with Chinese peers before, during and after the in-country phases of the program. The project is directed by Dr. Wenhao Diao, an Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona who has extensive experience in creating, managing and researching Study Abroad experiences. She will lead the four-week in-country program, working with Shanghai’s East China Normal University as host through its Global Education Center, and with a select group of Chinese scholars, educators, and community leaders. During the in-country component of this project, participants will visit Shanghai, Nanjing, and Beijing, to survey the history of Chinese education and social changes. The pre-departure activities (including a one-day orientation and four-day workshop) and post-trip activities and dissemination efforts are co-directed by Kate Mackay, Associate Director of the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL).

To be eligible, participants must:

  • be a fulltime K-12 teacher or administrator, or a fulltime community college educator, or a fulltime University of Arizona student (undergraduate in their senior year, or graduate student), and
  • either teach in the areas of humanities, social studies, or foreign languages; or be an administrator with responsibility for curriculum in these fields; or a student in a program in these fields who intends to become a teacher, and
  • be a US citizen or resident alien, and
  • be available to participate in the pre-departure program May 28-June 1, 2019, and travel to China June 5 – July 5, 2019, and
  • have a demonstrated commitment to international education and sharing professional development experiences with others.

Priority will be given to educators teaching in southern Arizona, but others were invited to apply as well.

Participant commitments:

To participate fully in the complete program, from pre-departure activities through the travelling experience, and the post-trip creation of materials and commitment to outreach. They will be expected to participate in all aspects of the program, which will include (but is not limited to) Chinese language instruction, engaging in classroom (and other site) discussions, collaborating with other participants and with Chinese peers throughout the program, taking part in travel excursions in-country, creating curriculum materials during and after the trip, sharing those materials with other teachers, and at least one outreach activity after returning to the US.

Costs: Participants must contribute $500 to the costs of the program upon acceptance (payable by February 15). This amount is non-refundable unless a replacement participant can fill that spot, or in the unlikely event that the program is cancelled by the organizers. In addition, they must enroll in a University of Arizona one-credit class during the pre-departure workshop that will include Chinese language instruction; this will be around $500 (pending publication of institutional rates) and will be due around June 1.

The program pays international travel between the US and China, all in-country travel expenses (including entrance to museums and honoraria for speakers, etc, as well as transportation costs), a stipend for the purchase of educational resources, and meals for the group will be provided twice a day throughout most of the program. Participants are responsible for the costs of travel within the US, passport and visa expenses, mandatory travel medical insurance, any meals other than those provided by the organizers, and their own personal expenses.

Some participants will be selected for additional support after the trip that will contribute to travel costs so that they can share resources they create through this project to other educators at national conferences.

In-country logistics:

Participants in the program will travel together as a group in China, staying double occupancy in a hotel on the campus of East China Normal University and elsewhere as the itinerary demands. In-country travel will be a combination of public transportation (high speed trains and subways) and chartered buses, and will include walking in heat and humidity, sometimes involving hiking in steep terrain (e.g. at the Great Wall).

There may be limited access to websites based outside of China, and no US-based social networking platforms (eg, facebook, twitter, youtube, gmail, and Instagram, etc). However, there will be other communication options to stay in touch with family while participating in this program, though access to these may sometimes be intermittent. No family members or friends may join the program at any point.

We encourage diversity among applicants, however after participants are selected for the experience, the program directors will need information about any special medical and dietary needs, etc, so that they can take those into consideration as they make logistical arrangements.

Application Information:

Applicants were required to submit a statement of purpose (maximum three pages, attached as a PDF to the online application) and CV (also to be attached as a PDF) with their online application. 

The online application asked for the following information about the applicant: name, email address, phone number, institution, location of institution, details of previous experiences with China and travel in general, and names and contact information for two references. In addition, there are some questions specific to applicant type–students / pre-service teachers are asked about degree program, year in program, plans for teaching after graduation; K-12 teachers are asked about courses taught or for which the applicant has control over curriculum, and number of years teaching; college instructors are asked for their home department and the courses they teach.

For the references: applicants will include name, title, email address and phone number of two people with whom they have shared their application materials and who can recommend them for inclusion in this program. One should be a supervisor or superior (e.g., academic advisor, principal, department head). The other should be an educator or colleague familiar with their  work, career goals, and interests. Letters of support are not required.

In the statement of purpose, the applicant should address why they would like to take part in this program, how their life experiences and career goals make them a good fit for the program, what parts of the travel they might find challenging and how they would anticipate overcoming those difficulties, how they have dealt with or plan to deal with linguistic and cultural differences, what they plan to do with the experience in their classrooms upon their return (including proposing a curriculum unit that would incorporate the project), examples of their past willingness to collaborate with others, how they will share the experience with other educators and in outreach activity (or activities) in the community, and where they see themselves five and ten years from now.

The deadline to apply has passed (it was January 21, 2019).