LYNN’S TEACHING TEACHERS FROM CHINA

BY THOMAS GRILLO of the Lynn Item

LYNN — Principal Sunny Liang flew nearly 8,000 miles from Zhejiang province in China to learn best practices from some of the Bay State’s schools.

Her first stop was Kipp Academy where she watched Joohee Baik at work. The kindergarten instructor used “The Three Bears,” the tale about friendly bears who return home to find a mischievous girl asleep in their bed, to teach words through pictures.

Liang was among two dozen Chinese educators in Lynn Monday to tour Kipp’s K-12 classrooms. They plan to spend the week in Massachusetts visiting a number of schools.

Baik asked her pupils if they knew or could read the name of the classic book. When none of the children responded, she promoted them with questions: “What do you see on the cover?” “Bears,” said one boy.

“How many?” she asked.

“Three,” said the boy.

It was the kind of instruction Liang had never seen.

“In China, all learning is done by memorization,” she said. “We need to have children problem solve and that’s where critical thinking comes in. But most teachers and administrators don’t even know what critical thinking is. But here it is, it’s real and I can now see how it’s done.”

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