For the past four years, Dr. Hiller Spires, professor and senior research fellow at the Friday Institute, and her colleagues in the NLC have worked to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the Beijing Royal School (BRS) in China. Spires has previously traveled to the private school to work on professional development in new literacies with its faculty and staff. Now nine BRS teachers have traveled to the U.S. to continue their education in the New Literacies and Global Learning program.
“Collaborating with educators and students from Beijing has been life enriching for me and my colleagues as we increase our global competencies,” Spires says. “Although China and the US have cultural differences, both countries share goals of preparing students for 21st century life and work, accelerating second language learning, and providing innovative learning experiences for teacher development.
The ongoing collaborations with BRS include:
- Professional Learning Communities among teachers by subject areas to support implementing the new learning ecology
- Video conferencing sessions to support inquiry instruction as part of the new learning ecology
- Connections between BRS and NC teachers to collaborate and share best practices, conducting joint inquiry projects and sharing best results
- NCSU College of Education student internship at BRS
- Host BRS students for day camps at the Friday institute
By the end of the program, these nine students will be stewards of our interconnected global community, enacting instructional changes along the continuum of pedagogical shifts taking place in the 21st century.