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Sounds like this worked very well for you. I am a bit skeptical that the type of students I teach would be motivated to read. But I do think it would be easy to add quizzes, which usually helps with students reading. When the students were doing their small group discussions, what did you do? Did you go around and talk to each group? Sorry if I missed this in the post.

Ian James Kidd

Hi, Amanda! With motivation, the reiteration of the importance of close reading of the texts to the exam helped, as did my steadfast refusal to lecture or to provide lectures notes. If they did nothing, I would do nothing. Some of them did come to enjoy the close-reading, too. With the small-group discussions, I left them to discuss, all the while checking on them (either observing, listening in, or, less often, going table to table - sometimes, if I joined in, they'd clam up...!)


Thanks Ian - not sure if I would have the confidence to stand there and do nothing, but that is indeed a strategy that hadn't occurred to me.


Would you be willing to share your list of secondary readings? I have a medium-term goal of developing a similar course, and it would be helpful to me to know what you (and then the students) have found helpful in coming to grips with these traditions.

Ian James Kidd

Hi Clerk! Sure thing - email me at [email protected] and, once I'm back in the office next week, I will send them. From memory, the main books we used were Ivanhoe, 'Confucian Reflections'; Harrison, 'Eastern Philosophy: The Basics'; van Norden, 'An Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy'; Kupperman, 'Classic Asian Philosophy'; Goldin, 'Confucianism'; Kohn, 'Introducing Daoism'.


Will do--thanks very much!

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