In a world where society is increasingly driven by science and technology, it is very important for students to have in-depth and effective science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and to provide them with the opportunities to deepen their understanding of practical scientific work based on their knowledge and skills. In order to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation of the STEM curriculum education between China and the US, the “Discover China (jointly launched and funded by AASA and Triway International Group)” Sino-US K-12 education exchange delegation visited the Shanghai STEM+ Research Institute on July 14th, 2017. Director Maogong Wang, Secretary-General Xuehua Wang, Director of Curriculum and Teaching R&D Department Jianrui Dong and other institute leaders and educators accommodated the AASA group, and launched a discussion on “International Perspectives on STEM+ School Development”.
Director Wang gave a brief introduction of the institute and shed light on current empirical research and practice status of STEM+ education in Shanghai. Under the guidance and support of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and Shanghai Social Organization Administration, Shanghai STEM+ Research Institute was formally founded on December 31st, 2014. It is not only one of the nation’s leading non-governmental thinktanks for STEM+ education research, which its establishment was approved by Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, but also one of the long-term empirical research program bases for Shanghai K-12 education. As one research oriented non-governmental organization, STEM+ Research Institute provides efficient service for students, teachers, schools and regions through creating, gathering, and sharing high-quality STEM+ teaching practices and products. Until now, approximately 31,747 students, 980 teachers, and 169 schools have participated in the institute’s STEM+ curricula. Shanghai STEM+ Research Institute also developed a rating system for teacher training. According to their system, from bottom to top the ratings are: Intro-level (pre-yellow medal), Entry-level (yellow medal), Practice-level (blue medal), Innovation-level (green medal), and Sharing-level (black medal). Teachers have to finish the training of a certain rating, in order to get the medal of that level. Teachers will be assigned to different training courses based on their training experience, training grades, mindsets, abilities and accomplishment development.
AASA’s Chief Operating Officer Mr. Charles Woodruff introduced AASA and its cooperative programs with China. Recent years have witnessed rapid accelerations of the globalization of education and the in-depth cultural and education exchanges between China and the US. Against this background AASA and Triway have initiated a series of cross culture education programs under their careful planning, consultation and cooperation. Among them, the “Twenty-first Century Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Innovation and Best Practice” teaching training project was co-founded by AASA, Triway, and JASON Learning under the consensus of promoting innovation, development and cooperation of Sino-US K-12 education. The project was elaborately designed based on the feature that China and the US have distinctive characteristics and are strongly complementary to each other regarding K-12 education. It was also designed based on the teaching concept, pedagogy, and practice of JASON’s worldwide STEM curriculum teacher training over the years, combined with the characteristics of China’s K-12 education. The course will be presented via approaches of demonstration, experiment, operation, and interaction to demonstrate the best practices of leadership, innovation, technology and STEM education. Now in cooperation with the Beijing Institute of Education, the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, Jiangsu Education Exchange Association, etc., Triway has already launched more than 10 training programs in China, receiving widely good reputation among teachers.
At last, the two parties discussed their future exchanges and cooperation of STEM courses. Institute’s Secretary-General Xuehua Wang, Director of Curriculum and Teaching R&D Department Jianrui Dong and other teachers will participate in a STEM training program event being held in Xuzhou and Nantong in Jiangsu Province in July, during which they will discuss the details of their further cooperation with Triway.
—-Reported by Peng Li from Triway International Group Nanjing Office on July 25th