Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2009-01-05

A group of 27 middle and high school English teachers from China will spend the next two weeks at Samford University attending an educational workshop on best practices in American schools.

The teachers, all from the Beijing area of China, will attend sessions led by faculty of Samford's Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies. Topics range from the relevance of different learning styles in the classroom to technology.

The project is a joint effort of Samford and the Consortium for Global Education (CGE), an organization of Baptist-related institutions, with support from the Chinese government's Chaoyang Education Committee.

During the two weeks at Samford, each participant will complete assignments and make a presentation based on research done during their stay.

Dr. Jeanna Westmoreland is coordinator of the workshop, which includes a variety of lectures and academic experiences organized by Samford education professor Dr. Carol Dean.

According to Dr. Westmoreland, the Chinese sponsors expect an "academically rigorous program" for the participants.

"What I hope is that they will experience a research-based, hands-on learning of strategies that will improve their teaching," said Dr. Westmoreland, a veteran leader of numerous international academic efforts and the wife of Samford president Dr. Andrew Westmoreland.

While in Birmingham, the Chinese educators will visit Spain Park High School, Berry Middle School, and middle and high schools in Tarrant, Trussville and Homewood. Weekend excursions will be made to McWane Science Museum, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, and other area attractions.

Prior to arriving in Birmingham on Jan. 3, the group spent several days touring sites in Washington, D.C. They will leave for home on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.