Associated Colleges in China

Summer Field Studies

Presentation Proposal

Proposal and Presentation Preparation Guidelines

Presenting in Chinese at a formal conference may sound challenging.  But, like all previous FS students, you too will deliver an impressive presentation in excellent Chinese, so long as you choose an appropriate topic, structure your proposal and presentation well, provide convincing and concrete examples, and work closely with faculty advisors and Chinese teachers throughout the revision and rehearsal process.

Choose a Good Topic

Your 3 to 5 page long Chinese or English proposal submitted along with your application will be the base of your 20 minute formal presentation. It is thus important to choose a right topic and perspective, which will give you a smooth starting point. You need to ask yourself two questions when choosing a topic.

First, do I have personal experiences relevant to and supportive of my topic? The more you are personally involved in the subject matter, the more confident and passionate you will feel about the topic, and the more effective your project will be.

Second, will my topic interest the audience? The audience who attends your sessions at the conference will primarily consist of experts in education and Chinese teachers working in rural schools in different parts of China. Most of you are not trained in education; this is why we do not expect you to present an educational research study, which may overwhelm you and make your presentation vulnerable to criticism. You also want to avoid those topics that do not allow you to provide enough specific teaching practices/examples/procedures that rural teachers can employ. Such topics will not likely arouse enough interest.

A successful FS presentation needs to be a presentation of your own positive personal experience in the American educational system as a learner. The presentation should also feature enough vivid and practical teaching/learning examples for rural teachers in China to learn from your American education experience. Writing from an American learner's perspective using good learning/teaching examples (such as the ones attached to these guidelines), you will give Chinese educators valuable information. You want to constantly remind yourself of this perspective from your proposal to your final presentation.

Structure Your Proposal and Presentation Well

Structure your proposal and presentation in the following way:

1. An introduction to the main points and an explanation of their significance and relevance to Chinese educators (We encourage to be as creative as you can).
2. Detailed illustration of your main points with convincing and concrete examples.
3. Suggested course of action and/or conclusions

Students tend to neglect the first part of this structure when writing their proposals and presentations, however it is crucial to briefly but clearly lay out your main arguments/points and explain their significance right at the beginning.  You want to do this to attract your readers/audience’s attention from the beginning and to give them a necessary roadmap to your proposal/presentation.  This is called 开门见山 in Chinese and has long been regarded as one of the most effective writing and presenting strategies. To arouse more interest, you may want to add in a lead-in anecdote before the introduction.  But you should keep the anecdote brief and highly relevant.

You want to continue applying the 开门见山 strategy when providing detailed illustration of your main points.  Each passage you write should start with a topic sentence clearly telling your readers/audience which point you plan to illustrate in the passage.

Provide Convincing and Concrete Examples

The examples you use to support main points should be primarily about your learning experience. And the examples should be of practical value to rural teachers in China. Good examples from your own experience can make your presentation original and convincing.   However, make sure to relate your personal experience to the overall educational goals that you believe one should achieve in a society. Such educational goals could include: academic achievement, intellectual development, creativity, leadership, critical thinking skills, personal growth, life learning skills, among others.  You are also welcome to use some research findings and data that are highly relevant to your experience to give your presentation more academic depth, but remember you are NOT an expert of education and this is not meant to be a research presentation. Your Chinese audience will be interested in new ways of looking at/thinking about education and will be counting on you to provide them with information regarding the American educational system.

Your proposal needs to briefly but clearly describe what examples you plan to use in the presentation. Your presentation draft should give vivid details of the examples. You want to use plenty of images (personal pictures showing your educational experience are especially welcome) on your PPT to help illustrate your points. Three concrete examples supporting good topics used in the past are attached at the end of these guidelines for your reference.

