Twenty school leaders from Ningxia Province in China visited Harriton High School on January 28, 2019, to learn about the American education system.
The visiting principals and senior faculty members from Chinese primary, middle and high schools are taking part in an advanced leadership training program at Temple University.
Assistant Principal Lauren Marcuson, Principal Scott Weinstein and Harriton's Student Council President provided a tour of the school and answered questions for the visitors. They discussed the school's emphasis on concepts such as inclusion, diversity and creating community, in addition to stressing academic excellence.
Among the differences noted were that classes like metal arts and ceramics are offered during the school day at Harriton, while these would be after-school activities in China. Also, the visitors were surprised to see the students in the halls between classes and talking and working collaboratively in the library. In he Chinese high schools, the students stay in the same classroom all day while different teachers come to teach them and libraries are silent. Additionally, free public education ends after eighth grade in China and students must take tests in order to attend grades nine through twelve.
Holly Meng, director of Temple University's Office of Executive Leadership Education, explained she chose Harriton High School as a destination because, "We believe that Harriton High School in Lower Merion is a great exemplar around the Greater Philadelphia Area to demonstrate the American education system in providing students with high-quality learning and growing experiences."