Educators from Taiwan visit Chambersburg middle schools

The educators spent the day watching cooperative learning in the classrooms

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - More than 20 educators from Taiwan got to experience American education firsthand as they stepped into the classrooms of Chambersburg middle schools.

"It has been really neat to hear their perspective and what they see in our classrooms and all the questions they have," said Kurt Widman, principal of Chambersburg Area Middle School South.

The educators spent the day taking pictures, writing notes and talking to teachers to further their knowledge of how cooperative learning is working in classrooms.

The trip was organized by Dr. Robert Slavin from Johns Hopkins University.

"It's a method where kids work in small teams, four member teams, and their responsibility is to make sure that every member of the team has mastered the materials. The kids are given strategies for teaching each other and learning from each other," said Slavin, professor at Johns Hopkins University and co-founder of Success For All Foundation.

This experience will help those educators expand their cooperative learning project to more than 700 schools in Taiwan.

"What we would like to bring home is the higher order of thinking skills they practice here, because we notice here that when students get an answer, the teacher will ask them, 'Please explain thoughts,' and that is not a thing that we usually do," said Dr. Nancy Tyan, co-director of Taiwan cooperative learning project.

For the past two years, the district has used this method for third through ninth grade.

The educators from Taiwan included professors from the university level, as well as middle school principals and teachers from three schools.

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