Reflects on a Short Video that Paulo Freire Talks about Curiosity

I was impressed by several points by Paulo Freire in this short recored interview.

The first point is remaining your own personality, while being tolerant as educators. It is difficult to recognize and agree to other point of views while defending your own thoughts without swing.

In the Warring States period of ancient China (BC 770-BC 221), many wise ideological tendencies sprouted out. Three major philosophy system, the Confucius, Lao Zi and Mo Zi, together with many other philosophers built up an booming prosperity of ideas. Philosophers communicated with each other, and learned from each other to consummate their own ideology. No one philosophy was dominate, or tried to kill the others. But they evolved and perfect together, contributing a significant portion to the whole Chinese philosophy.

The second point is teachers should appraise and confirm that the speaking from students are as beautiful as the experts. Teachers should be democratic in class to ensure that every student has the right to speak out what they are thinking.

This principle is not conduct very well in Chinese education in general from my perspective. The respect to teachers is rooted deeply in every Chinese mind since we were born. The disagreement with teachers will be considered as un-respective conduct, especially when students express different opinions in the classroom and cause embarrassment on the teachers. Students are expected to be submissive, follow every rule from authoritative teachers, and be diligent on learning. Things are gradually changing since the whole Chinese society are more open, but exchanging academic believes between teachers and students are not as free as it is in the US. Secondly, students with wrong answers should be punished without any excuses. This is quite straight-forward rule in China; wrong is wrong. The part of correct within the overall wrong answer will be hidden and ignored in most cases.




Diversity drives us move smarter

I was amazed at the relationship between diversity in workspace and the sales profits. And I believe diversity brings more creativity and critical thinking in working environment, especially in academic areas.

Based on my own study abroad and travel experience, I found that people who speak different language think in different ways. Partly of the reason is that the grammar is different, for instance, the sequence of words or phrases that you put into sentence. That will affect the sequence of which part of the sentence comes to our mind first, thus reflects on the priority in our thinking.

Additionally, we all admit that the ideology is very different based on culture. As the globalization moving forward, there is a strong need that the students want to learn about different cultures and how everything works in different regions around the world, so they can better survive in the globalized work market. I was talking with a winemaker in New Zealand on the wine sale in China. His company wanted to open the market in China, tried very hard to import their wine to China. But they were kind of failed, until one Chinese guy helped them set up the representative office in China, took care of the Chinese officials who oversee the wine market, and used the local advertisement and promotional skills to open the market. There are some tricks in this, and the single Chinese representative well played the game and increased the wine sales much more.

Multinational corporations embrace diversity. Sadly, it is not easy for international students to get in. Companies, like Nestle and PepsiCo in US, state very clearly in the job postings that they will not hire students who need Visa sponsorship. It is totally understand from the profit perspective, and the diversity they are looking for is the diversity within people who are US citizen or with permanent residency.

It is fun working with people from different background and culture, and I really enjoy it. This is one of the main reasons that I came to US for graduate school; the diversity within myself is strengthened, and hopefully will make me smarter.