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North Carolina Classrooms "Going Global"

PHOTO: Zenghian brings her Chinese culture to work at Northwood Elementary in High Point. Courtesy of Mo Zengxian.
PHOTO: Zenghian brings her Chinese culture to work at Northwood Elementary in High Point. Courtesy of Mo Zengxian.
August 29, 2012

HIGH POINT, N.C. - North Carolina students are getting first-hand experience with the global economy, as they receive instruction from teachers visiting from the other side of the world.

In school systems around the state, teachers from China are sharing their culture and language with American students. Mo Zengxian is teaching at Northwood Elementary School in High Point.

"American kids are so different from Chinese kids. They're full of power, full of energy, full of creative ideas."

This year, Zengxian is one of 25 teachers from China placed in schools around the state by the North Carolina Confucius Classrooms Collaborative program with a goal of incorporating international education in schools.

The Chinese teachers are paid as employees of their school districts, but $13,000 of their salary is supplemented by the Collaborative.

Matt Friedrick, director of kindergarten-through-12th-grade education for the Center for International Understanding, says including Chinese culture and language are key parts of preparing students for a global workforce.

"We want students who are able to work with people from China, who are learning Chinese; and having that first-hand, live experience with someone from China is a big difference. "

Friedrick says the experience also is beneficial for the Chinese teachers, who get a better understanding of how to instruct Chinese students on "soft skills" such as personal interaction and ingenuity.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC