As part of the ongoing work on the Teaching Pack for secondary schools in Ireland, the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland held a feedback workshop for Irish teachers involved in using the CII/NCCA Teaching Pack. This workshop was held in the UCD Quinn School of Business on 2nd December 2011.
The purpose of this workshop was to sit down with the teachers who are directly or indirectly involved with using our Teaching Pack in secondary schools nationwide, to listen and take note of the feedback and to make the necessary adjustments to the Pack further to producing an updated version to be rolled out nationwide.
Pic 1. Local Irish teachers discussing the changes for the Teaching Pack
The discussion was lively and very well informed, with some excellent suggestions and innovative ideas put forward by the Irish teachers. It was concluded that the Teaching Pack is very comprehensive, and that only one more topic need be added- taking into account the keen interest Irish students have in what their peers are doing day-to-day in China, a topic will be added which will focus on Chinese secondary school students’ lifestyles. In addition to this, the Irish teachers suggested that special worksheets could be added to some topics which would engage the students more in the active learning process and make the entire approach more student-centred.
Irish students love hands-on activities and to learn through creative methods, thus it was suggested that more of these activities can be added, and the Irish teachers generously put forward several ideas and plans of their own, incorporating elements such as art, cooking, creating their own characters that symbolise their names, doing projects on their favourite Chinese topics (architecture, music/film stars, historical figures, dynasties etc.), counting in Chinese while kicking Jianzi and so on.
There was also unanimous agreement that large scale activities would be very popular. This would involve the CII organising an exhibition/activity in a location such as UCD, and schools would be invited to come and bring their students to watch and take part. The ideas mentioned included a Kung Fu exhibition, a Table Tennis exhibition/ competition, screenings of popular Chinese films, Chinese cooking workshops and a Jianzi competition (played on a tennis court).
Pic 2. One of the groups in the third local teacher training session in deep discussion
Feedback is, of course, also being collected from the students themselves, and from our own teachers, and with the vital information and suggestions garnered from this research the CII will make the necessary changes and produce the updated version of the Teaching Pack for use in secondary schools nationwide in 2012.
Pic 3. Local teachers giving their feedback on the PowerPoint slides in the Teaching Pack