The CRoC team of James and Lisa Catterall recently spent two weeks teaching in China.
“We teach at the Beijing Institute of Education, which is a teacher professional development institution. It’s a large facility with as many as 40 classrooms, running as many as a couple of dozen courses at once. A lot is going on - they’re teaching art, they’re teaching teacher evaluation. All kinds of stuff.”
“As we see it, Chinese schools have art teachers and art programs but they’re small, and the regular teachers have not had much exposure to arts integration – using art, visual and performing arts in their regular teaching. I think that, as result of our teaching, they are invited to do just that – to bring more art into their regular teaching. What we do is give them exposure to arts integration strategies. When we’ve worked with 40 or 50 teachers, we hope that they’ll go off and use some arts integration strategies in their teaching.”
“Teaching in China is immersing oneself in a different culture with teachers who teach in a very different system. Seeing how receptive they are to the arts and our neuroscience teaching, and everything we’ve done is probably the best thing. They’re great.”
“The feedback they give us is wonderful, very positive. The teachers say that they find the material very useful, but it remains to be seen if they change their instruction or not. We don’t have good sources of information about that because we don’t survey them afterward. What we need to inform our future research is to do some follow-up as to what the teachers are getting out of it.”
“We’re starting to think that we’ll be teaching for two weeks per class. Previously
we’ve two taught two separate courses. We typically work with about 40 teachers in a class for a week, and the class week is about 30 hours. Six hours, five days a week.”
“There’s not much time for nightclubbing. We visited the great wall, that was our major outing for the two-week period, otherwise we were having dinner and regrouping and planning the next day – it’s pretty intensive work.”
Dr James Catterall
Director, Centers for Research on Creativity
It was my first day at school. I arrived with my voice recorder, a notepad and two freshly sharpened pencils. I was ready to scribe a focus group led by CRoC researcher Dr. Rebecca Catterall.