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Teaching Methods

Teaching methods

At the Institute of Chinese Studies, we value innovative teaching formats and research-oriented teaching:

Small seminar-style classes

Lectures are frequently accompanied by small seminar-style classes, allowing students to join informed, lively exchange between teachers and fellow students. Small classes foster active classroom participation and support the development of different analytical, communication and writing skills.

Active learning techniques

To promote an environment of passionate and engaged learning, teachers make use of a variety of active learning techniques to make students responsible for their learning. Frequently used techniques include “think-pair-share” activities, case studies, debates, informal quizzes, research proposals, study trips, and ‘real life’ consulting projects.

Research-oriented teaching formats

Researchers at the Chinese Studies Institute incorporate their most current research-based knowledge into the coursework. This allows students to develop mindsets geared towards scientific, curious and critical thinking, and to benefit from the diversity and quality of research carried out by the Institute’s scientists. These formats not only prepare students to undertake their own field research in China, but also train them in collecting, reading and analyzing Chinese language materials.

Teaching examples in the BA/MA programs in Chinese Studies at the FU:

This course is designed in collaboration with the Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS). It allows advanced Master’s students to deepen their knowledge about Chinese policy-making and institutions by working on a case study from a comparative perspective. Students will work in teams and collect first teaching experience by acting as China experts for their fellow students focusing on Japan and Korea.

In this course, Master students work jointly with a Professor in advising a ‘client’. Clients are usually a company, think tank, or ministry in Berlin, requiring answer to a complex ‘real-life’ problem related to China. Students will be asked to apply the consulting skills learned in class to an actual case. They also learn to work together in teams and will receive feedback from the client during mid-term and final presentations.

The new Massive Online Course (MOC) on Chinese history offers a comprehensive overview of Chinese history. Students use video-based online sources (“inverted classroom”) to learn about Chinese history. This new and flexible form of self-learning is combined with regular class room discussions.

In this course, students learn the basics on how to develop a methodologically and theoretically sound research project. Students first read and reflect upon text book material on social science research, and then conduct their own small research project by collecting primary data in Berlin.