Teaching Methods

Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning in the School of East Asian Studies cover social, political, economic and cultural conditions in China, Japan and Korea as well as the languages of these countries. Politically, economically and culturally, East Asia is changing the world that we live in; our teaching is informed by an understanding of what might be expected of you after graduation, and a SEAS degree will equip you for a future working at the leading edges of human development in the 21st century.

We work with students to develop both area knowledge specific to East Asia, and generic skills in research, analysis, communication and organisation. Our graduates combine a rigorous understanding of at least one East Asian society – and, in many cases of its language – with high degree of cultural agility and a life-long capacity to develop and adapt their knowledge and skills for their future needs.

How we teach

Teaching is designed to foster the development of students as reflective, independent learners and effective communicators. We work to support you in developing the research and analytical skills needed to engage critically with the content delivered in class, in refining your written and oral presentation skills, and in planning and evaluating your own progress as a learner. Many students will display these skills in a substantial dissertation project in their final year, and these are also skills that you will continue to use and enhance after graduation.

Teaching and learning are research-led. Course content is built on cutting-edge research and, in most cases, delivered by staff who are working and publishing in the relevant academic field, many of whom contribute also to policy and public debates. As we encourage our students to engage with these developing bodies of work, we aim to foster an appreciation of how that research works: what resources and approaches may be used to develop understanding of East Asia, what the strengths and limitations of these are, and how our understanding of any question is not fixed, but is built on an ongoing process of enquiry, evaluation and dialogue.

Teaching and learning are supported by personal contact and learning technology. We make extensive use of the University’s virtual learning environment to reinforce classroom work and point to resources and opportunities for independent study, and adapt the delivery of teaching to differing types of work and levels of study. We ensure that there are regular opportunities for discussion between staff and students, in class and in consultation hours, through feedback on assessed work, and through formal mechanisms such as Staff-Student Committee, the evaluation of teaching by students and the tutorial system.