Cultural exchange program enlightens teachers


Doug Mader

Principal Doug Mader greets several Chinese educators at the front office. The teachers traveled to the United States for five months to learn about the American school system and improve their English. At SHS, they visited several classrooms throughout the day.

Ellen Martinson

Five Chinese teachers and one tour guide visited SHS in an attempt to expand their knowledge of the United States and improve their English speaking skills. The teachers visited several classrooms and programs throughout the day.

The educators are in the United States for five months while they visit multiple schools and learn as much about American culture as they can. They are living with “home families”.

“It was interesting learning about their education system considering there are major differences between the Chinese and American school systems,” senior Elli Gibson said.

One program that the teachers specifically learned about was the journalism program. The class and the teachers asked questions about the opposite culture.

Typically, in China, students at their high schools do not participate in elective courses, such as journalism.

“I couldn’t imagine not being able to choose my own individual schedule every year,” Gibson said.

Students in the majority of Chinese high schools attend school three different times during the day, and they go home to eat lunch and dinner with their families.

While college admittance is somewhat based on test scores in the United States, there is more of a holistic approach to applying to universities. In China, entrance exams are basically the deciding factor in the ability to go to a university.

“I think that overall, listening to the Chinese teachers sheds light on some of the gaps that the American school system has,” Gibson said.

For more information on the discrepancy between American and Chinese schooling systems, visit The New York Times.