Global Partnership

Dr. Rick Olenchak
Elementry and secondary educators and adminstrators from the Haidian School District in Beijing, China work through problems in a College of Education classroom as Richard Olenchak looks on.

Official Chinese delegations rarely visit the College of Education, so when Houston Mayor Annise Parker's office asked Professor Richard Olenchak to conduct a training program for 19 educators from Beijing, Olenchak did not hesitate to help the delegation better understand American education.  

The UH College of Education hosted 19 delegates from the Haidian School District in Beijing on Thursday January 12, 2012.  These elementary and high school educators and administrators worked with Olenchak, who presented a hands-on training program about future problem solving in education.

Beijing delegate describes her work
Chinese delegation member describes her work during the training program at the College of Education.

 

During their time here, the delegation hopes to better understand teaching methods employed in the U.S., they will also be visiting Houston area schools to observe classes in person.  "Houston and Haidian School Districts have been partnered since 2007, when together we signed into place a partnership agreement to facilitate student exchanges", said Tyler Smith of the Mayor’s Office.  "In the past few years we have since expanded into hosting delegations and exchanging best practices."

 


Chinese visitors display College of Education t-shirts
Robert McPherson and Richard Olenchak greet Chinese delegation members in the dean's office of the College of Education.

The UH College of Education has developed an increasingly powerful partnership with the Haidian District of Beijing which is China’s corollary to the USA’s Silicon Valley. The potential for future visits and projects looks bright. "As a result of this strengthening relationship, opportunities for joint research will be significantly enhanced," said Olenchak.   "At the very least, international studies of the impact of Future Problem Solving and Creative Problem Solving on individuals and communities are already being planned."

Equipping adults and ultimately young people in Beijing with the skills of a well-researched and field-tested system for solving problems creatively and with an eye toward future implications is as very powerful tool. The UH College of Education is proud to be on the forefront of spreading this innovation internationally.