A Review of Humanities Week


The Think! Philosophy Club invited Professor Zhejun Yu from the Fudan University to give an online lecture on “The Paradox of Authority in the Modern Education”, analyzing the social phenomena of education from a philosophical anthropological perspective, and quoting some theories from two philosophers, Alexandre Kojève and Erich Fromm. 

This activity aims at providing students with an opportunity to think about social issues philosophically and get in touch with philosophical theories. Meanwhile, it unveils social problems from a philosophical perspective, which calls for more attention and actions to solve the paradox. 

The professor introduced the paradox by pointing out the contradiction within education: on the one hand, authority is indispensable in education, because epistemologically, our knowledge is mostly secondary, acquired indirectly instead of acquaintance that is gained directly. Therefore, authority is necessary within the process of passing knowledge. On the other hand, absolute authority is detrimental to an individual’s autonomy, which education’s primary purpose is to nurture. Therefore, the professor discussed the paradox by extensively analyze the nature origin of authority.

The humanities week activities, especially the history day quiz had very little time for preparation and organization. To be honest, I haven’t got the chance to discuss ideas and events with my fellow ambassadors, friends and teachers. However, under the enthusiastic, efficient and collaborative work of all of us, we have successfully organized the history quiz competition on Tuesday. The quiz covers IGCSE, A-level and extracurricular history content, tested on students from all grade levels and even our history teacher Mr. James Fish. The competition was very intense and interesting, and the participants told me that they had a lot of fun answering the questions and playing the games. The 1st and 2nd places got the 100 and 50 RMB coupons at the cafe as prizes. Overall, it is undoubtedly a successful event. Here I want to thank everyone who supported this event, including Mr. James Fish who gave lots of advice and great support to the history activities, Mr. Richard Driscoll for organizing the humanities week, my fellow humanities ambassadors and friends at TBU who worked so hard to ensure a fun, attractive humanities week and our canteen who provided the special coupons as prizes. I sincerely hope that the activities in humanities weeks from this week to the following years will go well, and we all can have great fun and enjoy the activities.

I was always motivated by what Mills said, a sense of ‘sociological imagination’, which is a quality of mind that will help us to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and what may be happening with themselves. Especially in today’s world where we are unmoored from tradition yet uncertain how to remake our lives—we need positive interactions and passionate engagement with the outside world more than ever. Conversation matters: academic salons, public lectures, seminars……I set up sociology workshop this semester in an attempt to involve more people into the discussions of social issues and to ensure as many potentially competing assumptions and perspectives as possible are raised to maintain the integrity of the critical thinking process, which is grounded in and generates empathy, care, compassion and understanding of both the self and others.

I think humanities week will be such an opportunity to encourage more people in our community to think critically and engage reflexively in order to create a community of socially-aware and activist-minded thinkers. As the ambassador of sociology, I’ve invited two guest speakers who are going to share their specialized field of research on topics that are closely related to our daily lives such as ‘the fast and frustrating lives of China’s food delivery drivers’,  gender issues the history of women’s image and position in Chinese society or religion in China. Students who study sociology in my year group are also invited to present their research projects on interesting questions such as ‘the impact of consumerism on Chinese traditional holidays’. I was so glad and proud to hold these activities and let more people understand what sociology is and how to conduct sociology research. After the seminars, I was even more surprised by how many trenchant questions are raised by us to uncover the nature of the problems with the passion to solve the social issues. 

In retrospect, I owe my teachers and teammates who support me a great deal. Mr Driscoll encouraged me and inspired me to always follow my heart and to try different ideas while respected every idea that was raised by every ambassador. His passion and enthusiasm made me felt back up so I have the courage to put my thoughts into practice. I also feel so grateful and lucky that in SCIE there are always people stand by your side and help you solve problems in the face of difficulty just because we share common interest and concern about the certain problems. My sole passion for one thing cannot have the power to finish the whole project. It is because I am working with a group of passionate people that I firmly believe I should insist on my path despite any adversities. Thank you very much. 

