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Concordia and Columbia University Literary Partnership Benefits Students and Teachers

May, 2012
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This winter, Concordia International School Shanghai received two week-long visits from Columbia University literary specialists. Amanda Hartmann, Columbia’s top teaching trainer with expertise in K-G2 curriculum, visited Concordia in February and Grace Chao, a G3-G5 specialist who has been at Columbia University for more than 15 years, visited the school in early April.

concordia-columbiaThe specialists’ visits are part of the Concordia International School Shanghai and Columbia University literary partnership. In 2010, Concordia became the first school in China to achieve this prestigious affiliate status with Columbia University, giving Concordia access to the latest research-based curriculum resources as well as on-the-ground literacy training. Concordia Elementary School Instructional Coach Erin Kent shared, “Our affiliate status provides us with direct access to all new ideas generating from Columbia University’s literacy think tank. Columbia trainers mentor our teachers side-by-side in the classrooms. Their training helps us stay on the cutting-edge of literacy research and best practices.”  

While at Concordia, the literary specialists visited faculty, parents, and students to share best practices. They also spent hours with administrators and team leaders. A characteristic of Columbia training is that after giving a lecture on best practice teaching, they demonstrate in classrooms. During the training, all the Concordia teachers from a grade level came into one room and Ms. Hartman or Ms. Chao taught the class so that teachers could see how the philosophy is put into practice. Also, during Ms. Chao’s visit, she offered a well-attended parent workshop on the philosophy of reading and writing instruction and how parents can support literacy work at home.  

“Concordia’s teachers are already accomplished in leading reading and writing workshops. This additional training will benefit students further with even more targeted instruction and differentiation,” added Erin Kent. 


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