Chinese placement a bonus for trainee teachers

November 3, 2017

Chinese adventure: Pre-service teachers valued the opportunity of a two week placement in southern China

Murdoch University education students have completed a teaching placement in China, in a unique partnership helping to train the next generation of Western Australian teachers.

Five students spent two weeks at Beanstalk International Bilingual School in Kunming, southern China, immersed in the Chinese education system and the nation’s rich cultural heritage.

The initiative was part of the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program funded by the Australian Government.

Trip organiser and lecturer with the School of Education Chris Glass said the visit helped the third year pre-service teachers understand some of the challenges facing non-English speakers in Australian classrooms.

“In China, they were surrounded every day by people speaking a language they couldn’t understand and it gave them a sense of what it’s like for children who don’t speak English," Dr Glass said.

“At university they are now discussing the type of strategies and teaching methods they can employ to help these children develop their language skills.”

The experience had strengthened their resilience and ability to deal with the unexpected and persevere through challenges. These are key qualities that help make a successful teacher, she said.

Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood student Kaitlyn Bennett added: “This unique experience provided me with a new perspective on teaching as I could see how the school integrated both eastern and western teaching philosophies.

“This opportunity allowed me to develop my skills and knowledge, which I can now apply to my studies and future practicums,” she said.

Fellow student Jayde Greig described as ‘surreal’ implementing play-based learning in early childhood, while at the same time having a teacher translating in Chinese.

She has accepted an offer to return to the school for a two month placement during semester break.

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Media contact: Eugenie Harris
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Categories: General, Teaching and Learning, Future Students, School of Education
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