Chinese Educators Visit Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES

January 15, 2019

Twenty-four Chinese educators visited Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES Monday where they toured Career and Technical Education programs, learned about professional development for educators and enjoyed a lunch prepared especially for them by culinary arts students.

The visit was part of a cultural exchange initiative by PNW BOCES aimed at creating opportunities for Chinese students to study in the United States, and for students in the region to learn more about Chinese culture and language.
“As educators, it makes sense to for us share best practices and create opportunities for students to connect,” said District Superintendent Dr. James Ryan. “We were very pleased and honored to host our Chinese counterparts on a trip that also included visits to Yale University and Harvard University.”

The educators from Taizhou, Jiangsu visited the architecture, health, sports medicine and television production programs at the Tech Center, and toured the School Services Building where professional development programs are regularly held.

Professor Benya Wei, of Jiangsu Normal University, praised the Career and Technical Education programs for catering to students’ individual interests, and said that China is working to do the same for its secondary students. He said he would be interested in learning more about STEM Education.

Lin Wan, deputy director of education for the Bureau of Jiangsu City, said she was inspired by what she saw at the Tech Center and would like to replicate it in China. In particular, Professor Wan said she liked the hands-on approach of the classes, and the fact that technical classes were held on a single campus, rather than being scattered in multiple schools as they are in China.
Following the luncheon, the Chinese educators presented BOCES leaders with gifts to thank them for their hospitality, while BOCES gave the visitors baked goods prepared by the culinary arts students.

“The Chinese educators were very impressed with our offerings and expressed interest in pursuing partnerships,” said Wenzhu Li, Mandarin Chinese program facilitator for BOCES. “I think if they have need of a sister school or wish to visit again, we will be at the top of the list.”