Thursday, March 27, 2014

Changing Ed Philosophy in China and Comparison of Aristotle and Xunzu

The first presentation raised lots of issues I've worked on - particularly the conflicts between the rule of law approach to ethics that we pursue that ignores all the other emotional obligations that humans have.
Vivian-Lee Nyitray

I connected to the second for other reasons.

Vivian-Lee Nyitray is the Dean at two Chinese colleges -

Prospect in Chongqin and Taigu in Shanxi - and spoke about introducing more interactive teaching practices in those colleges and her own conflicting moral obligations to her students, her colleagues, and to her mission.  

Having taught in China, I understood her issues of changing the rows of seats into circles so that students were more involved and better able to interact with each other.   

But I only really had to focus on what happened in my class and not try to get other faculty to adopt more participatory teaching methods. 

Though there were some issues that went beyond the classroom - such as how my teaching methods impacted some of the Chinese faculty.  Fortunately, I had support from high in the college and a Chinese teacher who'd studied in the US also worked with me.

Nyitray looked toward Confucian philosophy as a way to work out some of the dilemmas she faced.

Shi Shan

The next speaker,  Shi Shan, was of interest because she's from the university I taught at in Beijing. 

Her presentation made comparisons of Aristotle and Xunzi's definitions of good. 

Unfortunately, trying to blog and listen at the same time is impacting my ability to concentrate sufficiently on some of the papers.

Here's the room we're in.  I know it as the Pub when it first opened here at UAA.  But there was strong local opposition to serving alcohol on campus and so it never has served as a pub.  Now it's called 'the den.' 

 Shi Shan presenting at UAA

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