Trip to China seeks to draw educators closer

Posted: Wednesday, 18 May 2011

TROY – Troy University's College of Education and the Confucius Institute at TROY are partnering to bring educators in Alabama and the People's Republic of China closer.

The 10-day trip, which begins June 4, aims to enhance an understanding of China's educational system through educational and cultural activities, and seeks to foster additional exchanges between U.S. and Chinese educators, said Dr. Lance Tatum, Dean of the College of Education.

"This is a significant chance for Alabama higher education officials to have a meaningful dialogue with their Chinese counterparts and develop a broader understanding of the Chinese educational system," he said. "Hopefully, broader collaboration and exchange will occur."

In addition to Tatum, the contingent includes three from the University of South Alabama, one from Miles College, two from Auburn University, one faculty member from TROY and a State Department of Education representative. Once in China, the Confucius Institute will cover all costs associated with the trip.

In addition to visiting schools and universities, the group will interact with students, teachers and administrators to develop cooperative relationships with Chinese universities and colleges to facilitate future exchange activities.

In recent years, China has placed a priority on developing education, putting forward a strategy of revitalizing the country through science and education, focusing on efforts to strengthen the reform of its educational system, and implementing a nine-year compulsory education expectation.

"This is an excellent opportunity for education professionals in Alabama to experience China and discover how this emerging country is addressing its educational needs," said Dr. Iris Xu, director of the Confucius Institute at Troy University.

The Institute is part of a global network of more than 200 Confucius Institutes in 50 countries, and is one of 56 in the United States. The CI at TROY is the state's only such institute.