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Teaching for the future

By Yuan Can, Du Mingming (People's Daily Online)    15:03, August 26, 2014
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Sun Youzhong, vice president of Beijing Foreign Studies University, delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of 2014 BFSU-Harvard Symposium on Teaching for the Future on Aug. 23, 2014. (People's Daily Online/Du Mingming)

BEIJING, August 26 (People’s Daily Online) - Teachers should teach for the future in order to get students prepared for competitions, said Sun Youzhong, vice president of Beijing Foreign Studies University, at the opening ceremony of a symposium in Beijing, Aug 23, 2014.

The symposium is jointly hosted by Beijing Foreign Studies University and Harvard University for the purpose of promoting teacher development and teaching reform at BFSU.

Facing the problem that teachers in China put overwhelming emphasis on mastering existing knowledge and memorizing historical facts and that teachers neither engage students nor enlighten students, the key message in this symposium is to prepare students to meet challenges of the future, to keep them curious about the world, to think critically, to solve problems, and to explore new fields of knowledge.

"The most important thing is to teach ourselves (teachers) for the future and try to adapt the teaching methods brought by professors from Harvard to our courses in Chinese context," says Sun.

Christopher Marquis, associate professor of Harvard Business School, advocates case studies and encourages students to argue in the class.

However, not all students are good at arguing. In view of this fact, Marquis suggested that teacher should strike a balance b