Shanghai at Night

I have been lucky enough to gain a NSW DET scholarship to vist China, as part of the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP), next school holidays.

Excuse the ‘outcome speak’ but, so you can help me out, this Teacher Education Visit (TEV) to Shanghai aims to:

  • enhance NSW DET teachers’ knowledge and understanding of China, its people, country, contribution to world civilisation, history and future
  • improve and enrich teaching and learning about Shanghai, China, and the Asian Region, in the school curriculum
  • develop formal and informal education partnerships between Shanghai and NSW DET schools and teachers

It is intended that participants of the Shanghai TEV will, by the end of the program:

  • identify and analyse issues or events in China that have current interest and relevance
  • critically analyse the perspectives from which these events and issues are being reported
  • counter stereotypical views of Chinese peoples, culture, society and organisations


Your Ideas?

Now that you know the broad objectives of the 10 day visit, English teachers, and others, what suggestions have you for a ‘unit of work’, derived from my experiences in Shanghai, that would truly be exciting for students and their teachers? How should it be delivered? What tools? What content? What angles can you think of that will excite?

Of course, I have a a few ideas already to pursue and am particularly interested in visual literacy (Nikon D90 and lenses will be handy at all times).

I am particularly excited to be travelling to a city that is a truly global hub of fashion, industry and finance with such technologically savvy residents. From what I already know, it seems Sydney could learn a great deal about how to actually deliver on rail infrastructure from the Shanghainese.

I am also very excited to have the opportunity to attend World Expo 2010.

Image credit: TEV Program Cover

Image credit: The wonderful shot featured, of Shanghai at night, is courtesy of latigi



    • Jan

    • 14 years ago

    Darcy, I’m thinking you could expand your visual literacy idea to include “communication and connection.” The idea would be to contrast the differering sides of Shanghai with say Sydney. By that I mean you might consider upmarket areas, poor areas, the people, how they commute, what they wear, what they do, how they sound, how many, how they look etc… Do the same in Sydney and then compile a picture of the two cities and predict a future together and separately. Efficacy of language , written and oral………

    You may want to make recordings of sounds, interview people, look into shops of all kinds – eg, what is on offer, why and what about price?

    I guess you could call it a “Tale of Two Cities, then, now and later”

    I think this is quite an adventurous and involved idea and I’m not sure how well I’ve explained it, but I think it could be extremely engaging because it has the potential to enage all learners through a variety of media.

    Good luck, I hope you get some great ideas.

      • Darcy Moore

      • 14 years ago

      Thanks Jan,

      I really like this idea as it could lead to students taking on similar projecs, perhaps sharing photos and recording via the internet with students, in another city, that they can not travel too.

      Thanks for starting the ball rolling with a cool idea!

    • Troy

    • 14 years ago

    A little left field, perhaps…But a link between Indigenous narratives about the land, from a Chinese perspective and an Australian one? Particularly in the face of globalisation and economic rationalism?

    A comaparative of Sydney and Shanghai in narrative, short stories written by students and adult learnersm Stories from the City.

      • Darcy Moore

      • 14 years ago

      Yes, both good ideas that would likely engage students Troy. Cheers.

    • Lisa

    • 14 years ago

    Darcy – my daughter and a group of girls from Canterbury Girls HS are going on a 10 day study tour to China next holidays. I wonder if they would be interested in something collaborative where you are looking at something from an adult/teacher viewpoint and they are looking at it from a student viewpoint?

      • Darcy Moore

      • 14 years ago

      Lisa, this would be extraordinarily useful. Talk to your daughter and see what she thinks about it all and maybe I could chat with her, via email and/or skype, before we depart?

      Would she post a comment here with ideas?

  1. Hi Darcy,
    Congratulations and wishing you to have an enjoyable trip there.
    You would surely find a big difference in the following:
    (a) culture and values
    (b) education system
    (c) learning
    (d) language and communication system
    Few years ago, I presented the education system as existed in Australia to a Chinese delegation. They were deeply interested in the Australian education system – School, TAFE & HE.
    So, what would you like to showcase?
    The significance of the (a) to (d) on education, the impact of Web 2.0.
    Beware that you may not have access to many social networking sites there. So, FB, twitters and many are “new and foreign” and not known to them. Also, online education is totally different from what “we have” here, and so any such system has to be customised to the Shanghai style. This is also different from the Hong Kong styles….
    Enjoy and hope you would share with us what you have found.

      • Darcy Moore

      • 14 years ago

      I appreciate your comments and ideas, John. I am very interested in what yiou describe as t’online education, ‘Shanghai style’. Very interested! You can be sure that I will share the experience with you, and widely!

    • Librareanne

    • 14 years ago

    Hi Darcy,
    What a wonderful opportunity – amazing place. My husband is teaching at an international school in Shanghai. If you’d like the contact – happy to give it to you.
    You might want to set up a VPN before you go if you want to access facebook, twitter etc while you are there.

    • Tomaz Lasic

    • 14 years ago

    Great opportunity for a clever edu-leader! Well done you lucky bugger.

    A very good Chinese proverb says: Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom.

    Perhaps start with a question: Does a classroom in Shanghai and NSW look and feel the same? Why (not)?

    When you start really thinking about it, the questions abound. Scratch beyond the obvious (diff kids, teaching styles, different language, culture, government regulations…) and see what teachers in Shanghai and NSW really, really share in common and what some of the fundamental differences may be. Is there such thing/person as ‘Shanghai teacher’ or ‘NSW teacher’?

    By sharing such conversations we connect with and learn an awful lot not just about the other person and their environment, context (intention of the the trip) but about ourselves.

    How to it? Dunno, I’m sure it will dawn on you during a banquet or something like that (food is awesome in China).

    Scuse the Confucious tone, I hope you have a fantastic trip mate !



  2. The opportunity to compare cultures will no doubt yield many possibilities…I wonder if there are some particular texts that could be identified for sharing though?

    A friend of mine got me interested in the story of Monkey, based on the the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West but sadly I don’t have any resources to share. With your short time there it may be better to focus on shorter texts anyway – short stories or picture books for example?

    I think the picture book ‘Fox’ is a good for exploring visual representation of Australian landscape and the symbolism of animals. An overarching comparison of the different relationships that Chinese and Australians have with their landscape could encompass this. The picture book ‘Belonging’ by Jeannie Baker might also be used with a focus on ‘landscape’, but also for a unit in what is ‘home’. I would love to see some Chinese picture books for comparison!

      • Darcy Moore

      • 14 years ago


      You have provided a clear focus and I will seek out some Chinese picture books. Maybe I can organise some translations and reprints for an Australian audien. I know both ‘Fox’ and ‘Belonging’ well and agree, along with ‘The Rabbits’ and other Jeannie Baker books, that these are good Australian texts to use.

      Great thinking – thanks, Kelli! 🙂

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