Our main aim was to introduce this relatively new subject to people and to let them experience intricate teamwork tasks. Therefore, the reason why global perspectives were added to humanities week this year was to let students approach a different type of teamwork-based learning. Since GP was one of the few IGCSE subjects that requires teamwork for part of your final grade. Unlike other paper-based tests where you study individually, GP requires a team-based project. Not only would the project help you investigate deeply into a global issue of controversy, but also allows time for community service, awareness-raising, and of course, a training arena for teamwork skills. There were two events for Global Perspectives. The first component was a Q&A session since this subject is relatively new to SCIE. We hung up posters and sample essays to illustrate the coursework of GP, comprising an individual research essay, project report, individual reflection, and methods of citation. The second event was a game to develop teamwork. We laid out a dozen tennis balls across the volleyball court. Two groups competed by blindfolding one of their group members while the others gave instructions on the location of the tennis balls. The participants experienced the actual difficulty of being blindfolded, which coheres to one of our projects works this year: illness and disabilities.

This event helped students to better understand the core topics through multiple perspectives, from experiencing the “loss of sight” to assisting your teammates to collect the tennis balls only through oral instruction. Throughout the Q&A, we were able to help some G1 students to initiate their ideas for their final group project. We were also able to achieve a second goal: linking GP to sociology, as choosing GP would assist the studying of sociology in A1 as the skills of essay writing, researching, and critical thinking were already installed within one’s head. It would be a great humanities subject to take when you are trying to balance your options In G levels. Hence, GP expands your horizons on the existing basis and allows you to have a preliminary understanding of global issues.

“The message cannot be recalled after it has sent. Do you confirm that you want to send the message with your official account?”

When I pressed the “confirm” button, I couldn’t help feeling a bit nervous. This is the promotion video that more than ten of us had been busying producing for a week. I tapped the screen lightly– the message was sent successfully. “At last!”

This was the first time I organized and planed such a school-wide activity with my mates, and I really feel the challenge. I think the early planning stage was the most difficult. We needed to communicate with students and teachers in various departments, and each of us had our own duties: filming, editing, typesetting… After rechecking, our promotion video was finally ready.

After the planning stage, things were much smoother. On Geography Day, our main activities included lucky draw geographic fun facts Q&A, charity souvenirs selling, migration and settlement survey, and poster display. In the lucky draw, students learned knowledge of both human geography and physical geography. Among the souvenirs that we designed, postcards were the most popular, probably because they combined the landscapes of Shuiwei and Antuo Hill campuses as well as different cloud types; the profit we received had been donated to UZIV, a charity ECA in SCIE. In the survey, we investigated how the change of campus affected the migration of SCIErs; on the exhibition board, geographical knowledge in the AS syllabus were shown in the form of illustrated books.

Under the afternoon sunshine, in front of the volleyball court, the moments when students as well as teachers were participating activities in our booth and stopping in front of the display board were the moments that we felt the greatest pleasure.

It was a great honour to have the opportunity to organize the Humanities Week, and this experience is unforgettable. We hope everyone can enjoy the activities we designed!

It was my honor to be the Psychology Ambassador this year and I really enjoyed the activities during the humanity week! Psychology is the science of mind and behavior and it’s a fascinating humanity subject with a science base. We look into inner thoughts of human beings, brain structure, and even behaviors of animals. With the growing awareness of mental health, psychology is becoming one of the most popular majors in the college. In order to enable more students to get to know about psychology, I invited Adam John Privitera, a Phd candidate from HKU, to give us a lecture about the college life majoring psychology. He also talked about the application of psychology in everyday life and his latest research. Through this lecture, we learned about possible career paths for psychology and the fascinating relationships between bilingualism and intelligence. Moreover, we tried several interesting “optical tricks” that is related to neuroscience and discussed about the mechanism behind them.The lecture successfully triggered our passion towards psychology and the determination of studying it in the future.

