[Confucian Values vs. Lectures]
By: Jacobus DU PLESSIS (HSBC Prosperity Hall)
Respect for authority is one of the central values of Confucian philosophy. However, to what extent is it healthy for a college education system to adopt such an absolute respect for authority? Does it extend to the point where a student can’t question a lecturer who very evidently has made a mistake in their lecturer or even just disagreeing with a professor on a moot point in your subject?
From my personal experience studying Hong Kong an absolute respect for authority sometimes prevents the free-flow debate and critical thinking which is required in a college environment. However, upon a closer look it becomes readily apparent that the words “absolute respect” and “collegiality” (derived from the word “college” a synonym for “university”) are inherently contradictory. As students at a college or university the standard teacher-student relationship experienced in high school has fallen away, instead at college we are all colleagues. That’s right your professor is your colleague in the pursuit of academic knowledge.
Now, what are the consequences of this? Simply put, this means that our questioning of our professors and critical thinking is not hindering their work, but in fact, assists them and ourselves in the pursuit of academic excellence. If anything, it is our duty as colleagues to assist our lecturers and ourselves through critically examining what we are taught and addressing our views to our lecturers. If you do this what you’ll find is not only are Confucian values not opposed to the collegial system, but is in actual fact directly supportive of it.
文: Jacobus DU PLESSIS (滙豐業昕堂)
譯: 楊雅怡 (賽馬會群智堂)