Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

UK Prepares Students with ‘China Literacy’ for 21st Century World

 

china2

LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/15/13) – As the University of Kentucky prepares its students to compete in a globalized world, it's crucial to provide students with what associate provost for international programs Susan Carvalho calls "China literacy."

As the world's leading exporter, with the world's second-largest economy, there is no question that China is a dominant player in the 21st century marketplace.
 
"We’re thinking about how to make sure we’re graduating students who are world-ready, and there is no question that 'China literacy,' if we could use that term, is needed by people who are going into the global workforce," Carvalho said. "And it’s hard to think of any sectors that aren’t impacted in some way by what China does."
 
Just as China's influence spans across various industries, the elements of global literacy span across multiple disciplines. Part of fostering this literacy in students involves developing China programs for faculty across the curriculum.
 
"One message we want to send to students is that global literacy is not just about culture classes and language classes. It’s about how knowledge is created, disseminated, and used in a commercial and global environment of commerce," Carvalho said. "So, by sending to China faculty who are from a broad range of disciplines, some of whom haven’t been to China, the hope is that this perspective about China will be infused across the grid, not by just something that anyone teaches but by experiences that faculty have."
 
With this goal in mind, the UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program came into fruition, through the work of the UK Confucius Institute (UKCI), the conduit for UK’s China initiatives. UKCI has supported UK students' experiences in China for the past two years, and this summer UKCI supported 29 UK faculty members' travel to China to teach at Shanghai University.
 
"We are very proud that in the two years of its existence, the UK Confucius Institute has become the driving force for the “China Literacy” for faculty as well as students," said Huajing Maske, director of UKCI. "In addition to UKCI’s Distinguished Scholars Speaker Series which bring five speakers each year to speak on China-related topics, being able to support the 29 faculty members to go to Shanghai University is unprecedented. This will undoubtedly contribute to increasing China literacy on campus."
 
These teaching stints embedded the professors in the departments of the partner universities. This afforded them much more meaningful experience by making them colleagues with Chinese faculty.
 
Ernest Yanarella, chair of the Department of Political Science, taught a course titled, "Bridging Modernity, Globalization, and Sustainable Development in China and the West."
 
"I must say that teaching in China to young Chinese college students was one of the most meaningful educational experiences I have had as a scholar and university professor," Yanarella said. "The course sought to develop a conversation with 30 English-speaking Chinese first and second-year students at Shanghai University about their future—and ours. It proved to be a splendid opportunity for an American scholar and teacher to engage in a real dialogue with future leaders of the Republic of China."
 
Yanarella said that such partnerships are a win-win situation for Chinese universities and the University of Kentucky.
 
"The opportunity for UK faculty to teach at Chinese universities opens up possibilities of promoting greater cultural understanding across political and other divides and generating collaborative teaching and research projects with Chinese scholars," he said.
 
History professor Phil Harling taught a course titled, "British Imperialism and the Opium Wars."
 
"To their great credit, the Shanghai University authorities seem genuinely interested in exposing their students to more discussion-intensive experiences in the classroom," Harling said. "I think the students enjoyed the casual give-and-take of an American-style classroom."
 
Harling said the experience left him much more optimistic about the future of the Sino-American relationship.
 
"This will only become more important as the 21st century progresses," he said. " Moving forward, I hope more UK faculty will have the chance to meet and learn from colleagues in China."
 
A center for Chinese language, culture, art and business, the UK Confucius Institute serves as a gateway to China for the university and for Kentucky. UKCI works to strengthen China Studies within the university, while at the same time providing leadership and support for Chinese language programs in Kentucky’s K-12 classrooms, and forging important community relationships through Chinese cultural outreach to people in the Commonwealth.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Sarah Geegan

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 29, 2014 5671

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 4534

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 28, 2014 4273

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 4147

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 3818

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 26, 2014 2129

Two People Injured When Vehicle Overturns…

in Top Stories by Matt Sanderson
August 27, 2014 1539

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - August…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
August 26, 2014 651

Whitfield Presents $1 Million FEMA Check…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 618

MCC Announces New Board Members

in Top Stories by Joyce Riggs
August 26, 2014 574

McCay Chiropractor Presents Relay For…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 26, 2014 4534

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 3818

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 26, 2014 1659

City Hall, Transit, Sanitation Schedules…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 27, 2014 1256

Owensboro Police Conduct Investigations

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 1229

Happy Birthday to the Edge Ice Center

in News by Brittni Bunn

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 28, 2014 4273

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 4147

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 3426

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Accident

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 2334

Annual Everly Brothers Cruise In…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 1786

Muhlenberg Job Corps Former Student…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06