Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) is thrilled to host the first group of visiting scholars from Beijing, China, for the pilot Visiting Scholars Program. The group of 14 scholars arrived on Jan. 19 and remained on campus through Jan. 31.
While here, they focused on professional development and attended workshops, participated in academic discussions, shared meals with members of the IWU community, and observed classes in local middle schools and high schools. Additionally, the group experienced more American culture by visiting Chicago for a weekend.
The Visiting Scholars Program is a recent collaboration between IWU and Beijing International Education Exchange (BIEE). Funded by the Chinese government, it seeks to help promote teacher professional development. The theme of the program focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of English education among English teachers from primary and secondary schools in Beijing.
“This program offers opportunities for both IWU faculty and staff and international scholars to engage each other in academic subjects and cultural exchange,” said Shawn Yang, director of international programs at IWU. “Not only does the program offer training to the international scholars, it also provides our faculty opportunities to gain some different perspective of teaching in a different context.”
The goals of the program include:
- To promote education equity and improve quality of education and training for professional primary and secondary school teachers from Beijing
- To engage in modern educational concepts and teaching methodology
- To improve teachers’ language skills and explore cross-cultural learning in depth
- To promote cultural awareness and goodwill between educators from China and the U.S.
- To strengthen cultural and educational ties between IWU faculty/staff and Beijing teachers
- To promote international educational experiences and opportunities for Chinese and American faculty
IWU leaders hope this will become a long-time collaboration between IWU and Beijing schools and that opportunities for IWU faculty to visit schools in Beijing happens at some point in the future.