See, week one wasn’t as hard as you thought huh?
Teaching can be a challenge, especially when you’ve got a room full of students who learn in various ways.
This week we will focus on the following pieces of ancient Chinese literature:
  • Early Chinese Literature and Thought
  • Classics of Poetry
  • Confucius
  • Du Fu
  • Yuan Zhen, the Story of Yingying
In this post, we will focus on themes that originate from within Confucian themes, which are based rooted in
  1. Goodness
  2. Virtue
These two themes don’t necessarily apply only to the Analects of Confucius. These themes show up, all throughout the Analects of Confucius, the Classics of Poetry, and in the Story of Yingying.
Ever heard of the Classical Education Model? We have five children, who we homeschool, and we participate in a program called Classical Conversations.
The Classical Model is based on three stages of learning: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. Classical education, particularly in the Grammar stage is FULL of memorization. Students will be required to memorize pages and pages of information, with nothing to really connect the information to.
Some classical educators refer to this “memory work” as “Pegs”. Once the student has memorized tons of information, they are then ready for the Logic state, where they will begin to have more meaningful conversations about the information they’ve memorized. This is when the magic of learning begins to manifest.
So, in keeping with the Confucian spirit of “mindless memorization”, you will have your students break off into groups do memory work.
Memory work- it’s part of the Confucian way of learning important social life lessons, and so the students will memorize the lesson, and so it will “stick” in their minds.
In Groups -to build community, increase social interaction, and most importantly, as a reminder of Confucius’ emphasis on societal roles
Each group will have a set of flashcards. The flash cards will contain information from this week’s reading content. For example, one flash-card may have a three line excerpt from the Analects on one side and the word “Analects” on the other side. Another flash-card may have a theme or lesson portrayed in a work, and on the flip side will be the Author and name of the corresponding piece of literature.
I would open the class with a brief introduction, and a high-level overview of the week’s authors, their literature and some background information to provide context. A brief five-minute summary of some Chinese cultural facts or high points will be helpful to discuss before breaking off into groups.
For students who are unable to make it to class, if your class has a large group of online learners or distance students, I would suggest using facebook live or Go-to-Meeting to facilitate the group interaction.