We also had a fun quiz contest in the form of Kahoot about “Guessing the Famous Psychologists”. By reasoning their most famous psychological theories or experiments, the candidates successfully found out the names of the psychologists. All of the participant showed their profoundunderstanding of the theories and studies about psychology.

 In a nutshell, it was a good time to be with so many peers that have the same interests as me and I hope everyone had enjoyed the humanity week.

It gives me a great pleasure to be invited to attend SCIE Humanities Week. In this event, I shared researches on women’s image which I learned from my two General Education curriculum, women’s issue and the history of consumer culture. Combined what I learned from general education and my marketing expertise, I analyzed the changes in the images of female at four points, and analyzed the implications of these changes on society, politics and business. In addition, I discussed gender equality, how to achieve gender equality and the future development of feminism in depth with SCIE students. They enjoyed it and asked a lot of interesting questions, which was a good experience for me as well.

Student from CUHK

My sharing is based on my article The Fast and Frustrating Lives of China’s Food Delivery Driver published on Sixth Tone, the sister media of The Paper. I grew up in Shenzhen, and SCIE is always a mysterious and legendary school for me. I am very honored to be able to come to SCIE brand new campus through this Humanities Week and have direct and in-depth communications with scie students. They are very active, and their English and questioning skills are as good as undergraduates majoring in social science at overseas universities. Based on my understanding of food delivery culture and related literature, we conducted a series of discussions, such as the possibility of conflict theory perspective in this case and the interaction between gig economy and platform economy. To my great relief, a student who was very active in questioning session came up to me after the event and said that he wouldn’t use delivery services any more. I am very grateful for such an exchange activity, and looking forward more continuous interchange of ideas.

Graduate of CUHK

During their visit to SCIE our students had the opportunity to share the knowledge and skills that they’ve gained through our General Education curriculum. In her third year Anthea took my GEC course, “the History of Consumer Culture,” in which students explore social, cultural, and economic transformations related to consumer culture through topics such as urban development, fashion, and advertising. One of the readings I assign every semester is a chapter from The Modern Girl Around the World, edited by Lynn Thomas, Priti Ramamurthy, Uta Poiger, and Madeleine Yue Dong. The authors investigate how new forms of mass media such as advertising and film helped to shape and spread a new “modern girl” image during the 1920s-1930s. In her subsequent GE and marketing courses Anthea has continued to research the evolution of media representations of women up through the present. Her presentation highlighted how studying the past can transform our understanding of gender and provide deeper insights into the relationship between marketing and gender norms. Moreover, I was impressed by Anthea and Aries’s confidence and ability to discuss complex concepts in English, which testifies to the strong commutation skills that they’ve developed while at our university. Their nuanced responses to very challenging questions posed by SCIE’s students also allowed them to demonstrate some of the knowledge that they have gained from pursuing minors in philosophy.

Dr. Grace Allen
Staff of CUHK

The strong atmosphere of Humanities and social science in SCIE is quite similar to our school’s emphasis on general education. Therefore, in the past years, when I was invited to show the works of my students, I was very happy to let my students who had done field research in their sociology class share their researches. Aries’s article is a stage result of his General Education curriculum, which combines the theoretical perspective of sociology and tries to present the life of food delivery drivers around schools through ethnographic approach, which reflects the humanistic care of “re-examining the ultimate value with non-elite language” emphasized by anthropologist Biaoqiang Xiang. Sino – foreign joint university, as a new mode of higher education, is a epitome of international space in local area, which can help cultivate students’ local and international visions. Over the past decades, there have been more and more possibilities in Chinese education, and both SCIE and CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) are in the forefront of educational innovation. Mutual communication will help us learn from each other and explore more diversified learning methods that are more suitable for this age.

Dr. Xueshi Li
Staff of CUHK