Education 500: Teaching and Learning in China


This course is designed to explore the concepts of teaching and learning broadly in the Chinese context.  Using new media as a foundation for our course, we will study the teaching and learning experiences of people in China, and contrast those with our own experiences in American contexts.  Through digital storytelling we will document our own teaching and learning experiences related to a variety of topics relevant to educators, including internationalization, digital learning, and cross-cultural pedagogy.  The centerpiece of the course is a study abroad experience in which students will travel to Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, three vibrant and very distinct communities in the People’s Republic of China.


The instructor of the course, through various means, will:

  1. Interpret the concepts of teaching and learning broadly and position them within both national and global contexts
  2. Introduce digital storytelling as an approach to the study and documentation of teaching and learning in both the United States and China
  3. Lead field experiences to sites of historical and cultural significance in the People’s Republic of China
  4. Guide students in selecting a topic area related to teaching and learning in China and relevant to his/her own course of study to focus on for the culminating project
  5. Foster good writing, collaboration, professional presentation, and advanced cognitive and reflective skills in the course participants


By the end of the term, students who are successful in this course will be able to:

  1. Understand the conceptualization of teaching and learning in China, with a particular focus on higher education and counseling
  2. Consider the implications of the educational system for their peers (educators, practitioners,  or graduate students) in China
  3. Compare the educational systems and approaches in the United States and three distinct Chinese communities: Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai
  4. Discuss several major social issues as they relate to Chinese higher education, including access to education, digital learning, and cross-cultural applications
  5. Use digital storytelling to present findings related to teaching and learning in China, drawing specific connections to his/her own course of study


EDUC 500 Course Syllabus by Jim Barber: EDUC500China.SyllabusS13.Barber

EDUC 500 Observation-Interviews Rubric by Jim Barber: EDUC 500 Observations-Interviews Rubric