On the morning of 14 October 2014 a group of 12 students from Duke University School of Business (located in North Carolina, USA) joined Stepping Stones to teach at Chenchun Primary School in the Songjiang District of Shanghai. Chenchun Primary School serves one of the largest migrant student populations in the district, and at roughly 50 students per class, has one of the largest class sizes. Because of the large migrant population in Songjiang District, the student turnover rate is higher than average.
The Duke MBA students were all new to teaching, and so after a brief training led by Stepping Stones staff, they were able to observe a Chinese teacher-led English class. Many noted how the Chinese style of instruction was very teacher-driven, with very few opportunities for students to practice their conversation skills among themselves.
After training and observing, the Duke students took to the chalkboard, teaching two classes of Grades 4 and 5. Afterwards, they were able to talk to the principal of Chenchun Primary, and received a presentation on the precarious status of migrant workers in Shanghai. Many Duke students were previously unaware of the difficulties faced by migrants in securing their basic needs, and were inspired by the enthusiasm and eagerness of the migrant children in the classroom.
All in all, it was a wonderful and eye-opening experience for the Duke MBA students, as well as an exciting opportunity for the children of Chenchun Primary School. Stepping Stones is delighted to partner with such wonderful schools and looks forward to future collaborations!