one of the professors who led my study abroad in greece (imagine 6 weeks being led through greece by a classics professor, a byzantine art professor, a philosophy professor and a woman who worked at the met- pure intellectual heaven) just published a new book.
on our trip we all adored this man and could listen to him lecture forever as we strolled through the very streets of the acropolis socrates himself strolled.
he mentions in the article that one of his biggest problems teaching western philosophy in asia was the cultural difference in approaching teachers:
I would try to run my class like I would here at W&L,” he says, “where we have a good exchange and bright students raise sizzling questions. That’s what keeps us alive. Not so in the East. The problem, which I had discovered earlier when teaching in Hong Kong, is that students in the East won’t talk. They see asking the teacher a question as an insult because it means the teacher hasn’t been clear. And while I did sometimes get the beginning of a hesitant question from the monks, they were very much like my students in Hong Kong.”
we have to take the same cultural consideration in our elementary school classrooms. this is something many of us struggle with in our multi-cultured classrooms. some children talk all the time and some don't talk at all. it is interesting to hear about the challenge from a college-level perspective.