More than two dozen Chinese educators will get a glimpse of the American education system during their three-week visit to Bloomfield schools.
The mix of principals and teachers from Shenzhen city, a province north of Hong Kong, will tour Bloomfield Middle and High School, as well as Demarest and Brookdale Elementary Schools to observe in-classroom teaching and partake in educational workshops.
This is the which met with school administrators Monday over lunch. A different group was in town for 10 days in June.
"Education is quite different between China and the U.S.," said Gary Han, manager of the training program of Sunels International, the business consulting firm that organized the program.
Han said the purpose of the visit, which includes various workshops and in-class observations, is for the delegation to understand how Americans teach and learn.
The district eventually hopes to send its own administrators and teachers to China through a similar cooperative exchange program, school officials said.
The $800 a day the delegation is paying for the visit will be be donated to the Bloomfield Educational Foundation, which will then purchase three iPads each for the four hosting schools, according to officials.
"They're paying us for our time," said Board of Education Vice President Shane Berger, "and we're putting it back into the classroom."
Despite some cultural differences, there are striking similarities in terms of challenges Chinese and U.S. educators face. One of them, according to Superintendent Jason Bing, is knowing how to use technology in teaching students.
"Many of our students were born into current technology," Bing told the delegation. "We're in the midst of changing the way we do things to meet the needs of new learners."