Reciprocal Learning Program

Dr. Xu takes UW teacher candidates to visit the schools in Chongqing, China

Dr. Xu takes UW teacher candidates to visit the schools in Chongqing, China

Program Overview

The Teacher Education Reciprocal Learning Program (RLP) was developed in 2010 between the University of Windsor and Southwest University (SWU) China, and in the partnership with the Greater Essex County District School Board.

The program is a foundational part of Xu, Connelly et. al, (2013-2020) SSHRC Partnership Grant Project entitled “Reciprocal Learning in Teacher Education and School Education between Canada and China”.

The goals of RLP are to provide an exceptional experience with international engagement, to broaden teacher candidates’ horizons for a society of increasing diversity, to foster international collaboration among faculty members who are interested in cross-cultural studies, multicultural education, and to enhance the international reputation of the University of Windsor.

Each Fall, 20 students and a guide professor from SWU, China, come to the University of Windsor to observe classes in the local Windsor schools and audit courses in the pre-service program at the Faculty of Education while participating in the SSHRC Partnership Grant research project.  University of Windsor teacher candidates are recruited to participate in the RLP in the Fall and then these teacher candidates make the China Reciprocal Learning trip in the Spring.   There have been six rounds of exchange of the pre-service student groups between the two universities since 2010.

Since September 2014, Dr.  Xu, has worked with the Mitacs Globalink which provides Canadian students with Mitacs Globalink Research Award ($5,000 each applicant) to participate in a research-oriented international internship to China.

Program News

Dr. Xu, with Drs. Bayley,  Zhang,  Zhou,  Salinitri,  Tucker,  Ezeife and  Smith, have worked as home supervisors for the University of Windsor teacher candidates, and guide and mentor all the applicants step by step during the Mitacs Award Application Process. 13 Canadian teacher candidates and 4 graduate students received this award in 2015 and made a fruitful learning and research trip at SWU for 12 weeks. In 2016, 8 Canadian teacher candidates have completed their reciprocal learning trip at SWU in China for three months and been back to Canada in early July.

Program In Depth

Dr. Xu with teacher candidates from Southwest University, China at the Faculty of Education, UW 2015 FallPhoto, Left: Dr. Xu with teacher candidates from Southwest University, China at the Faculty of Education, UW 2015 Fall 

Dr. Shijing Xu, Canada Research Chair in International and Intercultural Reciprocal Learning in Education is an outstanding member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor. Dr. Xu explores research that looks at educational similarities and differences between two cultures and aims to explore how teachers can reciprocally learn from each other. Her research program focuses on identifying educational needs and issues shared by stakeholders in both Canada and China and builds a connection to bring people together from both educational research and practice to learn from one another in a diverse and interdependent world.

Meeting with OISE/University of Toronto Dr. Connelly and the TDSB for the sister school network with ShanghaiPhoto, Right: Meeting with OISE/University of Toronto Dr. Connelly and the TDSB for the sister school network with Shanghai

Dr. Xu’s Canada Research Chair (CRC) program is built on her previous SSHRC work with Dr. Michael Connelly at OISE, University of Toronto, in partnership with Toronto District School Board, Shanghai-Toronto-Beijing Sister School Network (Connelly & Xu, 2009) and her University of Windsor Strategic Fund supported Teacher Education Reciprocal Learning Program (Xu, 2011).  The University of Windsor and Southwest University in China, in partnership with the Greater Essex County District School Board, have established a 7-year Canada-China reciprocal learning partnership (Xu, Connelly et. Al, 2013) that includes two Canadian and four Chinese universities, two Canadian school boards, 40 associated schools in Canada and China, and 42 researchers, 105 graduate students and two post-doctoral fellows working together in six Canada-China research teams.  The CRC research program is aimed at comparing and contrasting Canadian and Chinese education in such a way that the cultural narratives of each provide frameworks for understanding and appreciating educational similarities and differences. The results of these studies will aim to make an impact on public educational discourse, policy and practice.

Chinese Tea house visit with UW teacher candidates in Chongqing, China 2015Photo, Left: Chinese Tea house visit with UW teacher candidates in Chongqing, China 2015

Dr. Shijing Xu and Dr. Michael Connelly are SSHRC Partnership Grant Project Co-Directors. The University of Windsor is the lead organization and has overall project accountability. Drs. Geri Salinitri, Jonathan Bayley, Anthony Ezeife, Zuochen Zhang, George Zhou, Bruce Tucker, and Kara Smith have been involved in the Project as Co-Applicants or Collaborators. Southwest University, China is one of the strongest partners for University of Windsor.  Drs. Shijiian Chen, Yibing Liu, Yuanrong Li, Kun Qu, Aihui Peng, Bo Yu and Bo Hu, including their graduate student teams, have formed strong research teams. With Dr. Michael Connelly as the Project Co-Director, Drs. Doug McDougall, Jim Cummins, Jim Hewitt, Jim Slotta, Ruth Hayhoe, Gila Hanna, Mark Evans, Grace Feuerverger have participated in the project as Co-Applicants or Collaborators from OISE/University of Toronto.

Dr. Xu presenting at a local school in ChongqingPhoto, Right: Dr. Xu presenting at a local school in Chongqing

The Chinese partners also include Dr. Luxin Yang at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Dr. Yupeng Ma from Northeast Normal University, and Professors Yuhua Bu and Lan Ye at East China Normal University. These Canadian and Chinese professors work in 6 research teams to reach the objectives of this Partnership Project: Teacher Education; General Education and Culture; Language Education; Mathematics Education; Science Education; Information, and Communications and Technology Education. The above text is modified from http://www1.uwindsor.ca/vpri/shijing-xu

Sister School Networks

The sister school network between Windsor and Chongqing is a great extension of the Teacher Education Reciprocal Learning Program.  Dr. Shijing Xu, working with Dr. Clara Howitt at the Greater Essex County District School Board, and Drs. Shijian Chen and Yibing Liu at Southwest University, along with the research team members have set up nine sister school pairs between Windsor GECDSB and Chongqing schools.

Monthly Skype meetings between sister school pairs along with other social media, such as Twitter, WeChat Groups, and QQ Groups, have been set up to build a reciprocal learning cultural bridge among schools in Canada and China.

Windsor and Chongqing sister school pairs are as follows:

  1. Glenwood Public School (JK-8) & Ren He Jie Primary School (1-6)
  2. Prince Edward Public School (JK-6) & Zeng Jia Yan Primary School (1-6)
  3. Prince Edward Public School (Gr7-8) & Secondary School Affiliated to SWU (7-9)                      
  4. Eastwood Public School (JK-SK) & Kindergarten Affiliated to SWU 
  5. Eastwood Public School (Gr1-6) & Primary School Affiliated to SWU (1-6) 
  6. Queen Victoria Public School (JK-8) & Bashu Primary School (1-6)
  7. West Gate Public School (JK-8) & Primary School Affiliated to SWU (1-6)
  8. Walkerville Collegiate Institute (9-12) & Secondary School Affiliated to SWU (10-12)
  9. Vincent Massey Secondary School (9-12) & Yucai Seconary School, Jiangjin Campus

Program Support

Canada-China SSHRC Partnership Grant Project:

Logo: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada