Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE OCEAN
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Visit With COSEE China - 03.28.2012

From February 29 to March 10, 2012, COSEE OCEAN PIs Bob Chen and Arthur Eisenkraft traveled around China to inject some excitement and activity into the COSEE China network. Starting in Xiamen, Bob and Arthur observed high school and middle school classes in Physics, Geography, Chemistry and Physics Lab at the Xiamen University-affiliated Keji High School. Then they headed back to Xiamen University to offer a workshop on teaching and learning and Ocean Literacy to 30 faculty members and graduate students. The workshop was well-received and got the Xiamen academic community thinking about their teaching of ocean sciences. On Saturday, Arthur and Bob ran a 6-hour workshop for 25 science teachers demonstrating the <7E model of instruction><> by actively engaging participants in determining the size of a nucleus and whether ice will melt faster in fresh or salt water. The engaged group of teachers refused to leave early, eager to learn everything the two had to offer.

Moving north, Bob and Arthur presented a workshop for 20 faculty members and graduate students at Ocean University of China in Qingdao, observed a high school science class and did eye exercises between classes as is customary, .and then returned to Ocean University to present a workshop for 18 teachers. Bob also taught 9 hours of a course in Marine Biogeochemistry to 20 graduate students. His interactive teaching style, though different from the Chinese norm, was well-received by students and faculty members.

Arthur then continued on to visit Beijing Normal University, greeted 2000 elementary schoolchildren (and had them doing a “wave” followed by explaining that the wave moved, but they didn’t), taught a lesson to 200 high school students, and offered a workshop for 200 science teachers at the best high school in China.
Overall, Bob and Arthur found that the educational system in China was very strong in some aspects (much stronger in classroom behavior) and very consistent across the curriculum, but that it did not often include student-centered questioning. Many possible collaborations and activities were discussed, with the most likely area of focus to be undergraduate general education courses and an Introduction to Ocean Sciences.

COSEE China now has a full-time staff person as well as a website:

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