On Wednesday, I spoke at the Tennessee Educational Technology Association Summer Institute. It was a great day sharing ideas with technology directors, technicians, and staff development folks. I was listening to some local news on my way back to the airport (driving an amazing Chrysler 300 that Dollar bumped me up to). The story that caught my attention was about a group of local educators who had just returned from a fact-finding tour of schools in China.
The first comment was that Chinese teachers were keen to learn how U.S. schools taught creativity. I’ll leave that issue for another day. Then a principal talked about how Chinese educators valued productive planning time for teachers. She said that while most U.S. teachers teach five or six periods a day, with a minimum of “on-the-job” planning time, most Chinese teachers teach maybe two periods, and the rest of the time is spent perfecting their lessons. She said that our teachers do their planning on their own time, and she didn’t see how we could possibly compete.
This is a paraphrasing of the statements, and I was trying to also listen to my GPS, while driving this huge but very fine car, and listening to the radio. A bit much for me. Can anyone corroborate this story, that schools in China give so much time to teacher preparation?