Work Closely With Faculty Advisors and Chinese Teachers Throughout the Revision and Rehearsal Process

You will work closely with several faculty advisors and Chinese teachers throughout the revision and rehearsal process. Before June, a pre-departure faculty advisor will oversee your writing progress and help with revision. Under the faculty advisor’s guidance and supervision, you will focus on the content and organization of the presentation. You will be asked to revise the presentation and PPT drafts as many times as needed until they meet basic FS conference presentation standards. After you arrive in China, you will further revise the presentation and refine your Chinese language with the help of ACC instructors to ensure the quality of your presentation.  At the same time, the ACC instructors will also help you rehearse your presentation, correct your pronunciation, and improve your oral presentational ability. This extended process of careful revision guided by experienced faculty advisors and Chinese teachers will not only guarantee a high quality final presentation, but will also significantly improve your abilities to express sophisticated ideas in formal Chinese.

We expect your pre-departure presentation draft to be approximately 5,000 Chinese characters long so that you have enough.

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Possible Presentation Topics

  • Your most meaningful learning experience in a U.S. school (K-12)
  • Building self-confidence in a classroom setting
  • College practices for environment protection
  • The variety of school-based extracurricular activities
  • Development of foreign language skills in U.S. schools
  • Community services and volunteering in the U.S.
  • Development of personal skills
    • Ability to learn independently
    • Ability to summarize information
    • Ability to communicate and work in a group
    • Ability to analyze
    • Problem solving ability
    • Creative and critical thinking

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Presentation Titles from Previous Students

  • Building Bridges: Storytelling and Empathy
  • A Popping Balloon: Childhood Fine Arts Education, Creativity, Individuality, and Stress Alleviation
  • Understanding through Teaching: The Advantages of Peer-to-Peer Education Methods
  • Nutrition, Education, and Money: How Teacher Disposition, Food Provision and Budgets Affect the Health of Students
  • Using Experiential Learning to Reinforce Class Material and Foster Skills Not Taught Through Didactic Teaching Methods
  • The Negotiator in Us All: Cultivating a Culture of Debate in the Educational System
  • Music Education and Self-Expression
  • Individualized Instruction as a Means to Encourage Specialization and Independence
  • Information and Communication Technology’s relationship with the Classroom: A study of the interdependence and inconsistent relationship between technology and education.
  • Foreign Language Learning across Secondary and Tertiary Education Programs in America: Models for Emulation (and Avoidance)
  • Athletics and Development
  • Extracurriculars: The Benefits of Learning to Write Creatively
  • Homeschooling and Student Achievement
  • The Importance of Cultural Literacy in Language Study
  • Students’ Freedom and Independent Thinking
  • The Challenges and Importance of Science Education in the United States
  • Cultural Diversity and Writing: Preparing Students for a Global Village
  • The Impact of One-on-One Tutoring in Elementary and Middle Schools
  • Discipline Without Disciplining in the United States: The Role of After School Programs
  • Arts Education in the United States: Reinvigorating and Inspiring Students
  • Developing Leadership/Teamwork Skills, Voicing Personal Opinions, and Exploring Social/Career Interests through Publicly-Funded Extracurricular Student Organizations: How After-School Activities Supplement Academics and Advance Preparation for Higher Education
  • The Importance of Visual Imagery in American Education
  • Promoting Volunteerism and Academic Awareness in American Public Schools: National Honor Society
  • Learning through Play: Exploring Creative Lessons
  • The Importance of Mentorship Programs for Personal and Community Development
  • Improving China’s Ethnic Minority Schools: Borrowing Lessons from Jewish Day School in America
  • The Educational Value of Athletics
  • Health Education in the United States

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Concrete Examples Supporting Good Presentation Topics

