Newsletter No. 64

2 No. 64 19th February 1995 CUHK Newsletter A Little More love, A Little More Respect From theDirector ofStudent Affairs With the rapi d expansio n o f th e University and the drastic increase in student numbers, th e teacher-studen t relationshi p today bears little resemblance to what it used to b e i n th e past . Th e shortenin g o f th e curriculum to three years with a full-fledged credit-unit system , frequen t performanc e appraisals, increasingly large classes, and the introduction of mandatory course assessment exercises, have all added new dimensions to the teacher-student relationship . The shift in students' needs , mentality and values has prompted many more students to engage in part-time employment. The time they spend on campus other than attending classes has become more and more restricted. This does not only affect their involvemen t in various extracurricular activities but also means less time for faculty-student contacts. In the longer term, this would mean a lack of a sense o f belongin g t o th e Universit y community whic h i s a n essential ingredien t o f a healthy campus ecology. The apath y o f th e student populatio n a t large poses a sharp contrast to the heightened aspirations of the student activist s fo r a more prominent participatio n i n the governanc e o f th e University. Th e often less- than-desirable approache s adopted b y som e o f th e students i n advancing their ideal and pleading their cause lead t o furthe r alienatio n between the faculty and the students. Some teachers an d staf f conside r th e students ' behaviour incomprehensible and belligerent, while the student leaders believe that nobody can fee l a s intensel y a s the y can , o r a s betrayed and bereft. Today's teachers are challenged to teach a student population increasingly diverse in the level s o f academi c preparation , aspirations, as well as motivation, styles o f learning an d socia l background . Severa l researchers (Boehm , 1992 ; Johnson , Johnson & Smith , 1991) * hav e postulated that a paradigm shift should be occurring in teaching, a shift which i s based on a new vision of the classroom, one predicated on student-centred, interactiv e teachin g methods. Yet , th e facult y i n a research- oriented institutio n ar e expected to carr y demanding teaching loads, serve on various management and policy committees, and yet remain o n the cuttin g edg e o f research . Despite compellin g researc h finding s regarding the need for a renewed emphasis on teaching and learning enhancement, much frustration stems fromaschism in the reward system (Seldin, 1991,1993; Sheridan, 1991; Boyer, 1990)* . In the face of an ageing university, a more mobil e faculty , shiftin g enrolmen t trends, a more diverse studen t population , tightening o f budgets, spiralling cost s and public demand for increased accountability and self-regulation, wha t ar e the realisti c options fo r member s o f the Universit y t o maintain the kind of solidarity and fraternity they used to enjoy? Alas, the priority of the teacher-student relationshi p ha s certainl y experienced a repositioning. In fact , there ar e ampl e channel s fo r teacher-student interface , amongs t whic h the growt h o f forma l mechanism s i s particularly significant . Ther e ar e no w student representative s o n almos t al l th e users' an d consultative committee s an d in a substantia l numbe r o f othe r polic y committees. Ther e ar e teacher-studen t consultative committee s a t the university , at faculty as well as at departmental levels. The effectivenes s o f thes e forma l mechanisms is very varied, to say the least. A lac k o f genuin e an d comprehensiv e exchange of opinions appears to be one of the majo r obstacles . Improvemen t i n the teacher-student relationshi p i s probabl y something much more complex and subtle than can readily b e resolved b y th e mere existence o f formal devices . Perhap s what we need from all parties concerned is a little more understanding, a little more trust, a little more care, a little more love, and a little more mutual respect. While lov e can be without conditions, respec t certainl y need s t o be earned. Grace Chow * Boehm , L ., ' In wake of crisis: Reclaiming the heart of teaching and learning', i n T. J. Frecka (Ed.), Critical thinking, interactive learning and technology: Reaching for excellence in business education, Arthu r Anderse n Foundation, pp . 24-40 , 1992 . * Boyer , E . L. , Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professorate, Princeton , N J : The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990 . * Johnson , D . W ., Johnson, R . T ., & Smith , K . A ., Cooperative learning: Increasing college faculty instructive productivity (ASHE-ERI C Higher Educatio n Repor t No.4) , Washington , DC: Th e Georg e Washingto n University , School o f Educationa l an d Huma n Development, 1991 . * Seldin , P. , The teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved performance and promotion/tenure decisions, Bolton , M A : Anker Press , 1991 . * Seldin , P. , Successful use of teaching portfolios, Bolton , MA : Anke r Press , 1993 . * Sheridan , H . W. , 'Ichabo d Cran e die s hard : Renewing professiona l commitment s t o teaching', in P. Seldin & Associate s (Ed.),How administrators can improve teaching: Moving from talk to action in higher education, Sa n Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass , pp . 165—180 , 1991. Father of Translation Theory Visits Shaw D r . Eugen e A . Nida , know n a s th e father o f translation theory thanks to hi s achievements in Bible translation, visited Shaw College a s the Si r Run Run Shaw Distinguished Visiting Scholar 1994-95 . During hi s visit , Dr . Nid a me t th e academic community of Hong Kong and conducted a public lectur e i n th e Sha w College lectur e theatr e on 10t h January. Entitled Translatio n Studie s i n the 21st Century', th e lecture gave a brief review of the extent of translating in the modem world and discussed crucial issues in the field in the coming century. Dr. Nida also spoke at two seminar s at the University on 11th and 13th January respectively. Th e firs t lectur e o n ' The meaning o f Word s an d the Meanin g o f Grammar' wa s jointly presente d b y th e Department o f Englis h an d the Englis h Language Teachin g Unit ; th e secon d lecture o n 'Sociolinguisti c Aspect s o f Translating' wa s jointl y presente d b y Shaw Colleg e an d th e Departmen t o f Translation. Born in Oklahoma City i n 1914 , Dr . Nida obtaine d hi s Ph.D . i n linguistic s from the University of Michigan in 1943 . He was a recipient of various medals and awards an d hold s honorar y doctorate s from 1 0 universities. Pollution of Pearl River Delta under Scrutiny T h e Centr e for Environmental Studies organized an international conference entitle d 'Sustainabl e Developmen t an d Watershe d Management i n the Pearl River Delta ' i n collaboration with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale- China Association. The conference, which took place on 5th and 6th January i n Cho Yi u Conferenc e Hall , wa s attende d by 3 5 representative s from relevan t institution s i n China , the Unite d States , Taiwan , and Hong Kong. They exchanged the latest research findings o n the management of water pollution i n Sout h China, particularl y the Pearl River Delta . The conference also mapped out an agenda for collaborativ e research in this field , with a long-term objectiv e to tackle othe r environmental problems in the region. Shaw College Celebrates Seventh Founder's Day Above: Cake-cutting ceremony Left: Presentation ofcollege academic prizes by Prof. Yeung Yue-man, head of Shaw College S h a w Colleg e held its seventh founder's day celebration on 12th January with more than 20 0 guests , staf f an d student s attending th e function . Speeche s wer e delivered b y Prof . Ma Lin , chairma n o f the Colleg e Boar d o f Trustees , Prof . Yeung Yue-man, head of the college, and representatives fro m bot h th e colleg e student union and the alumni association. Prizes wer e presente d t o student s wit h outstanding academi c performances . To mark the seventh birthday of their college, the Shaw student union organized a serie s o f activities , includin g interdepartmental competitions , talks , an d a 'feast-for-a-thousand'.