Business teachers come face to face with Shanghai

17 September 2013

Eight secondary school teachers will be more confident teaching their students about New Zealand’s business links with China after a study trip to Shanghai.

The teachers will head to Shanghai this weekend (Saturday 21 September) to participate in a week-long business studies forum organised by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The teachers will be briefed by New Zealand Consulate General and trade officials, and companies such as Zespri, ANZ and Disney Corporation. They will also visit factories and the Shanghai Far East School. They will meet young New Zealand expats working in Shanghai, including Jack Sheppard, a member of the Foundation’s Young Leaders Network.

The participating teachers are:

  • Kim Jennings - New Plymouth Girls' High School
  • Shahira Popat - Scots College, Wellington
  • Melanie McIntosh - Onslow College, Wellington
  • Sean O’Connor - Wellington High School
  • Anna Ready - St Cuthbert's College, Auckland
  • Sum Leong - Wellington East Girls' College
  • Karyn Wilson - Lincoln High School
  • Pritika Harduar - Glendowie College, Auckland

Foundation director of education Jeff Johnstone says providing school leaders with on-the-ground experiences in Asia is essential for them having the confidence to teach their students about the region.

“Many teachers learnt little about China or Asia during their own schooling and this trip will give them firsthand experiences to draw on,” Mr Johnstone says. 

“They will gain understanding of the business, culture, customs and development of the China, and identify key skills their students will need as New Zealand’s links with Asia deepen.”

Previous research by the Foundation found only one-third of secondary school heads of department had included some Asia-specific topics in their teaching programmes in the previous two years.  And the Asia Aware Students Survey published this year found most New Zealand secondary school students felt under-prepared to engage confidently with Asia, despite recognising the region’s importance to New Zealand.

The Shanghai forum is part of the Foundation’s wider work aimed at increasing the amount of Asia-content in classrooms.  Teachers who have previously participated in the programme have undertaken a range of initiatives to boost content about Asia in their schools, including student study trips to Asia and suggesting their schools introduce Chinese language into the curriculum.

Other professional development opportunities for teachers offered by the Foundation include a new Japan for Beginners study programme – which will be run for the first time in April 2014 – and the annual Singapore Principals Forum.

For further information, contact:

Rebecca Palmer
Asia New Zealand Foundation media adviser
Telephone: 04 470 8701