Example 1:
• 赵竹婷(Christine Chambers, Indiana University Bloomington)《教师评估制度》

• ppt11可是和数学成绩恰恰相反的是,我的科学成绩一直都很拔尖,这是因为数学都是“纸上的”,但是科学则需要动手。在美国的教育制度中,老师十分注重书本知识与动手能力的结合,中国人不是也说:”纸上得来终觉浅,绝知此事要躬行”吗?
•  七年级的时候,我的老师有一个很好的办法激发学生的兴趣,一天我们学习制作牛顿流体,她让我们把水和生粉以1比2的比例到在一起,搅拌均匀了之后老师问我们这个是液体的还是固体的?我们当然认为因为有水所以应该是液体的。老师让我们用手把液体捞起来,我们马上兴奋地大叫“猜对了”,但是老师又给我们勺子,让我们反复拍打。让我们不可思议的是液体变成了固体!
•   下课之前,老师问我们觉得为什么是这样,我们当然不知道,所以老师说我们回家的时候应该动脑思考。第二次上课我们看了一部关于流沙的电影。流沙跟牛顿流体一样,所以看完了电影老师再问我们为什么牛顿流体既是液体又是固体。
•   通过讨论我们知道:流沙中的沙砾和生粉的性质是一样的,流沙中也有水,所以形成了“牛顿流体”。一般情况下,沙砾是松散的,所以人们会陷入流沙,很多人惊慌失措,尝试把腿拔出去,这样的行为就像用勺子敲打生粉,这会让沙砾变成密致,固体,所以他们拔不出来,正确的办法就是慢慢地走,走到流沙的尽头,这会让流沙恢复成流体,你会更容易出去。
• 老师这样的教学方法十分符合评估制度中的第“27条”—— 训练独立解决问题的能力

• Example 2:
• 冯爱苏(Ursula Friedman, Oberlin College)《激励式教育》

• 第七张ppt    
• 美国学生也会完成一些长期性的、个体性的计划来发掘自己的潜力。 古语有云:书山有路勤为经,学海无涯苦作舟。让学生参加阅读比赛不仅可以使他们掌握知识,也可以激发学生的兴趣。阅读比赛一般分为三个阶段。第一阶段,学生要在父母,教师,亲戚的共同指导下制定出本学期的阅读目标。 我的目标是在后半学期天天看两个钟头的书。第二阶段 ,选择自己最想要的奖品。 开学以前,校长,家长,老师会根据学生的不同兴趣爱好精心设计奖品单子。列表上的物品是从价格低到价格高排列的。第三阶段,向亲戚,朋友筹募买奖品的零用钱。支持者都会答应捐助,但会等到整个计划完成才把钱给学生,以免学生半途而废。第四阶段,按照自己所定的目标天天研读、思考,写感想,子曰:学而不思则罔wang3,思而不学则殆dai4。不仅要学知识,更要学会独立思考。第五阶段,用筹募到的钱来购买奖品,并写信向捐助者报告计划执行的结果,有没有达到预定的目标,感谢捐助者的支持。第五阶段,用募捐到的零用钱来买奖品。在进行阅读比赛的过程中,教师父母给学生充分自由的空间,只要学生的感想写得很丰富,这样的小成就会不断地去鼓励他对阅读的投入。
•   很显然,这种活动有助于培养学生的意志力。这种奖励方式的优点在于学生是自己唯一的竞争对手,不用拿自己同他人相比。
• 第八张ppt/ 第九张ppt 
•     不仅阅读比赛能培养学生主动学习的能力,而且举办学习成果展也会帮助他们完成探究式的学习,从中得到鼓励。  
• 我上的初中是一种沉浸式外语学校。老师不但要灌输知识,也要保证学生会获得英语和西班牙语双语读写能力。 为了鼓励学生在学习上多用心,与其给他们很高的成绩,不如让他们在全班同学,老师以及父母面前报告学习成果。中学六年级时社会老师让我们办学习成果展来代替期末考试。
•     以我为例,我花了一个月的时间完成了一篇关于阿兹特克社会的文章,有的同学重现了古代阿兹特克帝国的首都,有的同学教别人玩儿玛雅人发明的体育活动,有的人解释玛雅的日历日规等计时制度。我们都在社会课上准备这个成果展。老师也会在课上辅导我们,让我们查资料,并且每周五举办成果报告的练兵。练兵以后,老师会根据该学生的进度一对一地为他提建议,比如可以补充或是改善的地方。但是同学之间并不会互相提意见。在最后阶段需要完成模版,家长会帮助学生买一些制作材料。父母很少帮助孩子完成模版的制作,这是为了让学生体验到独立完成的成就感,树立自信心。这次成果展并没有奖品,学生只看重他们能力的锻炼和自信心的树立。虽然和成绩有关系,但是大家并不只关注成绩。在这样的活动中没有失败的孩子,只要独立地完成就算是好的。学生如果遇到了困难会求助于老师,如果找不到好的资料。老师会为学生推荐一些可以来进行研究的资料,鼓励学生把迥然不同的观点都结合起来。因为每个人都精心地准备,所以成果展非常精彩。

