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Shanghai to become a classroom for NZ teachers on study tour

Shanghai to become a giant classroom for NZ teachers on study tour

Ten secondary school teachers will experience many facets of Shanghai on a study trip designed to encourage more content about Asia in New Zealand classrooms.

The teachers will head to Shanghai this week (Sunday 25 May to Saturday 31 May) to participate in a week-long forum organised by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The aim of the trip is to provide secondary school teachers with first-hand experience of business, culture and customs in China, so they are inspired to include more Asia content in their teaching. They will hear from a range of different industries to give them a broad knowledge of China’s economy.

The Foundation has previously led visits of business studies teachers to Shanghai but has expanded this year’s tour to also include teachers from other subject areas, such as geography, media studies and history. “Shanghai ticks a lot of boxes for different subject areas”, says Asia New Zealand Foundation director of education Jeff Johnstone. “It has a fascinating history, rich culture and extensive economic ties to New Zealand.”

The teachers will be briefed by New Zealand government agencies and will meet with representatives of Disney Corporation, The Warehouse, Zespri, and consultancy firm Redfern Associates, which is headed by New Zealander Scott Brown.

They will also visit Shanghai’s urban planning museum, factories in the city of Changshu, English language newspaper Shanghai Daily, andThe Brew – a microbrewery set up by New Zealander Leon Mickelson.

The participating teachers are:
• Clinton Olsen – Rangiora High School, Canterbury
• Vaishally Gandhi – Scots College, Wellington
• Anna Wilson – Wellington East Girls’ College
• Helen Benson – Paraparaumu College, Kapiti
• Murray Armstrong – Tauranga Girls’ College
• Janine Maclarn – Cambridge High School, Waikato
• Trudy Gibb – Glendowie College, Auckland
• Kristy Burling – St Mary’s College, Auckland
• Grahame Cope – Rangitoto College, North Shore
• Tina Hallowes – Albany Junior High, North Shore

Mr Johnstone says that while recognition of China’s importance to New Zealand has grown in recent years, many teachers did not learn about the country during their own education. Fewer still have travelled to China.

“Teachers who have participated in our previous study tours to Shanghai have gone back to their schools with a new perspective on the importance of Asia to New Zealand.

“The trips have enabled teachers to develop new resources, incorporate case studies from China into their teaching, and organise study trips to Asia. Some teachers have been inspired to learn Chinese themselves, or have encouraged their schools to look at offering the language to their students.”

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to building New Zealand’s links with Asia through a range of programmes, including business, culture, education, media, research and a Leadership Network. The Foundation is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.


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