ERIC Number: ED297788
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Learning To Be Human: Confucian Resources for Rethinking General Education.
Conroy, France H.
Arguing that the traditionally central position of genuine liberal learning in the college curriculum has been seriously eroded, this paper recommends that Confucian principles be incorporated into general education and faculty development to reinstill the element of "learning to be human" into the freshman and sophomore years. Part 1 suggests that instrumentalism has become the untempered ethos of the community college, and urges community college faculty to re-educate and revitalize themselves through certain strands within the Confucian tradition. A profile of the students attending non-elite colleges is presented, decrying a lack of openness to self-transformation, growth, or change; and a tendency toward pragmatism, careerism, consumerism, and self-interest. This section also addresses the problem of a dominant pedagogy which actually reinforces educational goals centerd on money and status. Part 2 offers an overview of the process and major concepts of Confucianism, including jen (humanity or human-ness) and li (ritual action). The teachings of three students of Confucianism, Mencius (371-289 BC), Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529), and Liang Shu-Ming (1893- ), are reviewed with particular emphasis on their development of non-elitist and existential lines within the philosophy. In addition, Professor Tu Wei-Ming's current interpretation of Confucianism is also explored. In part 3, appropriate components of a Confucian-based pedagogy are suggested, including affective, aesthetic, moral, religious, and intellectual dimensions. Finally, in part 4, a discussion of the application of these principles in a team-taught core interdisciplinary program at Burlington County College (New Jersey) is presented. Sixty-nine footnotes are provided. (EJV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Mid-Career Fellowship Program.