International outreach extends to Pakistan, China, and South Korea

Submitted by Pat Williams-Boyd | Published May 22, 2013

The College of Education's (COE) Office of Urban, Community, and International Outreach (OUCIO) has enjoyed a productive and busy academic year. Below are the key international initiatives the office has engaged in over the past several months:

USAID Practicum Study Tour

In the fall 2012, 24 Pakistani teachers came to Eastern's campus through a grant written by professors in teacher education, Peggy Daisey and Joe Bishop. The USAID Practicum Study Tour for Pakistani teacher educators culminated with a visit to Washington, D.C. The goal of the Study Tour was to guide participants through a structured set of activities so they could return home with an action plan to transform the teacher preparation practicum experience at their respective institutions.

The Pakistani teachers examined their institution's practicum experiences by engaging in teacher preparation courses with COE faculty and students, observing teachers and administrators in local schools, and talking with local teachers, administrators, student teacher supervisors and student teachers.

Ongoing support for the visiting teachers will be provided through "webinars" which focus on issues that arise as the Pakistani teachers return to their respective universities and begin the work of restructuring their student teachers programs.

Partnerships with South Korean schools bring students to Eastern

In late December 2012, five undergraduate students from Korea National University of Education (KNUE) came to the College of Education through a KNUE and EMU-COE partnership. During their two-month tenure, the students spent three days a week observing and teaching students, first at the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and then at Lincoln Consolidated Middle and Brick Elementary Schools. The students also attended special seminars that addressed a variety of educational issues, developed by Myung Koh, associate professor in special education at Eastern. A second group of KNUE students will arrive on Eastern's campus in the winter 2014.

In May 2013, the COE welcomed a group of 12 teachers from Busan, South Korea who are participating in a month-long professional development workshop on Eastern's campus. The teachers will attend a variety of COE workshops, and will spend nine days in at Lincoln Consolidated Schools Childs Elementary, observing students and teachers and participate in teaching individual classes. This partnership experience was developed by Ellen Bonter, superintendent of Lincoln Consolidated Schools and Rick Schaffner, a master's graduate of the teacher education department and director of curriculum for Lincoln Consolidated Schools.

EMU students participate in international practicum at Weiming Education Group Schools

Seven EMU seniors left April 1, 2013 for a three-month international practicum experience at the Weiming Education Group Schools in China. The students are living and interacting with preschool through 12th grade students in Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Wuhan. The partnership grew from collaborations between the COE, and colleagues at Weiming Education Group Schools, when administrators from China visited Eastern's campus during the winter of 2012.

Prior to their trip, Paciorek supervised the seven students as they completed their student teaching assignments in Michigan schools. The students studied life in China, using English with non-English speakers, and cultural expectations and prepared learning activities to use while working with the Chinese students. Paciorek will travel to China in May 2013 to visit each of the students in their schools and to work with Weiming Education Group teachers.

In the spring of 2012, Dean Joseph, along with David Anderson, professor in the department of leadership and counseling, and Karen Paciorek and Alane Starko, both professors in the department of teacher education, toured their schools in China.

Another SAFEA partnership underway

Another partnership with China is underway following a trip taken by Dean Joseph, Jeff Popko, associate professor of world languages, Jon Margerum-Leys, associate Dean for students and curriculum, the international outreach coordinator and the director of OUCIO in January 2013. Jesse Wang, dean of Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai visited the COE in March 2013, and proposed opportunities for both Chinese and American students.

Delegates from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, (SAFEA, a counterpart to the U.S. Department of Education) met with the COE to formulate the specifics of a partnership that will provide opportunities for EMU students to teach in China both in a practicum experience and as a formal teacher. Likewise, the partnership would allow Chinese teachers and students to study as undergrads and graduate students at Eastern. A follow up visit to Eastern's campus is happening at the end of May which includes formalizing our partnership together with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

Visiting scholars at the College of Education

Xun Zhang, a professor at Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics in Hangzhou City, China, was a visiting scholar during the winter 2012 term. Toni Stokes-Jones, Nancy Copeland, and Alane Starko, professors in the department of teacher education, served as her mentors. Zhang, along with Stokes-Jones will publish a paper that examines the comparative roles of technology in education. The COE will sponsor three additional scholars (two from China and one from Singapore), who will come to the COE in the summer and fall 2013. Linda Lewis-White, Joe Ramsey, professors in the department of teacher education, along with Jeff Popko, associate professor in the department of world languages, will serve as their mentors. The scholars will be charged with offering a reciprocal opportunity for the COE faculty, presenting at least two public lectures on their research and publishing a paper or giving a conference presentation on their work.