Noah Pickus writes on his experience teaching at Duke Kunshan University
KIE director Noah Pickus wrote for the Duke Global Education blog on his experience teaching a global citizenship module at Duke Kunshan University as part of a course being team taught together with Suzanne Shanahan and Wayne Norman. He discussed ways in which the teaching experience in China differed from here at Duke, and praised the level of debate and engagement.
The students held a wide range of views on [issues of democracy and citizenship] – far more so than in a typical U.S. class – and the discussion benefitted greatly from these differences. At times, the conversation was difficult, as the students sought to practice the ground rules of civility that they had established for their group. Although the students were especially careful to ensure that those more fluent in English did not dominate the conversation, there was little of the elaborate rituals I have observed in U.S. classrooms via which students work hard to ensure that no one is offended. The discussion, too, went beyond the merely analytic. The students talked about what these ideas meant to them personally. They described the outcome of these debates as if they mattered to their own lives.