Conversing With a Hundred People: Getting Students to Speak Up in a Large General Education Class

Conversing With a Hundred People: Getting Students to Speak Up in a Large General Education Class

Date: 25 April 2016 (Monday)
Speaker: Prof. Gordon Mathews (Department of Anthropology)
Language: English

In a large class, teachers will often lecture to a sea of faces, giving up on the idea of learning who students are; and because the class is so large, teachers do not interact with students, but only lecture. This may sometimes result in many students fiddling with their phones or falling asleep. Students at CUHK are reputed to be quiet in class, but this isn't necessarily true--with a subtle shift in approach, students will indeed speak up and engage in class.


In this GE lunch seminar, the speaker will

  1. demonstrate how to ask questions of students in such a way that they will engage in class and think for themselves;
  2. share how to do this in the context of what a teacher seeks to teach in a given class;
  3. discuss how the teacher's own objectives for a lesson can be more fully realized through class discussion; and
  4. elaborate the importance of learning how to get students to speak up in class.


Speaker’s Bio

Professor Gordon Mathews has been teaching in the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong for the past twenty-two years, and is chairperson of the Department. Professor Mathews is the awardee of the Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education (2014) and the awardee of the Vice-Chancellor’s Exemplary Teaching Award (2001 & 2014). Professor Mathews has written books such as What Makes Life Worth Living? How Japanese and Americans Make Sense of Their Lives (1996), Global Culture/Individual Identity: Searching for Home in the Cultural Supermarket (2000) and Chungking Mansions: Ghetto at the Center of the World (2011), and edited and co-authored books on topics ranging from Hong Kong identity to the Japanese generation gap to the cross-cultural pursuit of happiness to the economics of low-end globalization. Professor Mathews is President of the Society for East Asian Anthropology, American Anthropological Association.  Professor Mathews teaches a class of asylum seekers every Saturday at Chungking Mansions.