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Seventh year for ELLE collaboration

Posted by on Monday, January 23, 2012 in Around the Mall, Issue, Winter 2012.


Guoming Long receives a high five from a Susan Gray School student during a tour of the school for ELLE participants as Gao Guangtang watches.

A delegation of Chinese educators visited Vanderbilt University in October and November to learn the latest in U.S. education policy and experience American classrooms and techniques firsthand.

This marked the seventh consecutive year that the Education Leadership Learning Exchange (ELLE) has convened leaders from  Peabody, South China Normal University and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools for seminars, school visits, cultural experiences and cooperative dialogue.

“One of the enduring lessons of this exchange is not that we can replicate in form the styles of each system, but rather, by focusing on what we each hope to accomplish, we have found that we have a great deal in common,” said ELLE director Tom Ward.

During the two-week program, the Chinese cohort, visitors from the Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau, shadowed area teachers and administrators. They also participated in a leadership symposium with Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Teacher Leadership Institute and local educators from the Principals’ Leadership Academy of Nashville—a yearlong professional development partnership between Peabody College and MNPS. Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman presented the keynote address.

The ELLE program serves as a cornerstone of Vanderbilt’s involvement in this region of China and builds upon existing partnerships between the Guangdong Province and Nashville. Last summer, seven teachers from Nashville area schools went to this region as visiting professors. This year, Nashville’s Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School will host a teacher from the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University.

“Vanderbilt strives to build long-term and mutually beneficial collaborations with our international partners,” said Vice Provost for Faculty and International Affairs Tim McNamara. “ELLE is an excellent example of university partnership that connects research, teaching and service for the community. We are pleased to see that it is growing and receiving so much local support.”


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