China wants Danish pedagogy

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In September 2013 five Chinese students started at The Social Education in Aarhus at VIA University College. In China they have studied to be preschool teachers for three years, alongside others they were educated by Danish lecturers. In Denmark they expand their Chinese education with a Danish one.

Preschool teacher in both Danish and Chinese: That's what Chinese students can become when they first study three years at Changzhou Institute of Technology (CIT) in China, and then choose to implement another year in Denmark at a Danish university. 

"When students take the additional year in Denmark, they achieve a Double Degree. That is, both a Danish and a Chinese diploma. Their Chinese education complements the practical training they receive in Danish daycare. They graduate in pedagogy and another main subject, as well as a BA, where they immerse themselves in a specific pedagogical area," says Kirsten Due Kjeldsen, Head of International Relations and Associate Professor of Social Education in Aarhus, VIA University College. 

The meeting of cultures gives a new perspective to everyone 

The Chinese preschool teacher training consists of both Chinese and Danish education. So each semester two Danish lecturers travel to China to teach Danish pedagogy. The subjects covered include creative arts, science, psychology and the social sciences. 

"CIT has purchased a special educational core module consisting of six Danish modules. It's an exciting exchange, where we combine the Chinese education with Danish pedagogy. At the same time we are also inspired by the integration with both the Chinese students and their professors," says Kirsten Due Kjeldsen. 

Kirsten Due Kjeldsen says that the agreement also allows two professors each year conduct an eight week study at The Social Education in Aarhus and The Social Education in Randers, (both VIA University College) 

"We all discover something new about each other's cultures. For example, it is great to see senior Chinese who jump on the trampoline or play with the kids when they visit the Danish institutions. We often have an image of the Chinese as being somewhat reserved, but they let their inhibitions go when they are with the kids," says Kirsten Due Kjeldsen. 

Facts about the Double Degree 

  1. Cooperation between the Social Education in Aarhus, VIA University College and Changzhou Institute of Technology (CIT ) in China started already back in 2002, when Kirsten Due Kjeldsen and Xiaojing Zhu, resident Chinese and owner of Focus China, randomly met on a flight. This meeting resulted in a long and interesting working relationship. It has resulted in practical cooperation between the two institutions with the start of a preschool teacher education in 2009. 
  2. The cooperation project has the officially described signature "Sino-Danish Cooperation Programme of Preschool Education between VIA University College, Department of Social Education in Aarhus and Changzhou Institute of Technology". The programme has earned the highly coveted accreditation from the Chinese State Ministry of Education. 
  3. The programme's first three years takes place at CIT and is supplemented by three modules of two to three weeks, during which lecturers from Denmark conduct the education. This culminates in a Chinese preschool teacher education. 
  4. In addition, students with good English skills take a final fourth year of study in Denmark. 
Translated by James Doherty, Cambridge.