• Example  3:
• 郑大铉(Sam Jeong, Williams College)《互动式教学》

•     在美国,四年级的时候一个活动给我留下很深刻的印象。学期开始的时候,我的老师给了我们一个很特别的要求。他的要求就是我们一个学期内必须读两本书,什么书都可以,然后在同学和老师的面前讲关于你读完的一本书。因此,每个学生在一个学期需要做两个报告。报告的结构是你自己想出来的。但是它一定包括那本书的主要内容,主要人物,读后反思和你要不要建议这本书给同学和老师。但是这个报告还包括另外一个很特别的部分。那就是想好一个跟你读书有关的活动,然后跟同学们和老师分享一下。比如说,如果你读书的类型是冒险,你就能让你的班出去作一个冒险活动(比如:一起找一个很有意思的石头,找松鼠,等等)。如果你读的书是一本关于恐怖内容的书,你就能讲一个恐怖故事。这样的报告和它包括的活动让我们动除了了解书中的主要题目以外还让我们使用创造力做一个活动。
• 我读的书是《查理和巧克力工厂》与《爱迪生的传记》,老师帮我们安排了读书计划。一个月读一本书。而且每周需要读书的四分之一。每周父母需要向老师证明学生完成了任务,他们要在读书笔记上签名。老师要给学生一个有清楚要求的列表。学生可以通过各种各样的方式做报告,但是列表上的要求必须完成。比如:人物,地点,时间,等等。学生独立完成报告以后需要在教室的前面展示他的成果。做报告的时候学生可以半脱稿的完成。我们做完第一个报告的时候老师会面对面地为我们提意见。这样可以帮助我们进行第二个报告。而且第二次报告是要记成绩的。除了报告以外每个人需要设计一次活动。我设计了一个活动和《爱迪生传记》这本书的内容有关系。在我完成这本书的读数报告之后,又用电池、金属的线和小灯做了科学的小实验,最后让灯亮起来。这是我刚到美国两个月,而且我的英文水平不太高,所以完成那个报告给我更强的自信心。报告结束以后,老师和同学对我有新的认识。他们发现我并不是害羞的孩子。
• 除了在语言课中可以运用这样的教学方式外,在其他课程中已适当地使用表演艺术教育的教学方式。
• 那首歌叫《稻草里的火鸡》,它是美国小孩子无人不知的儿歌。我们先一起唱了真正的歌曲。我记得我们都认为这首歌和今天的课没有关系。唱完后老师问我们一个问题: 谁背东西背得非常好?没人举手。她又问我们:“谁知道他最喜欢的音乐的歌词?”所有的人都举手了。 然后他发给我们新的歌词,它包括所有的美州和它们的首都。先让我们一起一边看美国的地图一边唱歌(那时候老师指出不同的地方)。然后老师让我们分组练习唱这首歌。那时候的要求还是一边唱歌,一边看地图。在这节课的最后老师指着地图让我们说出这是哪个州,然后说出它的首府名。学生的回答都很正确。而且他给每个学生两天的时间研究两、三个州,在这之前,她已经给每位学生分好了谁负责哪几个州。然后考试的时候,所有学生到教室的前面讲解自己的州。

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