China looks to SEEC-ABMP for training in teaching excellence

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Participants in a five-day workshop presented by SEEC-ABMP instructor Peter Constantinou gather for a group portrait in front of Suqian College, Jiangsu, China.

When China decided it needed to help students better prepare to meet the challenges of a global market economy, they realized they needed to reform their universities. To do so, they looked to Canada and specifically the Schulich Executive Education Centre – Asian Business and Management Program (SEEC-ABMP).

Peter Constantinou
Peter Constantinou receives a warm welcome from teachers at China’s Suqian College at the start of the workshop.

Through a global competition, SEEC-ABMP, which is part of the Schulich School of Business at York University, was selected by Suqian College in Jiangsu, a coastal province north of Shanghai, to work with their top teachers in curriculum design, pedagogy and experiential education. The key to the successful proposal for this project was Peter Constantinou, a SEEC-ABMP instructor and professor in York’s School of Public Policy and Administration in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.

Constantinou, who has long experience with using experiential education and other innovative teaching pedagogies, was asked to lead five days of workshops to help lay out a plan for the delivery of more modern applied education programs. College administrators said Constantinou was the first foreign professor to be invited to teach there and it was a great honour for them to be a part of this innovative project.

The workshops included a review of case studies and the introduction of new tools to help the Chinese educators make this transition. Detailed sessions were held on topics such as change management, setting learning outcomes, evaluating progress, diversity and inclusivity, and new approaches to lesson planning, which included use of such techniques as the flipped classroom and experiential education. They also looked at defining employability skills and working with program advisory groups. Throughout the week, Constantinou shared his experiences in applying these methods, and at the end of the week participants were able to present their own ideas and strategies for building on what they had learned.

Bernie speaks online
SEEC-ABMP Director Bernie Frolic speaks to workshop participants online from Toronto.

“It was an honour to be selected to participate in providing advice based on my research and experiences,” said Constantinou.  “It validates the good work that York and SEEC-ABMP is doing in preparing our students for a challenging and changing world.”

SEEC-ABMP was one of the first institutions in Canada to provide professional development and management training to senior executives in the public and private sectors from Asian countries. Since 2000, it has successfully delivered more than 250 short- and long-term training programs to over 5,000 officials at the national and provincial levels, and to many educators and executives in the private sectors, in Canada and China.

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