Confucius Classrooms are local hubs, based in Scottish schools or colleges, which stimulate and support innovative teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture.
How do they work in practice?
Education Scotland and Hanban (The Office of Chinese Language Council International) signed a Letter of Co-operation Intent on 24 October 2007. The key aspect of the co-operation is to set up Confucius Classrooms in Scotland.
Working in partnership, schools and local authorities set up the first of the Classroom Hubs. Teachers use these to organise activities promoting Chinese language and culture and fostering links with Chinese communities in the area. Each Classroom Hub is able to operate in a way that is relevant for its particular context.
Examples of activities include:
- teaching Chinese
- facilitating the education of teachers to teach Chinese in primary and secondary schools
- organising conferences and in-service events related to the teaching of Chinese language and culture
- implementing Chinese language and culture courses for the local community
- supporting Chinese cultural activities and competitions.
Hanban has provided a package of resources and teaching materials to each Classroom Hub for children and young people across a wide age range to help with teaching Chinese language and culture.
The aim is that every school in Scotland will have an opportunity to access these Classroom Hubs and their valuable resources. Four of the Classroom Hubs were in place by June 2008, and a further four by March 2009. Two new Classroom Hubs opened during March 2010.
Fifty pupils and nine members of staff representing the Confucius Classrooms Hubs spent three weeks in Beijing during July 2009 as participants in a Chinese language and culture immersion course.
Seven of the Classroom Hubs have linked with schools in the city of Tianjin in 2010. This increases collaborative working and provides exchange opportunities for teachers and pupils.